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Martin Strelneck – HIGH COUNTRY

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Monday, February 27, 2017
Water levels way up, creating issues

Sierra primed for opening day
Anglers targeting high country waters for this Saturday’s opener of the Eastern Sierra General Trout Season will find a mixed bag ranging from prime conditions to limited access because of lingering snow. Stream flows will be ideal at some locations, with other spots near flood stage.

One week before the opener all roadside waters below the 7,500-foot level have been ice- free for two weeks. Landings and resorts will be in full operation. However, at this writing there remains a question relating to Forest Service campgrounds. Best advice make a call to a target area tackle shop or Chamber of Commerce for updated information.

DFW stocking began the middle of the month targeting accessible locations from the Owens Valley to Northern Mono County. In addition Bishop area anglers can look for a bonus plant of heavyweight Desert Springs rainbows destined for Bishop Creek and Intake- 2.

Mono County anglers will have a shot at the Desert Creek fish in addition to DFW stockers. On the target list, 3,200 pounds will be rationed between Convict Gull and Silver lakes, Lower Twin Lake, Bridgeport Reservoir and the West Walker River.

On the ice fishing scene, conditions definitely are more challenging for the high elevation waters, with access the issue. Crews began clearing the South Lake and Lake Sabrina roads last week along with access to Rock Creek Lake and Virginia Lakes. At this point last info was roads it was "doubtful" the roads would be clear by the opener. The Tioga Pass road leading to Ellery, Tioga and Saddlebag Lake locations is closed 4 miles west of Hwy. 395.Check with a local source for last minute information

Access to Mammoth Basin Lakes will be limited to snowshoes or snowmobiles. The road will be closed at Lower Twin Lake.

Two locations are impacted by low water conditions. Bridgeport Reservoir has been drawn down with concerns focusing on possible downstream flooding. Bridgeport Reservoir Marina will be closed. Private boats can be shore launched from the "bath tub" about a mile west of the dam.

Lundy Lake is extremely low with the boat ramp out of commission. The resort is closed. The shore line is snow free with excellent access.

Anglers considering the Lower Owens River and East Walker River are advised of high-water, dangerous conditions. These waters are not fishable.

At this point weather forecasts are for storm- free conditions for the opener. A "minor" storm is predicted for mid-week then clearing. However this has been a winter of rapidly changing forecasts.

Bottom line is, don't expect the same conditions seen during the past four drought years. The majority of lower elevation lake will be near-capacity levels with stream waters high and clear.

For last-minute information contact:

Bishop Chamber of Commerce-(888) 395-3952.

Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce-(760) 932-7500.

Lee Vining Chamber of Commerce-(760) 647-6629.

June Lake Chamber of Commerce (760) 648-1917.

Mammoth Lakes Visitors Bureau-(760) 934-2712.

Inyo National Forest-(760) 873-2400. (Conway Summit south).

Toiyabe National Forest (760) 932-7070. (Conway Summit north).

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