always tell when the season is winding down when good numbers of landing and
resort operators call it quits for the season and begin “winterizing” their
operations. And, its when DFG and
local trout farmers begin priming waters with fish for the 2012 season.
On the put
and grow stocking scene, Crowley Lake has been on the DFG agenda for the past
month with more fish on the menu, as long as the weather cooperates, into
already stocked right around 250,000 Coleman rainbows, running around six to
the pound,” said Lane Garrett, Crowley Lake Fish Camp operator. “Last Week they
planted 4,000 pounds of rainbows, two to the pound. They still have browns,
cutthroats and Eagle Lake rainbows earmarked for the lake.”
told they’re holding 150,000 to 180,000 pounds of rainbows for stocking shortly
before the opening of next season. These fish will all be in the catchable
range. We’re not looking at any shortage of fish for next season.”
north, the Bridgeport Fish Enhancement operation has been in high gear stocking
area waters with browns and rainbows.
already stocked Bridgeport Reservoir with 5,000 browns and have another 5,000
ready to go” said Jimmy Little who oversees the private rearing operation at
the Settlement Resort. “This summer we stocked rainbows in area waters and have
more ready to go. Our goal for next year is 120,000 fish for local waters, the
same as this year.”
foundation received a financial shot in the arm this fall. Thanks to the Fishin”
Mission Foundation early September fundraiser, more than $5,000 were added to
the foundation’s coffers. In addition, Mono County approved a grant for $8,000
earmarked for upgrading the operation. However, most funding for the operation
still depends on private contributions.
subject, this season with the long heavy runoff has produced some surprising
catches from small not well-publicized streams. Tiny Walker Creek, just south
of Lee Vining was good for a 3-pound brown for Lee Vining angler Daniel Flores
along with a fair number in the 1-pound range.
surprised Lee Vining angler Daniel Flores who had been happy catching 10-inch
wild browns from the tiny stream. His brown that went for a Thomas Buoyant came
right around 3 pounds.
Washington anglers Vince Ceppaglia fished the south fork of Lee Vining Creek
below Tioga Lake, primarily a small brook trout water, and scored a brown
estimated at 5 pounds before it was released.
years, 48 of them in Lee Vining, I’ve seen the same profile in heavy runoff
years when over-the-bank flows on small streams seem to relocate the trout
population. Right now, these waters are in ideal condition and would be a good
time to take a shot at wild fish that have never seen a hatchery raceway.
On the “good
bet” list would be Walker and Parker creeks south of Lee Vining, Lee Vining
Creek from Hwy 395 downstream to Mono Lake and Lower Rush Creek from Hwy 395 to
Mono Lake. These waters all hold thriving, mostly in the 8- to 15-inch range
populations of wild brown trout — and the potential for a surprise catch.
been one consistent remark from landing and resort operators, DFG did an
outstanding job at stocking local waters this summer, a far cry from what we’ve
seen in the past few seasons.
on the down side to this season’s
stocking is that maybe there’s been too many fish. My observations, and those of more than
one landing operator is that there’s been a lot of dead trout observed on lake
culprits: culling stringers when quick limits on small fish come too easily, and
ignorance regarding proper techniques for catch and release. It’s a great
concept when properly executed, but ramming a plastic tube down the fishes
throat to remove the hook followed by a 20-foot toss back into the lake doesn’t
make for a happy trout.
Enough of the bandwagon. It’s been an exceptional
fall weather-wise and it looks good for the next couple of weeks. Long-range
forecasts are calling for a heavy winter.