| JUNE LAKE
— Two weeks before opening day, overall conditions are prime time for early season anglers when the traditional Eastern Sierra Trout opener rolls in Saturday, April 25. Barring any last-minute weather change, and it sometimes happens, the comfort level for fishermen this year should be around 8 on a scale of 10.
On the lake scene, all waters below the 8,000-foot elevation are ice-free and have been since late March The good majority of these waters were only frozen for intermittent periods during the winter with a freezing in the morning-thawing in the afternoon scenario. The spin-off is warmer opening day water temperatures and hungrier trout.
The only hang-up could be for the early season ice angler. Conditions at roadside high elevation waters could be on the iffy side. If the nighttime temperatures stay below freezing, conditions should be acceptable early in the day. As it warms up, be careful.
DFG stocking operations are in high gear. However, the bragging size fish are the heavyweight broodstock stocked after seasons close last fall. Look for catches up to the 8-pound class. Waters targeted were Convict, June, Gull and Silver lakes along with Bridgeport Reservoir and Upper and Lower Twin Lakes.
Thanks to funding from Inyo County, Owens Valley anglers can look forward to plants of Alpers “superstockers” in waters adjacent to county campgrounds from Lone Pine north to Big Pine. Look for these fish to be in the 1- to 2-pound range.
Access to higher elevation roadside lakes remains questionable. Barring any last-minute snowfall, target dates for clearing the South Lake and Lake Sabrina roads are shortly before opening. The same holds true for the Rock Creek Lake Road. The Virginia Lake Road is scheduled to be cleared before opening.
Tioga Pass Road (State Route 120-west) will be closed at the entrance to Yosemite National Park. However, at this point indications are the road will be open to Ellery and Tioga lakes. The road to Saddlebag Lake is closed, opening normally by early June.
The Mammoth Lakes Basin will remain closed at Twin Lakes until shortly before Memorial Day with the target for the Reds Meadow Road opening the second Saturday in June.
Water levels at some locations are on the low side. Grant Lake is extremely low. At this point program is Grant Lake Marina will be offering boat rentals, a beach launch site and campground operation. However, the tackle store will be closed.
Lundy Lake is low because of repairs to the dam. The launch ramp is high and dry. Target date for Lundy Lake Resort opening is around Memorial Day weekend.
Bridgeport Reservoir will be on the low side. However Bridgeport Reservoir Marina will be in operation with rental boats and launch ramp. Lake levels began rising around the first part of April. Depending on last-minute water levels launching at the county launch ramp could be iffy.
Crowley Lake private boaters will be subject to mandatory quagga mussel inspection before launching. The procedure will be the same as last year. Pre inspection, beginning April 22 will be available at the Vons /K-Mart parking lot in Bishop. Inspections at the Crowley Lake Fish Camp will be April 22, 23, 24 and beginning at 4:30 a.m. on opening day. In addition inspections are available at the DWP office Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For further information contact DWP (760) 872-1104.
Vehicles trailering boats will not be permitted access on the North landing and Layton Springs roads, even if the objective is shore fishing.
Don’t forget the fishing license and check the regs. There’s an abundance of special regs for early season water--no bait, barbelss hook, catch and release and reduced possession limits. Violations relating to the special regulations rank number one on the local game wardens activity level.