ACCESS DICEY FOR TROUT OPENER

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TRADITIONALLY, THE last Saturday in April (which is tomorrow) marks the opening day of trout season in Sierra Nevada streams.

This week's rainy weather patterns are not what avid anglers wanted to see, but the forecasts indicate that parts of tomorrow and most of Sunday are showing the potential for clearing (no guarantees, of course).

Road conditions could play a major part in fishermen accessing their favorite streams (see separate story).

Plants by the Moccasin Creek Fish Hatchery were scheduled for all the way to Kennedy Meadow on the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River, but have been put on hold. The South Fork of the Stanislaus at Strawberry has been be planted with catchable-size rainbow, and so has the meadow area at Old Strawberry, if accessible. Also on the list is Frazier Flat on the Spring Gap road. All forks of the lower Tuolumne, Basin Creek and Moccasin Creek have been planted, too.

In Calaveras County, Angels Creek, Beaver Creek and White Pines Lakes are stocked, and as always, the popular Pinecrest Lake received 2,000 pounds of catchable rainbows.

The Pinecrest marina will be in operation and the lake level is up on the ramp for easy launching. As is usually the case early in the season, bait anglers will do best bouncing the bottom with salmon eggs, worms or Power Bait. Fly enthusiasts will need to go with weighted nymph patterns.

The south fork below Pinecrest Dam should be running lower and clearer than usual because of low water releases from the lake until it reaches capacity.

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