The Union Democrat Sports Department

By Len Ackerman

For The Union Democrat

I made a scouting tripto Beardsley Lake last week to view the water level and the new extended launch ramp.

And it sure is a beautiful ramp and floating dock but, unfortunately, the water level is extremely low and may not reach the ramp this year. There will be some rise in level as the snow melt adds some water, but as summer approaches, more releases will be made.

For information on Beardsley, go, which is updated periodically and also has road access information, or call the Summit Ranger Station at 965-3434.

Wild turkey season opensMarch 29 for hunters and juniors, under 16 receive a special break by being allowed to hunt the weekend prior to the opener (March 22-23) and again for 14 consecutive days after the regular season closes.

Junior hunters are not required to have an Upland Game Bird stamp. The daily limit is one bearded turkey and three per season.

The Mother Lode Gun Clubmarks its 75th anniversary this year.

The club was founded in 1936 and the original location was believed to be in the vicinity of the present Sonora Water Treatment Plant.

The Barnwright family owned many acres of land back then and in the early 1950s, donated the land where the club is now located on Jamestown Road.

The Mother Lode Gun Club is a private club which now has 850 members and a lengthy waiting list. The club has facilities for pistol, rifle, and trap shooting. A 5-stand trap shoot is scheduled for Apr. 5.

Trout fishing has sloweda bit at New Melones Reservoir as the fish begin to move out to deeper water. Catches are still being made by shore anglers and trollers who are picking up trout from the surface to 30-35 feet with flasher/worm combos and shad pattern lures.

Bass fishing is improving as we move toward Spring. Casey Strom, of Pleasanton, caught and released a 7-pound, 9-ounce largemouth last week.

The Coors Light Future Bass Pro Tour will hold a tournament at New Melones on Saturday, the first stop on their 2014 Central Valley season.

Most sign-ups are done in advance but for those wishing to get in on the action, sign-ups will be taken at Glory Hole Sports from 4-6 a.m.