Some access concerns ahead of trout opener

Len Ackerman

With stream trout season coming up on April 29, there is some concern about access to some areas.

The lakes are open year-round and at Pinecrest, the water level is still well down, but it will fill rapidly over the next several days.

I can’t recall ever not seeing it fail to get the boat docks floating and the launch ramp open by May 1. The bad news is at Beardsley Lake, where damage to the road into the boat launch was severe as well as the launch area.

At this point there is no estimate as to when the repairs will be complete. The entry road off Highway 108 will remain closed until repairs are completed.

Check with the Summit Ranger Station for further information at (209) 965-3434.

Also, the road into Hells Half Acre and Donnells received damage.

Fishing is going strong at the lower foothill lakes. At New Melones Reservoir, the water level has risen to over 76 percent, and bass fishing has been good with some five-fish limits running over 20 pounds.

The crappie bite has also been good along tree-lined shorelines, using crappie jigs, worms or live minnows.

A few trout are found by trollers using bright colored lures from the surface to 25 feet deep.
The water is still stained in some areas, and be alert for floating debris.

The kokanee salmon, which should be showing soon, leaves some questions as to how good it will be.

In 2015, Kokanee Power in conjunction with the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) did not plant any kokes in Melones and, in 2016, they planted 56,524. It takes two years for the planters to reach catchable size. The main hope is that triploids (fish from sterilized eggs which prevent spawning) will survive.

Gary Coe of Kokanee Power said that the jury is still out as to how many of those holdovers made it through the low water years.

Spring wild turkey season ends April 30, but junior hunters (under 18 years of age) and the archery hunters will get a break by being allowed another two weeks, May 1 to May 14.

One bearded turkey is allowed per day and three per season. Most bearded turkeys are males but, on rare occasions, a female may have a beard, in which case it would be allowed.

The Moccasin Creek Hatchery will be making trout plants next week before the April 29 stream opener.

Plants in some areas may be limited due to snow and road conditions.

I will have more on this next week.

The Union Democrat
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