The proposed ban on lead ammo and fishing tackle on federal lands has been reversed by the newly appointed Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, benefitting sportsmen and outdoor communities.
Order 3346, which Zinke signed March 2, overturned the lead ammo and fishing tackle ban on Federal Wildlife Service lands.
A second order, 3347, improves game and habitat management and increases outdoor recreation opportunities by directing bureaus and agencies to immediately identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded.
The ban on lead ammo and tackle on federal lands was initiated during the last minutes of the Obama administration. Zinke stated the order was “not mandated by any existing statutory or regulatory requirement and was issued without significant consultation or coordination with affected stakeholders.”
On the local area fishing scene, Beardsley Road, which is closed for winter, will not be opened until at least April 15 due to road damage.
Down the hill, the foothill lakes remain active with New Hogan Reservoir reaching a higher level than has been seen in years. The water is still off-color and a few striped bass are turning up for shore anglers using bait. It is expected that the striper fishing later this spring, when the water clears, will be very good.
At Lake Amador, the lake continues to spill but trout plants continue and shore anglers are having the most success with Power Baits.
At Camanche Reservoir, the water level dropped to 84 percent last week but the recent heavy rains may have brought that up. The gas docks on the north shore ramp had reopened and trout plants from the Mt. Lassen Hatchery are ongoing.
Trolling anglers are finding some rainbows with Speedy Shiners and Rapalas.
At Lake Pardee, 3,000 pounds of rainbows were planted last week and shore fishing with bait has been best.
Lake Tulloch has good boat launching year round. Reports indicate that the bass and crappie bite has been good, but the trout bite has been slow, due to the low water temperatures which should change soon.
The South Shore resort is open year round and the launch fee is $10.
The Bass Nation tournament at New Melones Reservoir last weekend produced some good catches with first place going to Jim Grady with a two-day total of 35 pounds, which included the big fish at 8.9 pounds. Second place went to Randy Pierson with 33 pounds; third place went to Michael Coleman with 31 pounds.
Trout fishing has been a bit slow with the cold weather but the crappie bite has really turned on with just about any crappie jig working. Best areas are along tree lined shorelines.
In my neck of the woods, Peaceful Pines, we had an indication that bears are coming out of hibernation. On Monday, garbage pickup day, several cans were raided. Then on Wednesday we had 4 inches of snow. Hopefully that may put them back in their dens for awhile.