Many Sierra Trout Waters Open April 25

One of California’s biggest trout fishing openers is coming up
on April 25. Numerous waters opening April 25 are already planted
with 8-12 inch-long catchable size trout. The Department of Fish
and Game (DFG) will plant roughly nine million rainbow trout
state-wide in 2009 providing outstanding angling opportunities.
Many families plan annual camping and fishing trips around the
spring opener and the excellent family recreation it provides.

“The April opener is a fun fishing opportunity that
traditionally draws anglers to California’s many lakes, streams and
rivers,” said DFG Director Donald Koch. “We encourage Californians
to take advantage of this and other outdoor opportunities.”

While numerous lakes and reservoirs are open year-round,
hundreds of other lakes, streams and rivers open on April 25. The
2009-10 California Freshwater Sports Fishing Regulation booklet
describes which waters open on April 25. Please contact a DFG
regional office for a copy of the booklet.

To find out if your favorite water is scheduled for fish
stocking, anglers can check the Fish Stocking Schedule site at
www.dfg.ca.gov/fish/Hatcheries/FishPlanting.

“Last year DFG planted several million fingerling trout which
have now grown to catchable size,” said Neil Manji, DFG Fisheries
Branch Chief. “This year DFG is planting millions of catchable size
trout statewide. Thousands are planted prior to the opener as water
conditions permit. In waters that we are not planting due to a
court order there are still fish from last year’s plants that
anglers can fish for.”

A resident fishing license costs $41.20 for residents 16 years
of age and older. One- and two-day resident licenses are also
available. Reduced fee and free licenses are available to
qualifying individuals. Licensing information is available at
www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing.

Some waters normally stocked by DFG may not be planted this year
due to a court order limiting where the DFG can stock hatchery-
reared trout. The court order resulted from a lawsuit filed by the
Center for Biological Diversity and Pacific Rivers Council against
DFG. The court ordered DFG to complete an Environmental Impact
Report (EIR) that examines the impacts of the stocking program. Due
to delays in the EIR process, an interim order was issued,
restricting where DFG can stock fish based on a list of 25
amphibian and fish species presented by the plaintiffs. DFG is on
schedule to complete the EIR by January 2010. The EIR progress can
be tracked at www.dfg.ca.gov/news/pubnotice/hatchery.
New planting regulations will be established after the completion
of the EIR. A complete list of water bodies that will and will not
be stocked this year is available at www.dfg.ca.gov/news/stocking.

DFG also encourages anglers to help prevent the spread of Quagga
and Zebra mussels in anticipation of the upcoming trout opener by
asking boaters to clean, drain and dry vessels to avoid being
turned away from lakes and reservoirs. Boaters and anglers can move
Quagga and Zebra mussels, a non-native invasive species that can
ruin boats and fisheries, unintentionally from one water to
another. Many local water managers have vessel inspections programs
designed to prevent the mussels from infesting their waters.
Anglers and boaters should always clean, drain and dry watercraft
and equipment. A public toll-free number hotline has been
established for boaters and anyone involved with activities on
lakes and rivers seeking information on the invasive and
destructive Quagga mussels at 1-866-440-9530.

For more information on the Quagga/Zebra mussel response, please
visit the DFG Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/invasives/quaggamussel.

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