Happy 'Naw' Year: Ice fishing not advised on Sierra lakes, Carson River teems with trout plants

eed Mitchell from Gardnerville with a smallmouth bass caught at Topaz Lake.

by Doug Busey

Hello fellow anglers. Another year has come and gone. As we enter the new year, we grow a little and learn from our mistakes. Last year, I wrote in my last report of the year that I prayed for snow to fill our rivers and streams, and the snow did not stop for months. I hope for a good winter, but not to the extent of last year. Now even though winter is upon us, there are still plenty of areas to fish in the sierras and surrounding areas. Many of the rivers in California have changed regulations to all year long "with some restrictrictions". Yet some are closed for the season. That is why we need to check regulations for all bodies of water we fish.  In my reports I try to keep you informed of regulations as well as water conditions, to keep everyone safe, especially about ice fishing. As many have seen, our local urban ponds have frozen over recently. But within a few days they are ice free. I want to be clear to all. Never venture out on, or attempt to do any type of ice fishing on these waters. They are unstable and dangerous. If you want to do some ice fishing, join us in January when we venture up to Red lake or Caples Lake, where the ice is at least 8 to 10 inches thick. Here is your local winter fishing report.

SILVER LAKE: The lake is mostly frozen, but has some areas futur out that are still thin.

CAPLES LAKE:  There have been a few anglers out around the edges of the lake ice fishing. But please note that the middle of the lake still has plenty of open water. This makes the lake unstable to venture out on.  I will have an update every couple weeks. But I do have exciting news. For the first time in many years, the Caples Lake Resort is open for cabin rentals and lodging through the winter months.

RED LAKE:  The lake has 6 inches of ice as of last weekend. A few anglers were out testing their luck and maybe fate. The center of the lake was blue, which means thin ice. I will be venturing out next week after we get through a few winter storms.


INDIAN CREEK RESERVOIR: The fishing has been fair for anglers using inflated night crawlers or Powerbait by the unimproved launch ramp and dam area.  I personally like to throw a Thomas Buoyant spoon in a frog pattern off the dam or on the south east side of the lake.

UPPER TRUCKEE RIVER-TAYLOR CREEK-TROUT CREEK:  All rivers leading into Lake Tahoe are closed to fishing

EAST CARSON RIVER ALPINE COUNTY:  The river is full of fish due to the recent plant of 2 to 5 lb rainbows by Alpine County Fish and Game. The river is open to catch and release fishing with artificial lures or flies with barbless hooks. For more information, stop by the Carson River Resort. The resort is open all year long for cabin rentals.

EAST FORK CARSON RIVER DOUGLAS COUNTY: The river is running low and is open all year with no gear restrictions. Best areas would be on the south end of Gardnerville by the broken dam.

TOPAZ LAKE: The water level is high and clear. The Douglas County park is open for camping and boat launching. All three ramps have been adjusted to be utilized. With the lake level so high, the dry camping on the east side is not available past the main cove. I fished this week with Reed Mitchell from Gardnerville, NV. We started about 8:30 and fished until the extreme winds came up around noon.  We caught and released 5 trout and one smallmouth bass. I have known Reed for 15 years, yet we have not fished together until now. We have swapped many fishing stories over the years, but I did not know he had never trolled before. His first fish trolling was a nice smallmouth bass. I think he is now hooked on trolling.

EBBETTS PASS-MONITOR PASS- SONRA PASS-TIOGA PASS: As of this Thursday, they were closed due to winter conditions.

I wish you all a Happy and a safe Naw year. Take your time getting to your destination, as there may be a lot of people out this week celebrating. If you get a picture of your catch, send it to [email protected]. I hope to see you on the waters or the ice in the new year. Good fishin' and tight lines.

Good luck on your next fishing adventure. If you have a question. a report in our local fishing area or have a photo of your catch, send it to [email protected]. Hope to see you on the waters. Good fishin' and tight lines.

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