Fishing season could be a short one

The general trout season is nearly upon us. Though opening day has lost some of its luster " as special-regulation waters like parts of the Truckee River and the Little Truckee now remain open year-round " many anglers still look forward to the day with great anticipation.

Saturday's opening day " always the last Saturday in April " is usually dependent on the weather and water conditions that are tied to it. Usually fishing early in the day will allow an angler to fish streams without runoff being a factor.

If it remains cool during the day, the water will typically remain clear enough to fish. However, if the temperatures are unseasonably warm, the water could get off-color as the snow melts and feeds into the streams.

We all know that weather can be as variable as it comes up here. I have fished in short-sleeve weather all the way to the other side of the spectrum with rain and snow. You never knows what Mother Nature is going to give us.

The one certainty is that spring will eventually take over and run into early summer, and our fishing season really begins in earnest. This year, the early season looks pretty good once again, since water is not typically an issue until later in the season.

The winter was not a good one as far as water needs. We are in the 80-percent range, which means another subpar year for water in our area.

The already low reservoirs are certain to be very low again as we get into the late summer. Lake Tahoe still is very low for this time of year at 6,223.68 feet in elevation. Last year at this time it was sitting at 6,225.10 feet.

Our other large reservoir in the area, Stampede Reservoir, is at 90,200 acre feet of water. Last year at this time we were at 142,000 acre feet.

It does not take much to see that we will be in sad shape at the end of the summer in our region. Many of our lakes and streams will certainly be extremely low.

What does this mean for your fishing season? Get out there early in the year, because you may not have enough water in your favorite area to fish later in the season.

Early-season fishing should be good in most areas. Runoff will probably be over early this season, and water should be pretty low by July in most streams.

Lakes will become more important than streams this year to anglers as they get low toward the end of the season. Lakes are typically good areas to fish during an opening day simply because they produce better, since fish are typically in shallow water during the early season where water temperatures are warmer. Therefore, they tend to be much more accessible to shore anglers than later in the season.

Enjoy the opener because this may be a pretty short season! Opening day is a great time to catch up with friends and associates whom you have not seen all season.

- Bruce Ajari is a Truckee fisherman.


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