The edges may be chilly Jan. 16 at Lake Almanor but reports are that fishing at may net a hot and hearty meal. Photo by Mari Erin Roth

Find the smelt, find the fish

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

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Lake Almanor

The water level at Almanor continues to rise. Lake level was 4478.8’ on Jan. 16. Water temperatures are ranging between 34.5 – 36 degrees. There are large sheets of ice floating throughout the lake. NOAA is predicting mild dry weather for at least the next seven days with daytime highs approaching 50 degrees. The Canyon Dam boat ramp remains open and is starting to see some traffic. Highway 70 through the Canyon is open and expected to remain so. Hwy 36 and Hwy 89 are both clear and in great shape for travel to Plumas County.

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“Fishing was good earlier in the week but a bit tougher yesterday,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. Browns out numbered rainbows. The fish are migrating throughout the lake, “Here one day and gone the next,” said Crotty. “It can be tough to find them this time of year, with limited food source and fewer fishermen, the fish we are catching are in great shape and hard fighting.”

Crotty continues to pull plastics and crawlers at 1 mph. “I will begin pulling hardware and traveling 2.5-3 mph to cover more ground in search of bait and fish,” said Crotty. “We are seeing less and less pond smelt. When you do find them, the fish are gorging on the tender morsels and anxious to play.”

There were a dozen people fishing Geritol Cove on Sunday (Jan. 16) taking advantage of the spectacular winter day. Crawlers and power bait were the top offerings. Now is the time to fish the coves with fish cruising the shoreline in search of food. Access to Hamilton Branch is limited with few fishermen tackling the steep frozen bank.

Almanor Fishing Association (AFA) is in the middle of its annual membership drive. Anyone who would like to support the longest running most successful fish pen program in the state; assist the group in providing fishing opportunities for the youth of Plumas County, help with their annual Veterans Fishing Day and/or help the Lake Almanor Community in the efforts to retain Lake Almanor’s cold water and preserve the fishery may wish to join the organization.

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“You can join by visiting our website @ almanorfishingassociation.org or by mail to AFA PO BOX 1938 Chester, CA 96020,” said Crotty. “Your tax deductible donations are greatly appreciated and you can rest assured that every single penny donated will be used to enhance our fishery and the Lake Almanor Community.” AFA provides fishing details, hot tips, and information throughout the year for Fish Bits, and we thank them.