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Bailey Creek runs full heading toward Lake Almanor as snow begins to melt after a light snow April 18. Photo by John Crotty

Good fishing days ahead

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

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Lake Almanor

The winter of 2022/23 is certainly one for the record books. March added 88 inches of snowfall to the already impressive snowfall totals bringing the year to date to a whopping 306.5 inches (25.5 feet). Along with snow, Plumas County experienced extremely cold temperatures with the average low for March landing under 18 degrees. Cold temperatures resulted in very little snow melt and a minimal increase to the lake level. Almanor sits at 4482.88 (a foot higher than last year on the same date) and up a foot and four tenths for the month of March. Water temperatures remain in the mid-30s.

“It appears the worst of the weather is behind us,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. “It’s time to get back on the water.” Access to shore fishing will remain difficult until some snow melts. “I have seen anglers at the branch and in the coves around the dam,” said Crotty. “As the snow melts and water temps rise, fishing will only improve.” Trollers can target efforts around the dam early in the morning and spread out as the sun gets on the water. “You will need to cover water to find fish and fast trolling hardware, flies and Rapala’s will provide you with the best opportunity to find and catch fish,” said Crotty. “If the super ditch starts to flow, there should be fish where it enters into the lake for shore fishermen.”

Highway 70 through the canyon remains closed. There is a minimal delay on Hwy 32, and Hwy 36 is clear. Travelers can expect chain controls at any time on all roadways leading to Almanor, for at least another week.


Frenchman Lake

The snow is melting at such a rate that the lake water is plunging over the spillway, “It’s raging,” said an employee at Goodwin’s General Store. “Last week you couldn’t fish at all but this week the snow is melting and you can cross the dam. There is open water to fish right there.” That’s about it for now, but it’s a start. The road around the lake remains impassable and there is no place to launch, “But we are getting there!”


Lake Davis

“The edges are getting kind of yucky,” said Jeanne Graham at J&J Grizzly Store. “We got 6 inches of snow last night, I KNOW! People are still ice fishing, but I wouldn’t.” Jeanne said the only way to get across onto the ice is to jump across the “yucky” part onto the ice. Good news is everything is going in the right direction. The lake level is up to 74 percent. “That’s up from 46 percent,” said Jeanne who is hoping for the kind of increase that Frenchman is seeing. “We had some pretty bad algae last year,” said Jeanne, “and a nice full lake would help to flush it out.”




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