Compiled by Mari Erin Roth
Winter has finally arrived at Lake Almanor. “We received a light dusting of snow on Friday. This Sunday morning (Dec. 13) it’s 30 degrees and snowing once again,” said John Crotty of Almanor Fishing Association. The forecast is for snow and rain with daytime highs reaching 40 degrees and nighttime lows in the teens for the next seven days. “I am cautiously optimistic the current weather trend will continue through the winter and into spring and replenish California’s lakes and reservoirs,” said Crotty.
Water temps remain in the 40s, lake level has risen fractionally since last week’s report and visibility remains unchanged. Current lake level is 4478, down 8’ from Dec. 13, 2019. As water temps continue to drop, fish will begin to migrate to the south end of the lake in search of food. They will continue to feast on pond smelt and start focusing on insects around the shoreline in the coves. There has been minimal boat traffic and an increase in shore fishing over the past week.
Trollers are having limited success with similar results both fast and slow trolling. “Speedy shiners at 2.5-3 mph, flies at 1.5-2 mph and gulps & crawlers at 1 mph with preferred depths changing daily,” said Crotty. “Flies, bait and hardware will all catch fish in the coves.”
The Lake Almanor area is currently under a Winter Weather Advisory with chains required over the passes. The Canyon Dam boat ramp is open and the only usable public ramp on the lake.
With regard to Covid status, Plumas County remains under the purple County. Please wear a mask when around other people in the area.
The end of the year marks the annual Almanor Fishing Association membership drive. AFA volunteers host a project near and dear to fishermen of Lake Almanor. “AFA has the longest running, most successful, fish pen program in the state,” said Crotty. “We currently have 60,000 fish (50,000 rainbows, 10,000 Browns) in our pens and our dedicated volunteers are feeding 80 pounds of food a day regardless of the weather.”
The group welcomes new members and begin their 2021 membership drive soon. Interested persons may find information online or join at Almanorfishingassociation.org. Their mailing address is Almanor Fishing Association PO BOX 1938, Chester, CA 96020. “Thank you for your support,” said Crotty.
An annual fundraiser takes place each winter for local fire stations and firemen. The hope is always that it will be an ice fishing derby, but ice or no, the event takes place at Lake Davis.
An abundance of gifts are donated each year for an extravaganza giveaway that takes place in the afternoon after the fish weigh in’s are winding up. Generally, there is a tasty BBQ to reward fishermen for a great day out fishing along the banks or on top of the ice, whichever Mother Nature provides.
The “Maybe Ice Derby” is scheduled for Feb. 13, said Jeanne Graham of J&J Grizzly Store, the location of all the fun up at Lake Davis. The Father’s Day Weekend Derby is planned for June 19.
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