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Snow melting at Almanor; fishing picking up

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

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Lake Almanor

Spring has finally sprung in Plumas County and we will see 60-degree temperatures for the first time in months with overnight lows in the 30s a couple of days this week.  Large amounts of snow remain at lake level in the shaded areas however snow is beginning to melt. Lake level is up slightly, 4483.14, up one foot from last year on the same date and up fractionally from last week. Bailey Creek is picking up pace, the North Fork of the Feather River through Chester has a solid flow, and Hamilton Branch is depositing large volumes of water into Almanor. Almanor Fishing Association volunteer Phil Datner has collected data from previous year’s and according to his calculations we should see water flowing into the Super Ditch by the end of the week.

“After a slow start to the season, and water temperatures on the rise, we should finally start to see fishing pick up for trollers,” said John Crotty of AFA. “Fish are beginning to move out of the south end of the lake.” Fast trolling hardware, flies and/or Rapala’s remain the best shot for finding and catching fish.

“Cover ground until you find a concentration of fish (which has been tough to do),” advised Crotty. “Begin your day at Canyon Dam and move around the lake as the sun comes up.” Winds early in the week will make slow trolling difficult if not impossible. Bank fishermen are finding quality fish around the coves by the dam, and the increased water flow down the branch is making for tough fishing conditions.

Highway 70 through the canyon remains closed. There are tree removal and construction projects on Hwy 32 and travelers can expect minimal delays. Highway 36 is clear. Canyon Dam remains the only usable public boat ramp. “All of our campgrounds remain closed, and lodging options are limited,” reports Crotty. “AFA supporters, Cedar Lodge, are open for business and conveniently located on the west side of Chester just before the Hwy 89/36 intersection and a short drive from the Canyon Dam boat launch.”

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