Hunting Fishing

Now that we suddenly have good fishing conditions, let’s take a moment to think ahead

The water in Don Pedro Reservoir rose about eight feet last week.
The water in Don Pedro Reservoir rose about eight feet last week.

Just a few short weeks ago I wrote a column about the seemingly disastrous condition of our reservoirs. I couldn’t see how things could turn around as quickly as they have. Now, I believe we have the makings of a very good spring, while I’m also optimistic our lakes will be in good shape going into the next year, too.

One of the great considerations of getting a lot of water is that there will be a bunch of good fishing holes, rather than just one or two. I hate it when the water is low and everyone keeps hitting the same place – it’s a very destructive thing. On the other hand, if you have a region (like ours) with several hot lakes that are kicking out bass, a few others that are producing crappie, and some great trout and kokanee bites, and now we’re talking. It spreads out the fishermen, lowers the fish take in each body of water and gives the fish population a chance to recover. I hate fishing in bathtubs.

Big water also ups the food cycle in a lake, helping the fish to stay healthy. Covering up exposed brush and foliage as well as washing in more nutrients and feed can really supercharge a fishery. Keeping this cycle going for another year just gives us more cushion and a better fishery overall, allowing us to get past all those bad drought years and back into a healthy recovery cycle.

So all the lakes have come up a whole lot, but that’s not the only piece of good news. Looming on the horizon is a forecast of at least two weeks of warming, calm weather. The Delta is already kicking in for just about every species, even with the temporary muddy conditions. Reservoirs should warm quickly just as the water starts to stabilize after the storm and the spawn of several species takes off. The biggest problem for anglers will be to figure out where to go!

That kind of season, combined with the sheer number of anglers, puts a lot of pressure on fisheries. I don’t believe our regulations and limits are meant for that kind of traffic and harvesting. However, a lot of anglers are becoming more proactive and protective of our fisheries, and that’s a good result.

This is what we all wait for! Never give up!

Roger George is The Bee’s fishing expert. He can be reached at,

at and @StriperWars on Twitter.