Saturday is Free Fishing Day in the State of California

As a special note, the State of Nevada will hold its free fishing day on June 14.

So, don't confuse those three, very special dates:

June 7 for California.

June 14 for Nevada.

Sept. 27 for California.

If in doubt, be sure to mark those dates on your calendar.

With that said, if you have had a desire to fish in California, this year, but haven't done so for any number of reasons, Saturday will your golden opportunity to fish wherever you desire in that particular state.

And, it's free!

However, here is one very important piece of advice from Don Q:

You can fish free but you will also need to carefully abide by all of the regular rules and regulations that govern whatever water(s) you will be fishing.

So please don't go fishing somewhere and be tempted to do something illegal or stupid or both.

If you do and you get caught, the "friendly old game warden" may not be too friendly. It could turn out to be a very expensive and painful experience rather than a lot of fun.

Just remember to carefully obey those rules and regulations.

And to further insure that your free fishing day will be a memorable experience, the California Department of Fish and Game, various nearby California Counties and a number of nearby fishing resorts and marinas have been busy as bees, planting many thousands of trout into their waters.

So, now that you know that you can fish at no cost on Saturday, what if you are new to this area or perhaps, you have never fished in that state?

Where to go? Shucks, don't worry. Don Q is going to come to your rescue.

Here are some suggestions.

Pick one or more (if time permits). Then on Saturday, load the entire family (and don't forget to pack a big picnic lunch!) into the car and go out and enjoy the 2003 version of California's First of two Free Fishing Days:


East Carson, West Carson, Feather, Sacramento, Susan, Truckee, Little Truckee, Upper Truckee, East Walker, West Walker and Little Walker.

Tip No. 1: Try the West Carson River (about 35 miles south of Carson City) anywhere in Hope Valley or along the length of Woodfords Canyon. This river is normally planted with rainbow trout from a number of bridges, so be sneaky and fish just downstream from those bridges.

Tip No. 2: Try the East Carson River (about the same distance from Carson) in the Markleeville area for rainbows.

Be advised that there are special restrictions from Hangman's Bridge, downstream to the California/Nevada stateline. There are no special restrictions, upstream from that bridge.

Fish where it is easy for the planter truck to reach the water.

Tip No. 3: Try the East Walker River, downstream from the Bridgeport Dam (about 85 miles south of Carson City via U.S. 395) for large-sized rainbows and German browns.

Be advised that there are special restrictions from the dam, all the way downstream to the California/Nevada stateline.


Buckeye, Convict, Green, Markleeville, Red, Robinson, Rush, Silver, Virginia and Wolf.

Tip No. 4: Convict Creek, which flows out of Convict Lake (South of Mammoth), can produce some large Alpers Trophy Rainbow Trout, but it will be super crowded with fishermen.

So, don't go, if you don't like large numbers of anglers, all around you.

Tip No. 5: Green Creek (Eastern brook trout), located just west of Bridgeport, is mosquito heaven. Don't say that you weren't warned. Take plenty of insect repellent.

Tip No. 6: Robinson Creek, near Lower Twin Lake (West of Bridgeport) can produce some nice rainbows, but it will also be crowded with fishermen.

Tip No. 7. Silver Creek on the Ebbett's Pass Highway can produce some very enjoyable fishing in the deeper holes.


Boca, Bridgeport, Frenchmen's, Indian Creek, Kinney and Stampede.

Tip No. 8: Indian Creek Reservoir (rainbows and browns) may be your best bet to take the family for the day.

It is easy to reach by paved road, is close to home and is located between Markleeville and Woodfords.

That reservoir will have been planted with many hundreds of pounds of rainbow trout (many of them being a very impressive size) by both Alpine County and the Calif. Dept. of Fish and Game.

There will be a special, free, Kids' Fishing Derby on Saturday.

Tip No. 9: Kinney Reservoir (one of my favorite fishing locations).

It is at an elevation of more than 8,000 feet near the top of Ebbett's Pass on S.R. 4 (about 50 miles from Carson City).

It's reported to still have some ice.

This is a delightfully, cool location to spend a hot summer day.

And if the fish (rainbows and brookies) are not biting, the scenery is well worth the effort and time.

Plus, as a bonus, Lower Kinney Lake (cutthroat trout) is an easy, half-mile hike from the reservoir's dam.


Alpine, Upper and Lower Blue, Bucks, Caples, Convict, Crater, Crowley, Davis, Donner, Eagle, Frog, the June Lake Loop (Grant, Gull, June and Silver), Kirman (Carmen), Lobdell, Lundy, Mammoth Lakes Basin (George, Mamie, Mary and Twin), North, Poore, Red, Roosevelt-Lane, Sabrina, Secret, Scott, Silver, South, Upper and Lower Sunset, Tahoe, Tamarack, Upper and Lower Twin, the Virginia Lakes area, Winnemucca, etc.

Tip No. 10: Convict Lake for mind-boggling, giant-sized rainbows, if you like large crowds of fishermen.

The largest trout, so far this season, is a huge, 11-pound rainbow.

It was caught on two-pound test line from a float tube.

Tip No 11: Davis Lake is about 75 miles north of Carson via U.S. 395 and S.R. 70. This large lake provides you with a chance to catch all kinds of fish, including Northern Pike, which were illegally introduced into that lake, a number of years ago.

Tip No. 12: Lundy Lake for nice rainbows and spectacular, high-mountain scenery. The bad news is that it is about 115 miles (one-way) south of Carson City via U.S. 395.

Tip No. 13: Upper and Lower Twin Lakes (west of Bridgeport) for rainbows, browns and Kokanee salmon.

Both lakes can be good for shore fishing or from a float tube, canoe or boat.

There you have it:

Some selected locations for you and your family to have fun on California's first Free Fishing Day of 2003.

Pick one (or more) of these choices and plan to spend this Saturday enjoying one of America's top three most popular outdoor sports (swimming is No. 1 and bicycling is No. 2).

Heck, if you wanted to, you could even do all three on the same day!

Have a nice weekend!

-- Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon that he can't tell you which of the 50 states adopted the first free fishing day.

If he replies, "Oklahoma was the first, way back in 1982," you lose.


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