Bug traps scatter fish as clarity improves in Almanor

Compiled by Mari Erin Roth

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The lake level was at 4483′ on April 24. This same number appeared in 2021 as the highest level of the year. Recent storms have deposited large amounts of snow in the mountains, and most of Almanor’s feeder streams are flowing. The Super Ditch appeared to be a simple trickle on April 28. Typically, Almanor will see rising water levels until June 1st. “We are cautiously optimistic that the lake will rise a few more feet before it starts to recede,” said John Crotty of the Almanor Fishing Association. The water temperature is hovering around the 50 degree mark and the clarity is increasing every day since last week’s storms.

The insect outbreaks have resumed and the fish are gorging themselves on their new protein-rich diet of choice. Fishing was difficult as the fish are scattered; fast trolling tackle was the top producer. “I targeted fish in the top fifteen feet of the water column and the red/gold is our top producer,” Crotty said. “I fished hard for eight to ten bites a day.”

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Shore fishing was also tough with Hamilton Branch, the angler’s best shot for catching from shore. Time sets in and water temperatures rise into the 1950s; the bass bite should resume. The showers don’t reappear in the forecast until Cinco de Mayo (May 5), so it’s sunny spring for the next seven days.

Canyon Dam remains the only usable public boat ramp as resorts, restaurants and RV parks around the lake begin to open. “I would expect the USFS ramp in Prattville to be open soon.” said Croty. “Debris removal is underway and you can expect some traffic delays in the Canyon.”