Loch Lomond opened to the public Friday, March 1. The opener brought clear blue skies, warm temperatures and some afternoon wind.
The park and lake is now open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. The recreation area will remain open through Labor Day and then be open weekends only until Oct. 31.
The facility has many boats to rent, or you can have your own boat inspected and held through a quarantine to prevent the spread of invasive species of mud snails and mussels. After quarantine and inspection, it can be used at the reservoir. The inspection fee is $25, and the seasonal storage fee is $200.
Opening day at Loch Lomond was well received, mostly by fishers.
Bass were caught and seen along the shoreline in a pre-spawn mode. There were reports of a couple of large holdover trout caught. Most people rented boats, while some are taking advantage of the storage opportunity.
After three years without any trout plantings, Loch Lomond received two plants in 2012 of about 1,000 pounds each. Some anglers did well if they fished soon after the trout were dropped off. The cormorants and larger resident bass had a few nice meals of trout, too.
This year, the hope is that we may receive a few more plants of trout.
The trout that are brought in are of a triploid variety that is unable to reproduce.
Rangers at the park did confirm that Fish and Wildlife reported that trout will be planted this season, sometime after the spring rains pass.
On the salmon front, things look very good and exciting, while at the same time we have some negative news to work on.
The numbers have come back from the experts, and the simple conclusion was this: The returns were not as high as expected on most rivers. However, they were still above harvestable goals, except the winter-run Chinook in the Sacramento River. The concern is that the three-year average of this run of salmon is too low.
The proposals I hear are to instate a one-fish limit; close the season for June; or make the size limit 26 inches. There will be hearings up and down the coast based on the subject.
It still sounds promising and exciting that we will be able to go out on Monterey Bay to catch and keep a wild Monterey Bay king salmon. You can bet you will see me out there.
- Mike Baxter has fished in the Monterey Bay area since he was a boy and has been a licensed charter boat captain for more than 20 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.