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Big Bear Lake filling with snowmelt in time for trout-fishing season

March 26, 2009 |  7:48 am

Aaron Armstrong displays a plump holdover trout caught at Big Bear Lake.

The rapid snowmelt in the San Bernardino Mountains is bad news for skiers and snowboarders, but it's filling Big Bear Lake in time for the spring fishing season.

Both public launch ramps will open Wednesday, thus beginning the assault on "pink-meat holdover" rainbow trout and on largemouth and smallmouth bass.

The sprawling lake is nearly at full capacity, which bodes well for a long and productive season. "A fresh influx of water naturally helps fish grow faster and provides a healthier habitat," says Mike Stephenson, lake manager for the Big Bear Municipal Water District. "Not only do we have a full lake, but we have thousands of hungry fish chomping at the bit."

Anglers might wish to note these events: The Jim Hall Memorial May Trout Classic, May 16 and 17, and the Fishin' for 50k Trout Derby, on May 30-31. Both offer cash prizes, and the latter provides an opportunity to catch a tagged trout worth $50,000.

The water district will stock trophy-size trout before the derbies, to supplement regular plants by the Department of Fish and Game. To learn more click here, or call (800) 424-4232.

-- Pete Thomas


Photos: Aaron Armstrong (top) displays a plump holdover trout caught at Big Bear Lake. Credit: Big Bear Charter Fishing. Second photo by Dan McKernan