Boating has the ability to reanimate primal sensations. Floating on a calm body of water can be like being immersed again inside the womb. All sense of time and place are washed away by the comforting rise and fall of swells. For many, boating isn’t a journey, race or thrill. It is simply a moment.
This year, for many it may be a moment that is all too fleeting.
Drought, now classified by the U.S. Drought Monitor as “exceptional” in parts of 15 California counties and as “extreme” in most of El Dorado County, is having as deleterious effect on recreational boating as it is on the state’s economy and workforce.
The Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off, a massive event near San Diego in late April, is a gathering of people determined to hike the PCT from the Mexican to the Canadian bor- der. This year, an estimated 1100 people signed up for this hike, and probably not much more than 10% will finish, but my hat is off to anyone who puts a dent in this 2,300 plus mile hike. More specifically, my hat’s off to those who make it to Big Bear, somewhere near 150 miles. However, some serious hik- ers, those who don’t want to walk with 1100 strangers, leave a few days earlier.
It was some of those serious, early birds that I ran into on a stretch of the PCT near Big Bear Lake in early May, hardy people who have committed to five months of walking and a half dozen pair of boots. I can’t claim to be one of those with a backpack and a focus on the Canadian border. I was, however, taking a scenic hike along a short stretch. Our hike leader, Dan McKernan of the Big Bear Vistior’s bureau drove us a couple miles up Polique Rd, off of North Shore Drive to give several jour- nalists a sample, a teaser of the wonder- ful hiking opportunities in the area.
BIG BEAR LAKE, Calif./ April 1, 2015 – Today, Big Bear Municipal Water District (BBMWD) opened The Carol Morrison East Launch Ramp for the 2015 season. The public boat launch ramp, which has been closed for the winter gives boat owners the opportunity to launch onto the lake for boating and fishing. This is especially good news for anglers that prefer trolling over shoreline fishing. In addi- tion to the public launch ramp opening five Big Bear Lake marinas are now open for the 2015 season. On May 8 the Duane Boyer West Launch Ramp will open for the season offering even more public access to the lake. Both boat launch ramps are located on the north shore. The West Launch ramp will stay open through Octo- ber 5, 2015, and the East Launch Ramp will remain open through November 30, 2015.
1 MILLION TROUT PLANTED IN BIG BEAR LAKE To celebrate Big Bear Lake’s opening day BBMWD planted approximately 1 million fingerling trout into the lake. This is great news for anglers because it should help increase the population for years to come.
“This plant marks the most trout this lake has ever seen,” said Mike Stephenson, General Manager, Big Bear Municipal Water District. “These six to eight-inch trout will grow fast, and within 3 months these trout will be six to 12 inches.”
In addition to the fresh load of 1 million fingerling trout, BBMWD plans to plant two more truckloads of 250,000 larger trout that are approximately 10 to 12 inches. This plant is expected to happen within the next two weeks. Big Bear Lake is a first-rate trout fishery where rainbow trout thrive. In fact, the alpine lake is fa- mous for its “pink-meat holdovers.” In addition to the great trout action, Big Bear Lake has both largemouth and small mouth bass, making it a popular fishing retreat for bass anglers. Other varieties of fish include catfish, crappie, pumpkinseed and bluegill.
Fishermen looking for boat rentals are amply served by five marinas that offer fishing and pontoon boats. Some marinas offer fishing licenses and tackle for pur- chase. Licensed fishing guides offer a more in-depth fishing experience for trollers and downriggers. The lake is also accessible from all shoreline vantage points for easy fishing from shore.
Big Bear Lake will once again honor the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Free Fishing Days this year on Saturday, July 4 and Saturday, September 5.A fishing li- cense is not required to fish the lake on these dates. Big Bear Lake is one of few lakes in Southern California to offer this unique bonus for boaters and fishermen.
To find out more about Big Bear Lake fishing, boat rentals, free fishing days, and lodging, or to request a Big Bear Lake Visitors Guide, visit www.bigbear.com or call 800-424-4232.