UPDATE: Inyo Board of Supes Ask CDFW to Open Fishing Season A.S.A.P.

Lake Sabrina outside of Bishop, California

[UPDATE 5/26/2020 to Original Post on May 22, 2020: Inyo County Supervisors’ Poised to Ask State to Open Fishing Season…”)

At this morning’s Inyo County Board Meeting, in a 4-1 vote, the board approved a letter to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on a motion by Second District Supervisor, Jeff Griffiths, seconded by Third District Supervisor, Rick Pucci, to “Open the fishing season in Inyo County as soon as possible.” First District Supervisor, Dan Totheroh, voted “No.”

Apparently, based on comments by County Administrator, Clint Quilter, the county campgrounds might be open in two weeks, although it is not entirely clear “why” they cannot be opened immediately. There appears to be some concern by county officials with staying in compliance with Governor Newsom’s Executive Stay at Home Order limiting recreational and leisure travel, although it is being widely ignored as summer has arrived.

So, Inyo County, seemingly following in the footsteps of Mono County, has chosen “to put the cart before the horse” by opening the county to fishing, while leaving anglers and other visitors to the area to continue practicing dispersed camping, which threatens environmental damage, presents sanitation issues (no toilets, no trash collection) and an increased risk of wild fires early into the fire season from unregulated campfires.–James]

(ORIGINAL May 22, 2020 Post)

After the controversial and surprising decision on May 20 by the Mono County Board of Supervisors to open the fishing season by Memorial Day weekend on a 3-2 vote, attention has turned to the Inyo County Supervisors next board meeting on Tuesday, May 26. It is expected that the supervisors will approve a letter to the Department of Fish and Wildlife asking to open the fishing season as early as Wednesday, May 27.

On Tuesday’s Board Agenda, Item #14 “Request (the) Board consider requesting that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife open fishing season in Inyo County prior to June 1, 2020.”

The issue of where anglers and other visitors coming to the area will stay in the coming days with all short-term rentals and lodging still ordered closed by the public health officer’s order, combined with county, state and federal campgrounds also still closed, has not been addressed. Expect that to change quickly as both Inyo and Mono counties are working to have them reopened as quickly as possible given the circumstances.

Dispersed camping and fire danger

Dispersed camping is reportedly already rampant in both Inyo and Mono Counties, with people ignoring the governor’s Stay at Home Order. This influx of visitors from coronavirus hotpots such as Los Angeles and San Francisco has local health authorities genuinely concerned, fearing that the small communities of the Eastern Sierra will likely see a sharp rise in the exposure to the coronavirus, followed by an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Fire officials are concerned about wild fires

Fire officials and some forestry officials are concerned about camping outside of developed campgrounds that significantly increase the chance of wildfires that already seem to plague the state every fire season. The state’s peak wildfire season typically runs from May through October, but the fact is, wildfires can occur at any time.

With the rest of the state, and even other parts of the country, throwing caution to the wind, and reopening their economies, this season will either prove to be one of the best tourist seasons in the Eastern Sierra in recent memory, or the one seared in the memories of many as a time of “incredibly poor judgment” if there is a serious COVID-19 outbreak as a result.

Only time will tell.

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22 Responses to UPDATE: Inyo Board of Supes Ask CDFW to Open Fishing Season A.S.A.P.

  1. Matt May 30, 2020 at 3:01 pm #

    It’s about time the county supervisors put on their big boy pants and make a decision that best reflects the community and supports the local business that desperately need the business. Now is Not the time to standby and wait for an invitation to enter phase 3. It’s in each communities discretion to push forward to the next phase when ready. Listen to you local business owners and you’ll find out they have been ready.

  2. Harold May 26, 2020 at 8:07 pm #

    Typical Inyo Supervisors. Either they arent very bright or they’re plain stupid. Its infuriating. This isnt about locals vs tourists, it’s about the long lasting damage that is being caused by dispersed camping, the creepiness of looking out your kids bedroom window and seeing RVs parked out on the street, and the utter lack of disrespect. Wear a mask while in stores and please stop camping where you shouldn’t. Just show human decency.

  3. Mayberry Mayor May 26, 2020 at 12:51 pm #

    How hard is it to wear a mask for a short time? Geez…..

  4. David Dennison May 25, 2020 at 9:07 pm #

    You state “There will always be some who don’t follow the rules,but the vast majority do”.
    To say that,you obviously don’t live up here in Inyo or Mono Counties,and especially not now or during the tourism months.
    So now,your saying the “mask issue” is unproven by science ?
    I beg to differ,not from what I’ve seen being said,by other than FOX NEWS and the “chosen one” and his “strike force” team of hired doctors…even one of them disagrees with that(Dr. Fauchi),you know the one that’s dissapeared lately and has been threatened to be “fired” a time or two.
    Here’s the best thing to do and consider.
    If you don’t want to wear a mask,like what’s being asked to do at all business’ when you enter,if you don’t want to keep the groups of travelers congregating to a minimum,like what’s being asked…if you insist on camping in and on closed areas and still having campfires on those closed areas,even though USFS and BLM has stated it’s illegal to do…
    If people don’t have the sense and consideration not to dump their trash and waste for others living up here will have to clean and pick up,YOU,your actions and thinking are the reasons these outdoors up here have been closed and why so many living up here kinda like it that way,while it lasts,both humans and wildlife.

  5. Liberty May 25, 2020 at 4:27 pm #

    People have a hard time understanding what the national ownership of public land is, it means it’s paid for and belongs to all US citizens as a national ownership of common use, common owned areas and the right to use these lands is a right as are the public waters as stated by the state Constitution . There will always be some who don’t follow all the rules, but the vast majority do. Locking up the outdoors was the biggest attack on personal liberty in the last one hundred years, and the further attacks on personal liberty followed. The mask issue is unproven by science and there are numerous articles that outline why people need fresh air to fight virus infection, not recycled air.

    • Charles O. Jones May 26, 2020 at 3:08 pm #

      Unproven by science? That’s debatable. But forget that for a moment. If someone was walk up and cough or sneeze in your face, would your prefer they covered their mouth, or not? I know what my answer is. And I don’t see how wearing a mask during a global pandemic as any different than the common courtesy of covering mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze during non-pandemic times.

      And it’s not just coughing or sneezing, we can project small droplets by just talking or even breathing. Those droplets could easily contain the virus which can be picked by others. While a simple mask may not be 100% foolproof at stopping every single droplet, it’s a hell of lot more protection than nothing at all. Not to mention it demonstrates common courtesy for your fellow citizens.

      And above all, the notion that a person’s response to a public health crisis has become some sort of a political statement is absolutely idiotic. Public health is about science, not politics.

      • David Dennison May 26, 2020 at 4:09 pm #

        Charles O.Jones
        Your last sentence there,I agree with 100 %….
        A public health crisis should not become some type of political statement,what and what not to do.
        But it seems,to a large degree, that’s what it’s become.
        A couple weeks ago,look at the protests in some of the states,wanting to “open things up” and going against the Governor’s orders and requests.The ones where some of the protesters were standing on the stairs of the capitol building carrying guns and waving trump-2020 flags after trump was demanding to get things opened up and going again.
        Next came the threats of ending Federal aid and benefits to the states that don’t open up quickly,and before the stage 2 requirements went into effect by the medical experts.Now some states gearing towards stage 3,even before the stage 2 has been accomplished.
        Public health is about science and not politics,and politics shouldn’t be a person’s response. But this is an election year,and for some ,THAT is what matters most….get the economy going again,and then hopefully by October,sit back and tweet about what “a great job I (me,me,me) did ” doing it.

    • Stop non-essential travel May 26, 2020 at 9:37 pm #

      “the biggest attack on personal liberty in 100 years” – ? seriously ? Are you seriously that entitled? Any chance you’ve heard of The Civil Rights act of 1964, The 19th Amendment, The Freedom to Marry Act, um, let’s see, those are just a few off the top of my head. Your arguments are pathetic.

  6. big dice mcgee May 25, 2020 at 9:26 am #

    After all you locals catch up all the trout paid for by licensing from all over the state. Please don’t cry when there is no money to stock more because us fat cat flatlanders didn’t purchase licenses. Enjoy barren lakes you really showed us.

  7. JKB May 25, 2020 at 7:56 am #

    It is not Naive. For the past 3 months, in a city of 80,000 people including the ederly, have been standing in very long lines at Costco and Vons to get supplies. Many visitors there passing through on business or to second homes coming from the large cities. Masks and social distancing always required to enter the stores, although there are always a few at the smaller hardware stores that feel the rules don’t apply to them, but the majority wear masks. Your friend in the food establishment needs to wear protection and disinfect after serving someone without a mask. Our curve has flattened by living this way for what seems like a very long, long time. The people at Hot Creek in the zoo, you Know to keep your distance from them, they will not be there long, it is their bad. To Goodbye, just put a big sign as people enter Bishop saying ‘go away, keep moving, you are not welcome here.’

    • eric h. May 26, 2020 at 12:18 pm #

      JKB ”
      The people at Hot Creek in the zoo, you Know to keep your distance from them, they will not be there long, it is their bad.” NOT NAIVE? Do you think those people just sat there until yesterday and then said yup it’s time to go home? Do you think they were the only people that came up here and behaved like that? “Your friend in the food establishment needs to wear protection and disinfect after serving someone without a mask.” And what about the other people in line that are in close contact? Do you understand that PPE’s are not fool proof. You’re not being naive, you just don’t care about anybody else and are simply trying to justify that you will do whatever you want. This is not a local versus tourist problem it’s a thoughtful and considerate versus self centered problem.

  8. Trish May 25, 2020 at 2:41 am #

    Until there is a vaccine we’re all open targets. It isn’t going away, ever.

  9. Good bye May 24, 2020 at 12:56 pm #

    Go away

  10. JKB May 24, 2020 at 7:25 am #

    People go to the Sierra to isolate from people and be with nature. We all really need that….The campsites are far apart, campers bring their own food and needs with them. Trust that people know to safely distance from each other, and to wear a mask ,and gloves ,and sanitize when needed. Please open the campsites.

    • Chris May 24, 2020 at 6:47 pm #

      This assertion is rather naive. A friend works at a walk up food establishment. Most of their weekend visitors are from out of the area and hardly any of them are wearing masks! Their opinion is, I’m clean, you don’t need to worry about me.” The problem is, being contagious for up to 14 days before one is symptomatic. So we are inviting folks to bring us their COVID-19? This sounds like an idea that has not been at all thought out. We cannot wish the pandemic to be over.

      • David Dennison May 24, 2020 at 9:31 pm #

        It’s become practically all political now.
        Most non-masking wearing people now saying “If trump tells me I don’t have to wear a mask,like he doesn’t wear one,I’m not going to “…
        But if trump did wear a mask,they’d follow along,like a little Lamb and wear one too..
        This day and age,MANY people can’t make their own decisions,unless someone they feel can do no wrong and say no wrong ..about anything…is telling them what to do,how to think, how to feel and what to say.
        2016….the year of dumbing down and the weakening of America became complete.

        • CAP May 25, 2020 at 8:37 am #

          Open campgrounds and facilities as well stage porta potties, bathrooms still closed in business. When it opens up it there will be a huge wave of people and we should be prepared.

    • eric h. May 24, 2020 at 9:10 pm #

      Have you followed the news at all lately? People may know how to be responsible but acting responsibly, not so much. I stopped by the bridge over Hot Creek on the Owens River road Friday evening and it was a zoo. 20-30 cars and rv’s jumbled together, some parked close enough that they might have had trouble opening their doors and this is all in a meadow next to the creek. And then there were the illegal fires. I took pictures of this which must have made somebody nervous because one of the fires was put out while I watched. And this was Friday night, I’m sure everybody got their act together the last 2 days. I do trust people, but not to do the right thing.

  11. Dorie North May 23, 2020 at 4:36 pm #

    How is a family camping together different than them coupled up a home? Or fishing? Or hiking? The increased depression and suicide rates are very harmful also. Citizens can take precausions and get out of the house.
    Restrooms and parks need to be opened up along with restaurants and strip malls. Wash your hands and stay home if your Not Feeling Well!

    • Stop non-essential travel May 24, 2020 at 9:32 am #

      Wow, we have been cooped up too long ! We have a strip mall ??!!!!

  12. Jane May 23, 2020 at 3:17 pm #

    Either open or don’t, but please don’t open until people actually have someplace to go. Dispersed campers are driving on brush, building illegal campfires, leaving trash.

  13. sierrafishingsecrets May 23, 2020 at 8:43 am #

    It was scheduled to open June 1st so opening the season 5 days earlier isn’t a big deal. That being said it would have been smarter if the fishing opener and the Camping/lodging, restroom/trash services could have been timed to open together as well. As it stands, our beautiful areas in Inyo and Mono Counties are going to suffer from this lack of planning for the next couple of months.


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