Eastman Lake to expand fishing opportunities

Published Feb. 27, 2013
Pelicans enjoy a lakeside view at Eastman Lake

Pelicans enjoy a lakeside view at Eastman Lake

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife have agreed to reopen a vast section of Eastman Lake near Madera to fishing on a seasonal basis beginning in August.

The new regulations specify that the area 1,000 feet south of Raymond Bridge (on CA 613), downstream to the Corps buoy line near the Codorniz boat ramp and previously known as the “closure area,” will be open to recreational fishing annually from Aug. 1 through Nov. 30, effective this year. The rest of Eastman Lake is open to fishing and boating all year and is not affected by this change.

“This is an exciting development that many of our anglers have been waiting decades to see,” said Jerry Magnuson, park manager at Eastman Lake. “We are pleased to add this area -- which accounts for about 20 percent of the lake -- to the excellent fishing opportunities that already exist at Eastman Lake.”

Eastman Lake is a trophy bass fishery with a daily bag limit of one black bass 22 inches or longer.

The aforementioned “closure area” at Eastman Lake, also referred to as the “upstream river area” has been closed to recreational fishing since June 1989, when the entire lake was quarantined due to a hydrilla infestation. That hydrilla quarantine has since been lifted.
Bald eagles began nesting on the shore within the upstream river area during that extended closure and continue successfully to this day. Protection of the eagles necessitates a seasonal closure of the area between Dec. 1 and July 31.

Anglers or visitors with questions about this new regulation can contact the park headquarters at (559) 689-3255. Park headquarters is open Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Jerry Magnuson

Release no. 13-007