California’s Eastern Sierra

Sustainable Fishing

Join the effort to keep our Eastern Sierra fisheries healthy and sustainable so that trout can thrive to trophy sizes - not only for your next fishing trip but for your great grandkids and their great grandkids! 

Fly fishing Owens River

Tips for Sustainable Fishing & Catch-and-Release Best Practices

1. Land your fish as carefully and quickly as possible. If you plan to release the fish, do not pull it up or land it on dry land - sand, rocks and vegetation damage the trout's slime covering that helps keep the fish healthy.

2. Avoid moving fish from the water - unhook and release the fish while it is still under water.

3. Only use wet hands and limit overall handing of the fish. Never use a rag and never squeeze the fish or touch its eyes or gills.

4. Gently remove hooks that you can see - otherwise, clip the line near the mouth on a deep hooked fish (the hook will rust and dissolve over time). 

5. Use artificial lures (no bait) to minimize deep hooking. Barbless hooks or hooks with flattened barbs make unhooking easier and less stressful on the fish.

6. When cleaning your fish, always dispose fish waste at a designated fish cleaning station or in a bear-safe approved trash can.

7. Leave no trace. Fishing line and hooks left behind can harm pets, wildlife and other people (often children who are wading, swimming or playing on the shore). Please collect and recycle fishing line and hooks at your local tackle shop and at fishing disposal tubes at lakes and marinas throughout the Eastern Sierra. 

8. Please mind your Mountain Manners when fishing and camping in the Eastern Sierra. This means taking all trash with you, including pet and human waste, staying on the beaten path, and following all wildfire safety prevention regulations to avoid causing a devastating forest fire. Thank you!

Fly fishing Owens River