Hello, fellow anglers. It is that time of year to celebrate the new year and the Topaz Lake opening day fishing season.
On Monday, the official time for anglers to start fishing on Topaz Lake will be at precisely 6:46 a.m. For those of you driving out that morning, be careful and mindful of others on the road who might have celebrated too much the night before.
For those camping at the lake, enjoy the night, and if you decide to party, stay at your campsite. Also a reminder, if you did have a good time the night before, I would recommend having someone else drive the boat on New Year's Day because you can get a DUI while driving a watercraft. Let's all have a great opening day experience — the Nevada Department of Wildlife will be patrolling the lake to ensure that.
For those procrastinators who did not get your boat registration renewed, you can do it online at NDOW. California anglers, do not forget to get that 2018 fishing license. This, too, may be obtained online at California Department of Wildlife. You will be able to print out a temporary copy until the official license is mailed. I received my license in three days and my boat tags in four days.
The lake level is almost at full capacity, which will leave shore fishing at a minimal. The Douglas County boat ramp will be open for launching.
Chuck Fields from Topaz Landing Marina informs me that boat rentals and launching facilities will be available at first light and the bar will be open. To contact Topaz Landing, call 266-3550.
The Topaz Lodge Derby will officially start that day and run through April 15. There is a change this year in the derby. It is open for all anglers 21 years of age and older (as it is sponsored by the lodge and casino). Any trout 2 pounds and over caught at Topaz Lake may be weighed in at the general store, which will be worth $5 free slot play and five derby tickets. Any tagged trout will be worth 10 derby tickets and you will receive $100 instant cash. The largest trout each week will receive $25 cash and the second largest each week will receive $25 in free slot play. Now for one big addition this year: For the five largest fish of the derby (one spot per angler) Topaz Lodge will give away $1,500 cash. You do need to be a Topaz Lodge club member, which you can sign up for at the main cash office.
On April 15 at 7 p.m. there will be an award ceremony with tons of prizes given away (you must be present to win). I will be there looking for one of those massive fish stocked by Topaz Lodge this year.
I spoke with NDOW in regard to their stocking of the lake. Since Oct. 1, 22,000 fish have been planted in the lake, and they are not done. The department plans to do more stocking in the beginning of 2018.
Where else can you get paid to go fishing with no entry fee? If you need any more information or to make reservations, you can call Topaz Lodge at 266-3338.
The weather is supposed to cooperate this year, with slight winds and highs in the 50s. Be careful and smart, and don't drink and drive vehicles; otherwise, you may remember your New Year's Day in a bad way.
For those looking to do some ice fishing, I strongly recommend everyone use caution. With our recent weather change, many higher lakes are not stable yet. Red Lake had 5 inches of ice last week, but our daytime temperatures could change that. If you have a photo of your catch, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you have a question or report in our local fishing area call the Naw line at 267-9722.
I wish you all a happy NAW Year; see you on the lake. Good fishin' and tight lines.