Each of the four seasons in Big Bear Lake brings excitement and spectacular events. With spring here, the fishing season on Big Bear Lake has begun. Each year Big Bear Lake officially opens at the beginning of April for all water sports including fishing. The opening of the lake coincides with the Rainbow Trout spawning run and the Fish and Game Department keep careful stock of Big Bear Lake as activity increases.
Big Bear Frontier Cabins and Hotel is fortunate to have an up close view of the fish as they make their way back to the lake. There are several great places right here at Big Bear Frontier to watch the fish on their spawning run. Guests of the resort can walk right out of their cabin, alongside Snuggle Creek (exclusive to our resort), and witness a multitude of large Rainbow Trout on their way to the lake. Cabin 31 is at the mouth of Snuggle Creek and is a great place to watch the fish swim.
There are also large underground pipes nearby that serve as a waterway for the trout to get around and we have several on our property. One is near Lakeview Avenue, which runs through our property. Another waterway tunnel runs from the front of Big Bear Frontier, next to cabin 262 and under Big Bear Blvd.
Watching these magnificent fish navigate the waterways to and from the lake is fascinating and even more so when we know what’s actually going on.
Rainbow trout, a cousin to the salmon, spawn first when they reach 12- 16 inches in length, which is usually at the end of their second year. Most trout spawn in the spring or fall in streams, rivers, and lakes with gravel bottoms and steady water flow. The trout swim upstream looking for places to make their nests. After finding a suitable nesting site, the female trout turns on her side and beats her tail up and down, scooping out a shallow nest or Redd. The male trout courts her by swimming nearby and shaking his body. When the female is ready to spawn she moves to the bottom of the Redd and presses her belly against the gravel, depositing up to 8,000 eggs, which are then fertilized by the male and covered with gravel.
Hatching normally takes a few weeks to as much as four months, depending on the water temperature. The small trout then gather in groups and take shelter along the stream margins or protected lakeshore, feeding on crustaceans, plant material, and aquatic insects and their larvae. Big Bear Lake quickly become filled with these wonderful fish.
If you’d like to make a family event out of your fishing trip, also check out Alpine Trout Lakes: “Where Kids Catch Fish.” Kids are guaranteed success! Picnic and barbeque facilities are located on the site and for a small fee they will even clean your fish for you.
So, if you’re thinking of heading to Big Bear Lake for a getaway, this is indeed a special time of year and will bring you closer to the wonders of nature that make up the entire Big Bear Lake region that we all enjoy so much!