Le Conte Canyon-Eastern Sierra

Le Conte Canyon

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Le Conte Canyon Unnamed Lake Le Conte Canyon Little Pete Meadow Dusy Falls Dusy Bridge Dusy Basin Dusy Basin Grouse Meadow Palisade Creek Saddlerock Lake Bishop Lake Sabrina Backcountry South Lake Backcountry Goddard Divide Big Pine Lakes Palisades Goddard Creek Goddard Creek Amphitheatre Lake

Suggested Flies for Le Conte Canyon area:
Eastern Sierra Hatch Selection

Other Local Favorites:

Dry Flies:
Parachute Adams #16-18
Olive Caddis #16-18
Royal Wulff #16-18
Yellow Humpy #14
Griffith's Gnat #16-18

Nymph Flies:
Hare's Ear #16-18
Prince Nymph #16-18


Directions:

Le Conte Canyon Directions

From South Lake Trailhead, hike to Bishop Pass, 5 miles distance with a gain of about 2000'. This is also the park boundary for Kings Canyon National Park. The trail drops down into Dusy Basin and proceeds to intersect the PCT trail within Le Conte Canyon at the Park Ranger Station. A distance of another 5 miles from Bishop Pass and a drop in elevation of 3,250'.

Notes:Le Conte Canyon
Kings Canyon National Park encompasses this entire area. Prior to 1973, many of the streams and lakes were planted with trout. This practice had some drawbacks to the native biota such as amphibians. After 1988, all fish planting within the park was discontinued. Park streams and lakes were managed for a sustainable fishery. Those streams and lakes that could not support a fishery were allowed to go fishless. However, by 1990, it was evident that certain amphibians such as the Mountain Yellow Legged Frog (MYLF) had not recovered enough and a management plan was implemented to eradicate certain lakes and streams of non-native fish. By 2013, 15 lakes and ponds were eradicated of fish. Over the next 25 years, the Park intends to eradicate another 70 lakes, streams, and marshes to reach a 15% level of fishless habitat. Most of these fish removals are within the higher elevations of the park and many are fishless due to the unsustainability of fish within these waters due to lack of food source, lack of spawning grounds, and shallow depths lacking winter survival during freezing periods.

On the hike from South Lake to Bishop Pass, you follow the South Fork of Bishop Creek with a number of lakes along the way. The creek will mostly have Brookies, 6-9 inches.

Ruwau Lake: About 3 miles from trailhead taking either the right for through Long Lake or the left fork past Chocolate Lakes. At 11,050 feet, the lake consists of Rainbows up to 16 inches and good size Brookies.
Spearhead Lake: At 10,900 feet about 3 miles from the trailhead going along the eastern shoreline of Long Lake. Consists of Brookies and Browns.
Margaret Lake: At 10,970 feet, go .3 miles west of Spearhead Lake crosscountry. Consists of Brookies.
Timberline Tarns: Two lakes at 11,100 feet, each consisting of Rainbows and Brookies. About 3.6 miles from the trailhead.
Saddlerock Lake: About 4 miles from the trailhead at 11,170 feet. Consists of Brookies.
Bishop Lake: About 4.2 miles from trailhead at 11,200 feet. Consists of Brookies.

Within the Dusy Basin, all 7 of the lakes contain Golden-Rainbow Hybrids in the 5-11" range. One lake (Lake 11320) , that is nearest the trail, but outside the basin, is scheduled for gill netting to restore this lake to a fishless area to enhance native species. This lake is within it's own basin and is not affected by the other lakes within the Dusy Basin.

Lake 11393: Some lakes are identified by their elevation. This lake was identified by earlier publications as a lake holding trophy-sized Goldens and Brookies up to 22". Often the size of these high elevation fish is due to the available food source. Populations change and so does the food availability. The Golden Hybrids are still here but maybe not within the trophy sizes as has been earlier witnessed. Most range from 5-11", some up to 14".

Rainbow Lakes: Small lakes at 10,500 and 10,600' elevation, each has Golden Hybrids.

Dusy Creek: This is a very small creek with lots of Golden Hybrids that are 4-5 inches.

Dropping down over 3000' in elevation from Bishop Pass, you are now within Le Conte Canyon. This area is the headwaters for the Middle Fork of the Kings River starting at Helen Lake. The river flows through three meadows, Big Pete, Little Pete, and Grouse Meadows with the Pacific Crest Trail alongside the river until it reaches the confluence of Palisade Creek.

MF Kings River: From Big Pete Meadow down below Grouse Meadows, this water contains Golden Hybrids 4-7 inches. Some up to 11" within the deeper pools of the pocket water between the meadows.

Helen Lake: (11,612' elevation). This lake used to hold Goldens with multiple plantings from 1928 to 1972. Food was available and some of the fish were able to get to 18". However, there are no adequate reproductive streams and the fish were never able to sustain their populations. This lake became fishless by 1980. The other lakes within this headwater canyon are also fishless. The last two bench lakes just before dropping into the Canyon floor used to have Golden Hybrids but these were gill netted as part of the restoration program for native fauna.



Fishing Regulations (Effective March 1st, 2021)

Lakes within Le Conte Canyon:

Open all year. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession

Lakes within John Muir Wilderness:

Open all year. No restrictions. 5 trout per day. 10 trout in possession

Middle Fork Kings River:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, five trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.

All creeks and tributaries:

From the last Saturday in April through November 15, five trout daily bag limit, 10 trout in possession; and, from November 16 through the Friday preceding the last Saturday in April, 0 trout bag limit, artificial lures with barbless hooks only and trout must be released unharmed and not removed from the water.

 

© 2021 Steve Schalla
This page is not to be copied without my explicit permission.