Late August fishing report for southeastern Utah
|As water levels continue to drop at Electric Lake, fishing regulations have been changed to accommodate to the water loss. Currently, anglers may take eight fish and use any bait or lure. These regulations will remain in effect until January 2003.|
Drought conditions continue to effect Utah Wildlife. "Due to drought conditions, many of the streams currently have extremely low flows," reports Louis Berg, southeastern region aquatics manager. "Pondtown Creek (tributary to Scofield Reservoir), Upper Gooseberry Creek (tributary to Gooseberry Reservoir), and Upper Huntington/Boulger (tributaries to Electric Lake) are all examples. Many of the fish in these waters have been or probably will be lost."
On Aug.14, the daily trout limit at Electric Lake in was increased to eight fish. The restriction, which required anglers to use artificial flies and lures only, was removed. The new limit and removal of tackle restrictions will remain in effect through Dec. 31. On Jan. 1, 2003 the regulations set by the Utah Wildlife Board for 2003 will become effective.
"A fish kill is in progress at Wrigley Springs Reservoir," stated Berg. "Live fish are lethargic and probably not very willing to bite. The same situation occurred last year, over an extended period, and resulted in an almost complete kill of fish in the lake. Anglers who catch fish here should keep them accoridng to the legal limit, rather than releasing them to be wasted."
Earlier this month, a case of swimmers itch was confirmed to have occurred at Gooseberry Reservoir. For more information on swimmers itch, please refer to the Gooseberry Reservoir portion of this fishing report.
Where have fishing limits been relaxed? The following is a quick guide to newly placed fishing limits.
The new limit at Electric Lake is eight fish. Tackle restrictions, requiring anglers to use artificial flies or lures only, have been suspended. This change will remain in effect until the end of the year.
Fishing regulations recently changed at Duck Fork Reservoir. Anglers may now keep up to 16 trout, and they may use any legal bait. These regulations are in effect until the end of September.
Anglers are allowed to keep six largemouth bass, 50 bluegill, and eight trout at Gigliotti Pond. This change will remain in effect until Sept. 1.
The daily bag and possession limits have been doubled at Cleveland and Miller Flat reservoirs, Ken's Lake, Lloyd's Lake, Monticello Lake, and Recapture Reservoir. These regulations are in effect until Nov. 1.
Abajo Mountains. Foy Reservoir continues to provide good fishing with PowerBait. Lures are also working in the morning and evening. Morning and evening fishing has been good at Monticello Reservoir, where the limit has been raised to eight fish, until Nov. 1. PowerBait is the most effective offering. Spinners work in the morning and evening. Fishing is fair with PowerBait at Blanding number three. Recapture Reservoir offers fair trout fishing with PowerBait. At Recapture, the daily bag and possession limit has been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1. The daily bag and possession limits for all game fish have also been doubled at Lloyds Lake until Nov. 1, due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish.
Benches Pond. Fishing has been slow from mid-morning until late afternoon. DWR recommends that anglers use dry flies in the early morning and evening. Baits have not been very effective.
Blue Lake (by Grassy Lake). Access is walk-in or by ATV. The lake was not stocked this year.
Boulger Pond. Fishing has been slow with baits. Try dry flies in the early morning or evening.
Cleveland Reservoir. The daily bag and possession limits have been raised to eight fish until Nov. 1. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the fish before the reservoir drains. Fishing has been fair for anglers using PowerBait or worms.
Duck Fork Reservoir. Anglers are harvesting good numbers of fish. Cutthroat trout are averaging about 16 inches and tiger trout about 10 inches. Worms appear to be the best bait. The new daily bag limit is 16 fish. Anglers may use any legal bait, lure or fly pattern. Lots of fish remain to be caught before the rotenone treatment project in mid-September. The shoreline is somewhat muddy but still accessible. Beginning Oct. 1, harvest of cutthroat trout will be prohibited to protect newly stocked Colorado River cutthroat trout. Tackle restrictions requiring the use of artificial flies or lures will also take effect at that time.
Electric Lake. "An emergency change in fishing regulations has been made at Electric Lake," remarks Louis Berg. "This lake is expected to become empty in February. Anglers may now take a limit of eight fish and may use any legal bait. Formerly the limit was two fish and anglers were required to use artificial flies or lures. The changes, intended to help prevent the wasting of fish, will remain in effect until Jan. 1, 2003."
Ferron Reservoir. Little pressure and generally slow fishing conditions. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the illegally introduced brook trout, which may eventually overpopulate the lake, resulting in small fish in poor condition.
Gigliotti Pond. The pond is completely drained and the DWR is currently working on repairs. The pond could be filled as early as the end of this week however, this process will take place in several stages to ensure that no leaks remain. After the pond is completely filled, blugill, bass and trout will all be stocked. This is expected to take place within about a month.
Gooseberry Reservoir. An angler contracted swimmers itch at Gooseberry Reservoir earlier in August. Swimmers itch is an itching dermatitis due to penetration into the skin of larval forms of schistosomes (trematode worms and flukes). Although extremely annoying, swimmers itch is neither communicable nor fatal. Antihistamines can be used to help alleviate the itching and topical steroid creams may reduce the swelling. The itching and swelling generally persist for several days. If someon is believed to have swimmers itch, consult a doctor and notify a public health official.
Huntington Creek. Fishing success has been spotty with baits and lures. Fly-fishing has been much better with a size 12 Prince nymph, Renegade or Ugly. The limit is two trout in the fly only zone, which is on a portion of the Right Fork. Anglers on the Left Fork of the Huntington must use artificial flies or lures. Harvest of brown trout on the left fork is encouraged, where the limit is four fish.
Huntington North Reservoir (near the city of Huntington). Slow fishing conditions. The limit is two bass. All bass over 12 inches must be immediately released.
Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). Fish are deep this time of year. Anglers fishing during the day need to get their fly, lure or bait down to a depth of about 20 feet. Tiger trout range up to about 15 inches. Release of tiger trout is encouraged so that fish can grow larger. Any brown trout caught should be harvested. The reservoir is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout and trout with cutthroat markings.
Joes Valley Reservoir. Virtually no fishing pressure. Due to extremely low water levels, boats cannot be launched. Anglers are encouraged to release all larger splake for control of the abundant Utah chub population. The splake limit is two fish. All splake between 15 to 20 inches must be immediately released.
LaSal Mountains. The daily bag and possession limit for Ken's Lake has been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1 due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish. Dark Canyon offers fair fishing for nine to 12 inch trout with traditional baits and lures. Blue Lake is fair to good with spinners and flies.
Lower Fish Creek. Flows remain moderate. Aquatic vegetation is thick along the shoreline. Fishing has been good for fly anglers walking the middle of the channel and casting toward the shore. The prince nymph has been an effective fly pattern. Most trout are less than 14 inches. From the railroad bridge approximately one mile below the Scofield Reservoir dam downstream to the confluence with the White River, only artificial flies and lures may be used.
Miller Flat Reservoir. Fishing has been fair with Roostertails or a fly and bubble. The daily bag and possession limits have been raised to eight trout to help anglers harvest the trout before the reservoir drains
Petes Hole. Fishing has been excellent with an olive wooly bugger in the evening. Bait fishermen have had only fair success. The Jake's Spin-a-Lure has been the most effective spinner. The daily bag and possession limit is four trout.
Potter's Ponds. Fishing success remains fair to good. A bear has been frequenting the campground. Please keep a clean campsite and don't leave fish or entrails behind.
Scofield Reservoir. Shoreline fishing has become difficult due to the low water level and aquatic vegetation. The west shoreline and the entire reservoir south of the island are swamp-like. Anglers in boats have had limited success. Fly fishermen in float tubes have done well at dusk with nymph patterns. The average fish size is about 15 inches. All tributaries are open to fishing.
Willow Reservoir. Fishing success has been slow. Early morning fishing provides the best results.
Wrigley Springs Reservoir. Fishing continues to be very good away from the shoreline which is thick with aquatic vegetation. Anglers have had good success with a fly and bubble or Jake's Spin-a-Lure. Fly fishermen should try a damsel fly imitation.
Lake Powell. Updated Aug. 15 by Wayne Gustaveson, DWR Lake Powell project leader.
The lake elevation is 3,631 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 79 to 85 degrees Farenheit.
Striper boil craziness is calming down. At one point last weekend 17 boats surrounded one striper boil in the main channel near Hite while other boats watched the action with amazement. Heavy fishing pressure has kept the stripers from hitting the surface as often and perhaps spread them out.
Boils are not as big, don't last as long and are more widespread than last week, but they will continue as long as shad are plentiful. Scattered boils stretch from Hite to Good Hope and from Bullfrog to Lake Canyon. The upper San Juan is good from Piute Canyon to Zahn Bay. There are even some boils seen in the lower lake but these are small and scattered. Striper boils have been seen but no fish caught from them in the lower lake.
At Bullfrog groups of surface feeding stripers are feeding calmly over the same wide area. It is not really a boil but reminds me of trout jumping in a mountain lake. Casting surface lures or shallow running crankbaits in a random pattern around the boat works well for scattered fish. Look for boils at the Bullfrog tire breakwater at mornings first light. Then head up Bullfrog Bay to Crappie Cove which is the first cove on the right past the houseboat buoy field. This is perhaps the most consistent spot for boils. There are also boils uplake as far as Bouy 99 and downlake to the mouth of Lake Canyon. Most of these boils are quick and it may be difficult to get close enough to cast before the fish go down.
The stripers have been relocated in the lower lake. They can be caught on anchovies fished at 35 feet in the back of Navajo where main channel depth is 60 feet. Look for the water to change color from clear to green. Stripers and some shad are holding in the quarter mile long green water section but not further back in the brown water which is too warm and shallow. Equal success came on weighted and unweighted anchovy baits. It helped to slowly reel the bait back to the boat after letting it hit bottom. This occured close to the canyon wall in the shade near a 40 foot ledge. Some of the fish were caught as shallow as 15 feet.
The upper San Juan has good fishing for all species. Boils have been seen from Piute Canyon upstream to Zahn Bay early morning and late evening. Water shallower than 35 feet is not as good as places where main channel depth is 60 feet. Spencers camp is a good starting point.
Smallmouth fishing was better today than it was last week. The first good smallmouth point that was fished was in Navajo which produced three bass in four casts using a five inch watermelon colored senko hooked right in the middle (wacky rigged). The 11 inch bass ate the whole thing and were hooked fairly deep. If trying this rig for the first time remember not to jerk when the fish is felt. Just start reeling and gradually apply more pressure as the fish gets closer to the boat.
Catfishing is great both night and day. These bottom sweepers are prowling most sandy beaches and can be readily caught in big numbers with chicken liver, live worms or anchovies.