Fishing report for southeastern Utah
The ice is relatively thin on most reservoirs. Before venturing out on the ice, take time to drill a test hole or two. Keep ice safety gear on-hand and please don't ice fish alone.
Cleveland Reservoir. The reservoir is frozen with four to five inches of ice. No fishing pressure.
Electric Lake. The lake is ice free, except for some shaded areas on the west side. Anglers may take a limit of eight fish using any legal bait. The reservoir remains ice-free.
Gigliotti Pond. The pond is now ice-free.
Huntington Creek. The creek is ice-free, except in areas where the flow slows down. Snow and ice cover the banks and exposed rocks. Good fly fishing has been reported below the forks. A size 12 beadhead montana is recommended. Most of the fish are 10 to 13 inch brown trout, but a few range up to 17 inches. From Flood and Engineer's Canyon upstream to the dam, only artificial flies may be used. The limit is two fish. On the left fork, only artificial flies and lures may be used. Anglers are encouraged to harvest brown trout there.
Huntington North Reservoir. The reservoir remains open. A few anglers have been catching brown trout off the dam.
Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). The reservoir has frozen. Ice thickness ranges from four to six inches. Ice anglers have been fishing near the dam and at the upper end. Early winter is the best time to ice-fish this lake, because the ice gets about five feet deep later in winter.
Joes Valley Reservoir. The reservoir is closed to fishing until Dec. 14. When the reservoir reopens to fishing, the trout limit will be two. No more than one trout may be over 22 inches. All trout 15 to 22 inches must be immediately released. This regulation change will protect the large spawning splake, which are very vulnerable in November and early December.
In addition, splake from 15 to 22 inches are needed to help reduce the abundance of chubs, which were illegally introduced as live bait.
Millsite Reservoir. The reservoir is still open.
Price River. The river is open with ice and snow in the riverbed, where the flow slows down.
Scofield Reservoir. The reservoir still has patches of open water in the middle and toward the north end. Ice anglers have been fishing in the dam cove and further south along the east shoreline. Ice thickness ranges from two to three inches.
Despite the risk, ice anglers have had good luck with jigs tipped with a mealworm, wax worm or earthworm. PowerBait has also been effective. Please exercise extreme caution!
Lake Powell. Report updated Nov. 27 by Wayne Gustaveson, DWR Lake Powell project leader. Gustaveson provides the following report.
The lake elevation is 3,623 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 56 to 58 degrees Farenheit.
Winter fishing is all about using a graph to locate deep schools of stripers and shad. This report will be dedicated to helping all understand what to look for. If not reading this report on the Internet, anglers may want to go there to see the pictures that go with the commentary.
The website is located at www.wayneswords.com then click on fish report.
The normal graph screen shows a top line representing the surface and a bottom line enhanced with a gray line. On this particular graph, the gray line is a cross hatch of diagonal lines. Only information between these two reference lines may actually represent fish.
Graph two is essentially a blank screen with one noticeable difference. There is a thickening of the bottom line or a bump on the bottom.
On days when fishing is slow, it may be that fish are laying on the bottom without enough separation to allow the graph to discriminate between fish and bottom. Just remember that a hump may be dormant fish or it could be exactly as it appears, a hump of soil or rock on the bottom.
Graph three shows schooled fish with enough separation that a positive identification may be made. Project personel know these are fish but not necessarily which species.
Graph four shows a school of fish, but now one extra fish is separated from the school. It could be a striper swimming near shad or it may be that all these fish are a single species and one is far enough away from the others that a single fish now shows up. If fish are close together, their shapes all join together to print as one mass.
Sometimes lines appear that are not fish. Repeating lines rising in the water column may be air bubbles or interference. With time and experience it will become clear which traces to ignore and which lines are fish.
Never use the fish target feature on the graph. These false, spurious lines will always be displayed as fish target when no fish is present. Anglers really are smarter than the graph. Always look at the raw data.
After much looking, a school of fish will finally be displayed. These scattered fish are small, probably shad. Division officials know that because the scattered fish merge into a larger mass and individual characteristics are lost. The scattered fish form a school and the school then dives to the bottom.
Now that the shad school has been located, it is time to fish for stripers.
Mark this spot with a float so a reference point is available as the boat drifts on the surface. Keep returning to this spot to find predators that are looking for a shad meal.
For this week, stripers and shad are both moving and found most often in 35 to 50 feet of water. Stripers are actively chasing shad so reaction baits like spoons are the best technique.
Drop the spoon immediately when a school is displayed on the graph. It is possible to catch one or more fish from a striper school before the school moves on. Then continue to graph until another school is seen and then repeat the process. Fishing experts often call this fish hunting and late November is the best time to do it.
Trolling is another good way to present the bait to moving fish that are concentrated in one geographic area.