Fishing report for southeastern Utah
A severe warning continues for Huntington and Cleveland Reservoir users. The Cleveland-Huntington Canal Company continues to draw down both reservoirs.
There are multiple layers of slush and ice sandwiched by voids of air, which continues to grow larger each day.
If a recreationalist were to fall through the ice, survivability would be very low. The ice on both reservoirs is highly unstable and prone to collapse. Death by drowning poses a significant risk!
Ice anglers, skiers, snow machine riders and skaters are strongly encouraged to stay off both reservoirs.
Abajo and Blue Mountains. There is no safe ice in San Juan County. In 2003, fishing from a boat with a motor is prohibited at Monticello and Foy lakes.
At Blanding number three and four reservoirs, no boats will be allowed, although float tubes will be permitted.
Cleveland Reservoir. The waterway continues to draw down. There is a void of air space between layers of soft ice and slush. The ice pack is unstable and unsafe. Ice anglers are strongly urged to stay off the reservoir!
Electric Lake. Tributaries will be closed until July 12. When tributaries open, the limit will be two trout; and artificial flies and lures must be used.
Electric Lake itself has no special regulations this year. The limit will be four trout. No tackle restrictions.
Ferron Reservoir. The trout limit is four. However, anglers may take a bonus limit of four brook trout in addition to the normal trout limit. All tributaries are closed until July 12.
Gigliotti Pond. In 2003, the trout limit will be four fish. All largemouth bass and bluegill must be immediately released.
Gooseberry Reservoir. All tributaries are closed until July 12.
Grassy Trail Reservoir. The reservoir is closed to fishing in 2003.
Green River Golf Course Ponds. The limit is four fish in the aggregate for all species.
Huntington Creek. On the right fork, from Flood and Engineer's Canyon, upstream to Electric Lake, only artificial flies may be used. The trout limit is two.
On the left fork, only artificial flies and lures may be used. The harvest of brown trout is encouraged.
Crandall Creek, which empties into Huntington Creek, is closed to fishing for 2003 to protect a population of pure Colorado River cutthroat trout.
Huntington Game Farm Pond. In 2003, the limit will be four fish in the aggregate for all species.
Huntington North Reservoir. The ice has been supporting a lot of weekend ice anglers.
Fishing has been fair with PowerBait or meal worms. In 2003, the bass limit is two; all largemouth bass over 12 inches must be immediately released.
Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). The Cleveland-Huntington Canal Company is draining water from the reservoir at a rate of 34 acre-feet per day. The air space between the ice sheet and water level is widening daily, causing the ice sheet to buckle and subside.
All winter recreationalists should avoid the lake. Dangerous conditions will persist through the winter season. Tributaries are closed until July 12.
The reservoir is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout or trout with cutthroat markings.
Joes Valley Reservoir. The Hunter Power Plant is drawing water from the reservoir. Over time, this will destabilize the ice sheet.
Through the rest of the winter, please use extra caution at Joes Valley.
In 2003, the trout limit is two. No more than one trout may be over 22 inches. All trout 15 to 22 inches must be immediately released.
Ken's Lake. In 2003, fishing is prohibited from a boat with a gas engine.
No report on fishing success.
LaSal Mountains. No fishing report available.
Millsite Reservoir. Because of warm weather, please use extra caution on this low elevation reservoir. Ice fishermen report fair fishing with PowerBait or meal worms.
Price River. 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.
The creek may freeze entirely this winter, due to decreased water releases from the reservoir.
Scofield Reservoir. "Fishing success has been good for experienced anglers," stated Stacey Taggart, DWR conservation officer.
Taggart recommends using a small jig (any color), tipped with a piece of nightcrawler, meal worm or wax worm. It also seems that fishing at or before sunrise is most productive.
Many of the trout are eight to 10 inches, although a fair number range from 15 to 22 inches. Tributaries are closed until July 12.
Lake Powell. The Lake Powell fishing report was last updated Jan. 14 by DWR project leader Wayne Gustaveson who provides the following report.
The lake elevation is 3,618 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 50 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lake Powell continues to draw down with drought conditions unbroken. The lake elevation now equals the low point reached in the winter of 1992-1993.
Access will be impacted as the lake continues to fall.
Wahweap's stateline ramp has neared the end of the concrete. It will be unusable within a week or two.
The Castle Rock cut is only marginally passable for the smallest of boats for perhaps, one more week.
A larger vessel cannot go past Castle Rock now and uplake traffic leaving Wahweap Bay must now use the main channel.
Antelope Point ramp has long been out of service.
Bullfrog and Halls ramp remain usable in the short term.
The Bullfrog/Halls ferry has been displaced from its traditional mooring and now uses the same ramp as recreational boaters. That leaves only two lanes for launching.
The main concrete ramp at Hite is closed with an alternate dirt ramp currently being used. The dirt ramp has a gentle, shallow slope but small boats are successfully launching.
The Hite ramp road base is hard but silt overlaying the gravel makes the ramp very muddy. There is not however a problem with vehicles becoming stuck on the ramp. There is a problem with silt/mud sticking to trailers and detracting cosmetically from the experience.
It is suggested that larger vessels plan on launching midlake and boating uplake.
The National Park Service has earmarked $2.7 million to extend ramps this spring. The first priority is the Wahweap stateline ramp and two ferry boat ramps at Bullfrog.
Extending the ferry ramps will allow the ferry to retreat to the historical site and open all lanes at Bullfrog/Halls public ramps for recreational boat launching.
Extending Wahweap's stateline ramp will reduce overcrowded launching and parking facilities at the site.
These three ramps will be lengthened this spring just as soon as contracts can be let.
Cofferdams will be built to extend the ramps to the very lowest elevation possible.
Second priority for construction dollars is to extendthe Antelope Point launch ramp. This is less certain as construction on new Antelope Point Marina facilities is scheduled to occur during the same time frame.
Competing with Antelope Point ramp is the possibility of dredging the Castle Rock cut which allows boaters to cut across Warm Creek instead of following the main channel to access upper Lake Powell.
These decisions have not been made at this time. Further deliberations will determine where second priority money will be spent.
Lower lake levels have opened some shoreline areas to greater vehicle access and limited access in others.
Primitive drive-in access to the upper San Juan is no longer possible due to steep canyons blocking vehicle access to the lake shore.
It is no longer possible to drive a vehicle from Hite into Farley's White and Blue Notch and camp near the water due to rugged terrain.
Access to the lake shore at Stanton Creek and Bullfrog north and south campgrounds is limited by terrain.
At Wahweap, adventuresome individuals are able to drive into main Warm Creek from Crosby Canyon. The road ends at the Crosby Canyon campground which is marked with an appropriate sign.
It is not safe to drive past this sign and further vehicle access beyond the campground is prohibited by NPS rule.
Winter fishing is slow in the lower and mid-lake. Some die-hard anglers still catch one or two bass or stripers per trip.
There has been a surprising number of threadfin shad seen recently in the back of Navajo Canyon on warm afternoons. Shad are normally deep and dormant in January. Shallow shad presence has not changed the slow catch rate for sport fish anglers in the lower lake.
Fishing at Hite is the only bright spot on the lake. Striped bass are continuing to bite regularly for trollers flat-lining shad raps in the main channel mudline by Hite Marina.
Anchovy anglers are catching stripers readily on bait in Trachyte and White Canyon near Battleship Rock. The bite is very light to imperceptible so use four to six pound test with a small piece of anchovy on a quarter ounce jig head.
Set the hook at the slightest movement of the rod tip. Trickle chumming really helps.
Stripers caught are some of the biggest, up to five pounds and the healthiest fish seen in recent times at Lake Powell.