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Fishing report for southeastern Utah

At this time of year, a reservoir may be frozen one day and open the next. Partially frozen waters may suddenly open up due to wind and wave action. Changing air temperatures and storm patterns may freeze and thaw a body of water overnight.

•Electric Lake. Anglers may take a limit of eight fish using any legal bait. However, ice is forming along the edges, making bait casting difficult. Ice anglers should wait two to three weeks for safe ice conditions.

•Gigliotti Pond. The pond will be freezing soon, but anglers should wait two to three weeks before attempting to ice fish.

•Huntington Creek. Water flows in the right fork are low due to reduced releases from Electric Lake. In a short while, snow and ice could make fishing tough. 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 is open. No report on fishing conditions.

•Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). The reservoir is partially frozen. Anglers are advised to wait several weeks before attempting to ice fish. Release of tiger trout is encouraged so that fish can grow larger.

Please harvest any brown trout that are caught. The reservoir is closed to the possession of cutthroat trout and trout with cutthroat markings.

•Joes Valley Reservoir. The reservoir is closed to fishing as of Nov. 1 and will remain closed 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 chubs, which were illegally introduced as live bait.

•Millsite Reservoir. The reservoir is still open.

•Scofield Reservoir. Due to wind and warmer weather conditions, Scofield Reservoir is open once again. "Scofield Reservoir is the first large lake in Utah to freeze, offering early ice fishing opportunities," remarks Louis Berg, DWR southeastern region aquatics manager.

"However, anglers should wait at least two weeks for safe ice conditions."

•Lake Powell. Wayne Gustaveson, DWR Lake Powell project leader, provides the following report.

The lake elevation is 3,624 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

November storm fronts really slow down the catching. Weather remains unsettled and it is speculated that this is a factor when fish are not biting in a year when shad forage is plentiful.

Stripers tend to follow shad which move much more than expected. Indications are that shad inhabit a certain cove for a short period, about two to five days.

When fishing is good, stripers find shad in the cove and then feed at regular intervals. A change in weather or some other event causes shad to either move as a school or to lose school integrity so that school is no longer detectable on the graph.

Bad fishing is associated with lack of shad where they had once been plentiful.

After the front passes, weather moderates and fishing improves within three to five days.

Shad begin to reappear. It is not determined whether they move from one canyon to another or the school reforms allowing them to be seen on the graph.

Shad schools are followed by striper schools and fishing is good until the next environmental change, which usually occurs in three to five days.

As winter deepens, shad and stripers move less often. Feeding is lessened by cold temperatures.

Digestion is slowed. All cold-blooded fish slow down. Cold fish in winter are enticed by bait placed right in front of the resting fish.

Fall fish are willing to chase down a meal and react quickly to changing conditions. At mid-November fish are caught between these two modes.

Expect a few flurries of great activity and fast fishing. More likely, fish will be slow and deep.

After a front, single fish may be caught by covering a wide area. Trolling is perhaps the best approach to cover maximum distance looking for a few good fish.

After the front and when weather stabilizes, graph for schools of shad/stripers and aggressively spoon each school found.

Mark schools and fish with bait as a last resort. Keep the bait within six inches of the bottom for best results.

The last point is that fat fish are very willing to just sit out a bad weather period without eating. Thin fish keep prowling always looking for food.

Lake Powell fish are fat going into winter which will make catching a little more challenging.

Expect a few really good days sandwiched in between many that are not so good.

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