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Late February fishing report

Ice fishing conditions will become more hazardous as spring approaches. Anglers should avoid going out on ice that appears soft, thin, or is near open water. Coves, where tributaries enter lakes, are unsafe places to fish. Even where ice does look safe, anglers should exercise extreme caution and carry rescue equipment.

Test ice thickness near shore before going out in water over your head. Safety equipment should include ice awls, a long rope (preferably in a throw bag), and a floatation device.

•Abajo Mountains. Conservation Officer Randall Scheetz reports that all Blanding area lakes and reservoirs are beginning to thaw. Scheetz says he hasn't seen a single fishermen for some time. Blanding City is presently draining the conservation pool at Blanding Reservoir number four. Due to the changing lake level, conditions for ice fishing are expected to be hazardous. The reservoir will remain empty all year for an enlargement project (the dam is being raised 30 feet). Fish scheduled for stocking in Blanding Reservoir number four will be added to the stocking quota for Blanding Reservoir number three.

•Electric Lake. No report. Bait is not allowed at this lake, where the trout limit is two.

•Huntington Creek. Try number 12 Montana nymphs. Harvest of brown trout on the left fork is encouraged, where the limit is four fish. On the left fork, fish must be taken with artificial flies or lures. On the right fork, from Flood and Engineer's Canyon upstream to Electric Lake dam, only two trout may be taken and artificial flies must be used. No bait or lures are allowed in this section.

•Huntington North Reservoir. (near the city of Huntington). Park superintendent Ron Taylor reports that the ice pack is melting with areas of especially thin ice. Open water occurs along the edges. The ice fishing season should be considered over for safety reasons.

•Huntington Reservoir. (near the top of Huntington Canyon). No report. 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. Cara Staab of the U.S. Forest Service notified our office of an ice fishing accident last weekend. A 120 lb. woman fell through the ice in Seely Creek Bay less than 15 feet from where an ice hole had been drilled into 12 inches of ice. Seely Creek Bay should be considered very hazardous because of the presence of underwater springs. As temperatures warm, all ice fishermen should be aware of the danger of progressively thinning and softening ice. Conservation officer Torrey Christopherson notes that open water occurs on the south side and in the vicinity of the dam. Aquatics manager Louis Berg reports that ice fishing for splake has been excellent on the west side of the lake in water from 15-65 feet deep. One angler called Berg to say that his party of three caught about 30 fish apiece. Berg suggests fishing close to the bottom with a piece of sucker meat on a white Foxee jig, plastic grub or jigging spoon. The key is putting bait on the end of the lure. Most fish are 13-15 inches in length. 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 15-20 inches must be immediately released.

•Lasal Mountains. Conservation Officer Edward Meyers reports that Ken's Lake is thawing with five to 10 feet of open water around the edges. The ice is slushy and dangerous.

•Lower Fish Creek. Access to the middle portion of the stream on DWR property is closed until late spring. Only artificial flies or lures can be used below the railroad bridge, which is about one mile below the dam.

•Millsite Reservoir. Fishing continues to be fair for small trout. PowerBait has been most effective. Park superintendent Ron Taylor says that about half the reservoir is ice-free. Further ice fishing will be extremely hazardous.

•Scofield Reservoir. One angler e-mailed a report, saying that she had caught six trout in a half hour using only a worm. Conservation officer Carl Gramlich recommends white or chartreuse jigs tipped with a salmon egg, worm, or PowerBait. Fishing pressure and angler success have been somewhat sporadic. Release of trout is encouraged, so they can be caught multiple times and grow larger.

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