Although cold statewide temperatures have thickened the ice pack on mountain lakes, the DWR urges ice fishermen to be safety-minded whenever venturing onto the ice. Don't fish alone. Each group of fishermen should carry rope and a floatation device. Each angler should have ice picks on his person.
Please remember to pick up a 2002 fishing proclamation and license for the new year. Proclamations will be available at license agents after Dec. 27.
Abajo Mountains. DWR Conservation Officer Torrey Christopherson reports that Blanding #3 and #4 reservoirs as well as Recapture Reservoir have not completely iced over. Monticello and Foy reservoirs have iced over, but the roads to those lakes have not been plowed, making it almost impossible to get to them.
Electric Lake. The lake has iced up along the shoreline, but is open further away from shore. Bait is not allowed at this lake, where the trout limit is two.
Huntington Creek. Anglers should be prepared for snow and ice along the length of the creek. The creek is ice-free for the first half mile below Electric Lake Dam. The limit on the Left Fork, above the forest service campground, is four trout. These must be taken with artificial flies or lures; bait is not allowed.
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 Reservoir (near the city of Huntington). The reservoir has iced over. In some places, the ice is five to six inches thick. However, there is a small patch of open water occupied by ducks. For safety sake, please stay away from that area. Carry safety equipment when in other areas. This past weekend, ice fishermen have had good success for rainbow trout with meal worms.
Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). Ice anglers have been fishing since late Nov. Success has been fair. The trout limit is four. 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.
Joes Valley Reservior. The reservoir is beginning to freeze. No boat access. The shoreline is locked up with thin ice sheet. The daily bag and possession limit for splake is two fish. All splake between 15-20 inches must be immediately released. Release of all splake is encouraged to help with chub control.
Lasal Mountains. No report on mountain lakes or access. Ken's Lake is not frozen yet.
Lower Fish Creek. Access to the middle portion of the stream on DWR property has been closed until late spring. The trout limit is four. Only artificial flies or lures can be used below the railroad bridge, which is about one mile below the dam.
Millsite Reservoir. The reservoir iced up on Dec. 16. Please carry safety equipment and drill holes, testing ice thickness, before venturing out. Before the freeze, Park Manager Ron Taylor reported that shoreline anglers had good success.
Scofield Reservior. The ice pack is six to eight inches thick. Angling success has been fair. A good combination is an attractor spoon above an ice fly tipped with night crawler. About one third of the fish being pulled through the ice range from 14-17 inches and weigh as much as three pounds. About two thirds are small eight to eleven inch trout. Release of trout is encouraged. A four trout limit is in place at the reservoir and its tributaries.
Straight Canyon/Cottonwood Creek. Fishing has been good for small brown trout with a size 18 Adams pattern. The creek is ice-free on the upper end below the dam.
Lake Powell. It's cold on the lake when traveling. Trips in a covered boat are recommended. When the boat stops and the wind chill is not a factor, then conditions are still nice for a striper fishing trip.
The techniques required for catching stripers are very specific. Electronics are almost a must unless you know where stripers have been caught recently, then fishing there is fine because they haven't moved. Winter stripers are almost dormant. Expect them to be right in the deep water mouth of a short canyon or at 50-100 feet over the submerged creek channel in a long canyon. Stripers will be right on the bottom.
When a school is graphed mark the spot or anchor directly over them. Chum with four to five finely cut anchovies spread all around the boat. Wait 15 minutes and then chum another anchovy. Continue to chum at regular intervals.