Monday, April 19, 2010

Southern Region Fishing Report

BAKER RESERVOIR: (April 16) The water level is rising quickly and the Division has stocked catchable-sized rainbows. Shore anglers are having slow to fair success with bait. One angler reports good success trolling with rapalas. Float tubes should also help. A few anglers have caught nice browns.

BARKER RESERVOIRS (NORTH CREEK LAKES): (April 16) All of the Boulder Mountain lakes will open to fishing on April 17, except for Dougherty Basin Lake which is closed until July 10. Access is very limited by deep snow. There is very little pressure.

BEAVER MOUNTAIN LAKES: (April 16) You can access most of the lakes with a snowmobile. Fishing pressure is light throughout the winter, with Little Reservoir and Kent's Lake receiving the most pressure. The ice is starting to soften at Little Reservoir.

BEAVER RIVER, LOWER: (April 16) The irrigation season began on April 1 and flows can increase at any time. As of April 12, irrigation releases had not yet begun. Unlike some other tailwaters, irrigation flows on the Beaver River do not hinder fishing as much. Recent surveys found that trout numbers are down from the past few years. There is not much fishing pressure.

BEAVER RIVER, UPPER: (April 16) The ice is gone from most of the river, except for the highest reaches. Major runoff has not started yet, so flows are low and clear.

BOULDER MOUNTAIN: (April 16) All Boulder Mountain lakes will open to fishing on April 17. The snow pack is very high and access is limited to snowmobiles.

CLEAR CREEK: (April 16) The lower section in the state park is murky with runoff. There is clear water above the narrows.

CORN CREEK: (April 16) The gates are closed at the National Forest boundary on Corn Creek, Chalk Creek and Oak Creek.

DUCK CREEK POND / ASPEN MIRROR LAKE: (April 16) Duck Creek and Aspen-Mirror will open again on April 17. Deep snow is making it difficult to access Aspen-Mirror. Catchable-sized rainbow trout will be stocked in May. Until then, fishing will be slow to fair for holdover rainbows. The early season is the best time to target brook trout. Try fishing dark-colored marabou jigs and wooly buggers close to the bottom.

EAST FORK SEVIER RIVER IN KINGSTON CANYON: (April 16) The water level is low and a little murky. Tread lightly to avoid spooking fish. The irrigation season starts April 15 and flows can increase any time after that. It is more difficult to fish when the irrigation flows are active.

EAST FORK SEVIER RIVER, BLACK CANYON: (April 16) The flows are generally low and clear but can get murky at any time from localized runoff—especially on warm afternoons. One angler reports fair success with a pheasant tail or a blue-wing olive during a small afternoon hatch.

ENTERPRISE RESERVOIR, UPPER: (April 16) The ice is gone, the upper reservoir is filling and access is good. The water is a little murky because of the rapidly rising lake level. One angler reports fair to good fishing for rainbows with nightcrawlers, and slower success with flies. A recent sampling showed that the rainbows stocked in 2009 have survived well and will be growing fast. There are a lot of 10- to 12-inch fish, with good numbers reaching 14 to 15 inches. Catchable-sized rainbows have been stocked in the lower reservoir.

FISH LAKE: (April 16) Access is getting better because the snow drifts next to the highway have started to melt down. The snow has been blown off the ice. The recent warm weather is creating some slush on top, especially in the afternoon. There is a lot of open water around Twin Creek and a little at the other tributaries as well. If the present mild weather pattern holds, the ice will likely start to deteriorate within 2 or 3 weeks.

Fishing pressure has really dropped off, but fishing is fair to good for most of the anglers that make the trip. You will find the best fishing at 30 to 35 feet. Try tipping jigs with perch meat and fish near the bottom for splake, as well as a few rainbows and perch. Anglers have caught some nice rainbows down 20 to 30 feet over deep water. Some anglers are finding success for perch and small trout in more shallow water, in the 15 to 20 foot range. The bite is usually very light, so attentive anglers are having the best success. You can pick up small lake trout at 80 to 95 feet on large tube jigs tipped with fish meat. Catching large lake trout is rare and requires a lot of patience. Please do not discard perch on the ice, it is illegal to abandon or waste any fish.

FORSYTH RESERVOIR: (April 16) The ice is softening and unsafe. Open water is appearing at the inlets. The ice should be completely off within two weeks. One angler reports slow fishing in the open water.

FREMONT RIVER: (April 16) The road from Mill Meadow to Fish Lake is not plowed. Winter fishing can be fair to good in the Bicknell Bottoms.

GUNLOCK RESERVOIR: (April 16) The reservoir is filling. Largemouth bass were restocked in 2009 and got off a very successful spawning season. There will be a lot of small fish this year, up to 10 inches. There are not many large brood fish, so don't plan on targeting them. Bass fishing usually doesn't pick up until late April.

IRON COUNTY COMMUNITY FISHERIES: (April 16) Rainbow trout have been stocked in Parowan Pond. Leigh Hill Reservoir in Cedar City will open to fishing on July 1, 2010.

KOLOB RESERVOIR: (April 16) Access is limited to snowmobile. There is little ice fishing pressure because of the poor access. Ice fishing can be good if you can get to the reservoir. Remember that the new limit for 2010 is two trout less than 15 inches or over 22 inches. All trout from 15 to 22 inches must be released. Fishing with bait will not open until the third Saturday in May.

KOOSHAREM RESERVOIR: (April 16) The reservoir is still ice-covered, but the ice is starting to get soft. There is no fishing pressure.

LOWER BOWNS RESERVOIR: (April 16) The ice is starting to come off, but access is difficult because of the snow. If you can get in on a snowmobile or ATV, ice-off fishing could be good.

MILL MEADOW RESERVOIR: (April 16) The ice is nearly gone. We have mixed reports on fishing. A few anglers are doing well for browns by casting lures from shore. Others report slower success with bait. Anglers are encouraged to harvest perch in order to help the population stay in balance with the available food. Remember that the perch limit has been increased to 50.

MINERSVILLE RESERVOIR: (April 16) There is light fishing pressure. Fishing is generally slow with scattered periods of good fishing. Most anglers are using nymphs, midges and wooly buggers—with about the same success for each pattern. Fish are often cruising right next to the bank, so long casts and extensive wading are usually not necessary. Target points and bays with gravel shorelines. Recent surveys found that trout are making a comeback. There are good numbers of 12- to 14-inch rainbows available, as well as a fair number of larger fish up to 21 inches. Trout should grow fast this year with an improved reservoir water level and quality. Remember that the use or possession of bait, including scented lures, is prohibited at Minersville Reservoir.

NAVAJO LAKE: (April 16) There is plenty of ice but access is limited to snowmobile. Recent angler reports indicate good fishing for splake. Try light-colored jigs or flashy spoons tipped with cutbait (like chub or sucker) or half a minnow.

NEWCASTLE RESERVOIR: (April 16) Recent surveys found good numbers of 10- and 14-inch rainbows, as well as both medium and large wipers. Wipers are schooling fairly close to shore. Trout fishing is slow to fair with bait. We have no reports of anglers catching wipers being so far this season.

OTTER CREEK RESERVOIR & STATE PARK: (April 16) The ice is gone and fishing pressure has increased dramatically, although fishing success is fairly spotty. A few anglers are finding fair to good success, but fishing is slow for most. The few fish that anglers are catching are good-sized and in great condition. Recent surveys found that rainbow trout numbers are still as high as ever, though the population has shifted a little toward smaller fish. There are a lot of 10- to 12-inch fish present, but these fish should grow quickly this year. There is also a good number of larger rainbows—between 16 and 20 inches—available, but not in the abundance we've seen in recent years. Heavy fishing and harvest pressure have likely contributed to the shift in size structure, and to the spotty fishing success many anglers experienced over the last year. Good water levels this year should result in fast growth and more quality-sized fish.

PANGUITCH LAKE: (April 16) Altogether, the ice is about three feet thick with some slush layers in the middle. There is very little pressure because of the deep snow around the lake. The snow on top of the ice has mostly frozen or blown off. One angler reports good success with PowerBait. Remember that cutthroat and tiger trout 15–22 inches must be released. For help with fish identification, refer to page 40 in the Utah Fishing Guidebook.

PINE LAKE: (April 16) Access is still limited by snow. The ice should be coming off soon.

PIUTE RESERVOIR: (April 16) The ice is gone and shore fishing pressure has increased, though success is slow. Recent surveys found that the fish stocked last fall after the reservoir refilled have survived well. There are decent numbers of 12- to 14-inch rainbow trout present, as well as a few brood rainbows and browns. The Division also stocked 8- to 10-inch rainbows recently. This year's improved water levels should result in fast growth. In addition, extra fish from the hatchery will be stocked in Piute as often as possible.

QUAIL LAKE: (April 16) The recent cold weather and cold water from upstream have meant the water temperature is rising very slowly. Daytime temperatures are still hovering in the low to mid-50s and bass are staying deep. Continue using coldwater bass techniques until the water gets into the 60s. Make sure you fish during the warmest part of the day and use a very slow retrieve—dead-sticking is often the best technique. Many bass anglers prefer drop-shot rigs in cold weather. Don't be afraid to use larger plastics or even hardware. Fish are usually deep, in the 20 to 30 foot range.

SAND HOLLOW RESERVOIR: (April 16) The storms and cold weather over the last couple of weeks have slowed how much the water temperature is rising. The water is still just reaching the upper 50s in the afternoon. Look for the temperature to reach 60 as soon as we get a few warm days strung together. Anglers have seen a few large bass moving into the shallows in pre-spawn mode. These fish are spooked easily, however, and most anglers are finding better success fishing deeper. Action should start to really pick up over the next couple of weeks, if the warmer weather prevails.

SEVIER RIVER IN MARYSVALE CANYON: (April 16) The irrigation season starts on April 15, so flows can increase at any time after that.

THOUSAND LAKE MOUNTAIN: (April 16) Access is limited. (The best access is from I-70.) Ice fishing can be good to excellent in Solomon Basin.

WASHINGTON COUNTY COMMUNITY FISHERIES: (April 16) Rainbow trout have been stocked regularly and fishing is fair to good. Beginning Jan 1, 2010, all Utah community fisheries have a new limit of 2 fish, in any combination of species. (For example: two trout, or one trout and 1 bluegill, or 2 bluegill, etc.)

WIDE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: (March 04) The reservoir has been drained so that the dam can be rebuilt. It will be filled again in 2011.

YANKEE MEADOW RESERVOIR: (April 16) Access is limited to snowmobile. Fishing is slow.

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