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Northeastern Region report

Information compiled by Tonya Kieffer-Selby

Cleaning fish: Biologists now believe the disposal of fish parts, especially the head and skeleton, is one of the primary reasons whirling disease has spread to new waters. To avoid moving whirling disease and other undesired organisms, you should clean fish at home and send the parts to a landfill. If that isn't possible, please clean the fish and bury the parts at least 100 yards away from the water's edge. Do not move fish or fish parts from one water to another.

Ice updates: All mountain lakes above 8,000 feet currently have fishable ice. Remember to drill test holes and to use caution. Some of the mountain lakes may be difficult to access throughout the season because of snowpack and locked gates.

Big Sandwash Reservoir

Good

As of Jan. 7, anglers reported about 10 inches of fishable ice. The reservoir is continuing to fill, and the edges are still very soft, so prepare for your trip on and off the ice. Please use extreme caution on the ice. Anglers are having the best success for perch off the main boat ramp in 20 to 45 feet of water, using small jigs and jigging spoons tipped with bait, perch eyes or gulp minnows. If you park at the Sportsman's Access, be prepared for a walk to the shoreline. (01-08-19)

Brough Reservoir

Fair

Anglers report slow fishing, with three to four inches of hard, clear ice. There are still some thin soft spots, so please use extreme caution on and off the ice, and drill test holes. Anglers report catching decent-sized rainbows in the 14- to 17-inch range. (01-08-19)

Browne Lake

Slow

The gates to the Red Cloud Loop are now closed and locked for the winter season. Please use extreme caution on and off of the ice, and let us know if you have any success. (01-08-19)

Bullock Reservoir

Unstable ice

As of Jan. 7, biologists reported open water near the canal, with thin ice in some spots. Please use extreme caution when accessing the ice, and drill test holes. Also, let us know if you are successful at catching any tiger muskie through the ice. Reminder: You must release any tiger muskie that have not reached the 40-inch length limit. Please use good catch-and-release techniques and obey the limits. Submit any photos to tonyakieffer@utah.gov. (01-08-19)

Calder Reservoir

Slow

The reservoir is capped with ice, but there is still open water near the windmills in the middle. The roads are limited to snowmobile access only. Please use extreme caution on the ice, and be sure to drill test holes. The reservoir has special catch-and-release regulations. You must use flies and lures only — bait is not allowed. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook for details. (01-08-19)

Cottonwood Reservoir

Unstable ice

There is still open water near the inlet, but some areas on the west side are partially frozen. The water district is working to fill the reservoir, so it's taking some time for solid ice to form. Reminder: You must release any tiger muskie that have not reached the 40-inch length limit. Please use good catch-and-release techniques and obey the limits. (01-08-19)

Currant Creek Reservoir

Good

As of Jan. 7, the area just received over 20 inches of snow, so access to the reservoir may be limited. Anglers had reported more than eight inches of ice before the latest storm. If you have success fishing here, please email pictures and results to tonyakieffer@utah.gov. Please use extreme caution when accessing the ice, and be sure to drill test holes. (01-08-19)

East Park Reservoir

Slow

The gates to the Red Cloud Loop are closed and locked for the winter season. The reservoir is capped with ice, but we have not received any recent angling reports. Please use extreme caution when accessing the ice, and be sure to drill test holes. (01-08-19)

Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Good

There is currently ice down through the main channel to the Pipeline. It's variable up to this point, so anglers need to take extra precautions. Anglers have reported up to four inches at Buckboard and three inches at Brinegar Ferry Crossing. Uplake from Buckboard, the ice is obviously thicker, with as much as 11 inches at Lost Dog. Some of lower reaches in Utah are starting to cap as well, particularly the backs of canyons and the narrow, calm portions of the reservoir in the canyon region. We recently received snowfall, which can make it difficult to launch boats. Boats have recently been launched at Lucerne and Mustang Ridge, but Sheep Creek, Antelope Flat and Cedar Springs might have questionable conditions for launching. At a minimum, boaters should bring tire chains to be safe, and be aware of slick conditions on the boat ramps.

Lake trout: Fishing for small lake trout has been good uplake through the ice in 40 to 70 feet of water, using tube jigs tipped with sucker or chub meat. Watch for suspended concentrations on your fish finder and vertically jig a 1/4- to 3/8-ounce 3.5-inch white or glow-n-the-dark tube jig (Dry Creek Outfitters) tipped with sucker/chub meat. If you're trolling, try spoons like RMT Viper Serpents, Northland Forage Minnows, Super Dupers and #3 Needlefish. Small lake trout (less than 25 inches long) have become overabundant, which has increased competition for food and caused a decline in growth rates. If this trend continues, it will affect the numbers of trophy lake trout in the lake (less food to grow big fish). Please help the resource by harvesting your limit of lake trout smaller than 25 inches. This size class of fish is also perfect for a tasty meal.

Kokanee salmon: There haven't been any recent reports from anglers.

Rainbow trout: Anglers report excellent fishing through the ice in 8 to 20 feet of water. They're using small jigs and spoons tipped with mealworms or Gulp maggots. A boat is essential to access most of the lower reservoir. There is shore fishing near the Dam Point Visitor Center and boat ramps. Marabou jigs are very effective (use earth tones and quarter-ounce weights). Spinners, spoons and other jigs will also work well. Boat anglers will likely pick up rainbows on small spoons, spinners and crankbaits trolled at depths of 10 to 40 feet.

Smallmouth bass: There haven't been any recent reports from anglers.

Burbot: Fishing has picked up near the middle areas of the reservoir that recently capped with ice. Target burbot on rocky points and shorelines in 20 to 40 feet of water at night using glow-in-the-dark lures like Yamamoto grubs, Radical Glow tubes, Maniac Cutterbugs and Northland Buckshot spoons. Tip the lure with sucker or chub meat, recharge the glow frequently and jig the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. Remember to charge your glow jigs often. (01-08-19)

Green River below Flaming Gorge dam

Good

The flows vary greatly, typically ranging between 800 and 2,000 cfs. See current releases from Flaming Gorge Dam. The crowds are gone, and now is great time to fish the river. Try using small zebra midges and other midge dry flies for the best results. Some midge and small blue-winged olive (BWO) hatches have been reported, and anglers have had success with those patterns. Streamers in varying light and dark colors should be useful during these flow changes. Spin fishing is always good. Marabou jigs or tube jigs in earth tones, white/chartreuse, and ginger are a good option in shallow or deep water. Rainbow or brown trout-patterned crankbaits and spoons also work well. Pinch down the barbs for quick release. (01-08-19)

Little Montes Reservoir

Slow

The reservoir currently has fishable ice. Use extreme caution, and drill test holes while accessing the ice. Before the last stocking, the reservoir's pH levels were very high, and as a result, rainbow trout were not stocked into the water. Right now, anglers can expect to catch only bluegill and largemouth bass. (01-08-19)

Long Park Reservoir

Slow

The gates are now closed for the winter season. Please use extreme caution when accessing the ice, and be sure to drill test holes. (01-08-19)

Matt Warner

Hot

After recent snowstorms, access may be limited to snowmobiles only. Snow drifts across the road throughout the day, decreasing accessibility. Anglers report more than 12 inches of ice and fast fishing in the morning for rainbow trout and the occasional tiger trout. Try using vibrant-colored pink and green ratfinkees, jigging spoons or paddlebugs tipped with mealworms in 15 to 20 feet of water. Please use extreme caution when accessing the ice. (01-08-19)

Moose Pond

Slow

The pond has solid, fishable ice in most areas. We haven't received any recent reports on fishing conditions or success. This is a great place to introduce new ice anglers to the sport. Try using small jigs tipped with bait (e.g., mealworms, gulp minnows or PowerBait). Please use extreme caution on the ice and always drill test holes. (01-08-19)

Pelican Lake

Slow

A rotenone treatment occurred in October 2018, and few fish have been restocked. Biologists report 12 inches of ice at the main boat ramp, with some open water in several locations. Bluegill were recently stocked in the reservoir, but biologists do not recommend fishing for them yet. (The number of fish stocked are minimal compared to the lake size.) For now, biologists want to encourage and thank anglers who are releasing the fish they catch and allowing the population to get a jump start. Waterfowl hunters should use extreme caution on the ice when approaching waterfowl. (01-08-19)

Red Fleet Reservoir

Unstable ice

There are four to five inches of ice near the main boat ramp with less ice in other locations. Please use extreme caution when accessing any fishable ice and always drill test holes. Anglers report slow fishing, but they are catching small tiger trout. (01-08-19)

Sheep Creek Lake

Fair

The gates are closed for the winter season. Please use extreme caution when accessing the ice, and always drill test holes. Reminder: The trout limit is two fish, and only one may be a cutthroat over 22 inches. All cutthroat trout 22 inches or smaller must be immediately released. (01-08-19)

Spirit Lake

Slow

As of Jan. 7, the lake was only accessible by snowmobile. There have been no recent angling reports. (01-08-19)

Starvation Reservoir

Fair

The reservoir capped with ice before New Year's Day. Rangers report varying ice thickness, ranging from three to twelve inches. Knights Hollow is reported to have about 12 inches of ice and is producing rainbow trout. Rabbit Gulch has been slow. Anglers report good catch rates near the Strawberry River inlet, with ice measuring around six inches. The reservoir water level is increasing slowly and is currently at 77 percent. Please keep the smaller walleye you catch to help the fishery and ensure healthier walleye populations. Also, if you catch crappie, please consider voluntarily releasing them so the population can become established. (01-08-19)

Steinaker Reservoir

Good

Small pockets of water have eight to ten inches of fishable ice. Be prepared for a long walk to the ice. Catch rates have started to slow, but consider fishing for trout in the shallower water, and bluegill in the deeper pockets. If you catch a tagged bluegill, biologists would still like you to report it by texting biologist Natalie Boren at 435-219-2644. Please keep in mind that the reservoir has returned to statewide regulations, so the bluegill limit is 50. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook for all regulations. Biologists also urge anglers to practice catch and release to help jump start the population. Please use extreme caution on and around the ice. There is less than five square acres of open water, which equates to about 400 acre feet. Although the water is at deadpool, many fish are still alive. Work on the dam has begun and will continue through the winter. We will not stock brown trout or rainbow trout in 2019 — we hope to begin restoring the fishery in 2020. (01-08-19)