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Southeastern Utah fishing report



By Sun Advocate

Water levels have dropped drastically at Scofield Reservoir, but the fishing remains fair. Mainly rainbow and cutthroat trout are being caught at this time.

Just prior to the holiday weekend, 1,500 catchable-size rainbow trout were stocked at Benches Pond, Potters Pond number one and Potters Pond number two. Snow Lake received 500 catchable rainbow trout. This week, Ferron Reservoir, Petes Hole and Soup Bowl will be stocked. Dons Lake on the LaSal’s will also be stocked. Fishing should be good at all of these locations through the rest of the year.
Where have bag limits been liberalized?
•The new limit at Electric Lake is eight fish. Tackle restrictions, requiring anglers to use artificial flies or lures only, have been suspended. This change will remain in effect until the end of the year.
Fishing regulations recently changed at Duck Fork Reservoir. Anglers may now keep up to 16 trout, and they may use any legal bait. These regulations are in effect until the end of September.
The daily bag and possession limits have been doubled at Cleveland and Miller Flat reservoirs, Ken’s Lake, Lloyd’s Lake, Monticello Lake, and Recapture Reservoir. These regulations are in effect until Nov. 1.
•Abajo Mountains. Foy Reservoir continues to provide good fishing with baits and lures. Lures in the morning and evening are recommended. There is little or no fishing opportunity at Monticello Reservoir now that the dam, outlet and spillway are under construction. Repair work is scheduled to be completed in early October. The lake will not be restocked until 2003. Fishing is fair with baits and lures at Blanding number three. Recapture Reservoir offers fair trout fishing with baits and lures. At Recapture, the daily bag and possession limit has been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1. The daily bag and possession limits for all game fish have also been doubled at Lloyds Lake until Nov. 1, due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish. Angling success has been fair.
•Benchs Pond. This pond received 1,500 catchable-size rainbow trout just before the Labor Day weekend. Good fishing is expected.
•Cleveland Reservoir. The daily bag and possession limits have been raised to eight fish until Nov. 1. Anglers are encouraged to harvest the fish before the reservoir drains. Angler Tom Ogden reported that he and his companion caught eight rainbow trout in one and a half hours, including some 15 inchers. They fished from float tubes with size eight black beadhead leech patterns.
•Duck Fork Reservoir. The water is quickly draining down. Access to the shoreline is getting difficult due to muddy conditions associated with the lake draw down. A fish eradication project with rotenone will begin on Sept. 23. Anglers are encouraged to harvest fish now so that they are not wasted. Fishing was good over the Labor Day weekend. Cutthroat trout are averaging about 16 inches and tiger trout about 10 inches. Worms continue to be the best bait. The new daily bag limit is 16 fish. Anglers may use any legal bait, lure or fly pattern. Beginning Oct. 1, harvest of cutthroat trout will be prohibited to protect newly stocked Colorado River cutthroat trout. Tackle restrictions requiring the use of artificial flies or lures will also take effect at that time.
•Electric Lake. An emergency change in fishing regulations was made at Electric Lake, due to drought. The lake may be empty by February. Anglers may now take a limit of eight fish and may use any legal bait. Fishing has been very good with worms.
•Ferron Reservoir. During Labor Day weekend, one Sevier County resident reported catching six cutthroat trout in an hour, the smallest being 17 inches. From a float tube, he used a one and a half inch gray streamer in the evening. A project to lower the reservoir’s spillway, in preparation for extensive work on the dam in 2003, is scheduled to begin on Sept. 23. Fishing opportunities will continue to be available until summer or fall of 2003 when the major repairs begin.
•Gigliotti Pond. The leaks have been repaired and the pond is now refilling. It should be full in about two weeks. If no further leaks are found, DWR southeastern region aquatics manager Louis Berg hopes to stock some trout, bass and bluegill to determine the overwinter survival of those species.
•Gooseberry Reservoir. The water level continues to drop, and water alkality is high enough to stress or kill trout. One angler contracted swimmers itch at Gooseberry Reservoir earlier in August. Swimming and other water play is not recommended.
•Huntington Creek. Fishing success has been spotty with baits and lures. Fly-fishing has been much better with a size 12 Prince nymph, Renegade or Ugly. The limit is two trout in the fly only zone, which is on a portion of the Right Fork. Anglers on the Left Fork of the Huntington must use artificial flies or lures. Harvest of brown trout on the left fork is encouraged, where the limit is four fish.
•Huntington North Reservoir (near the city of Huntington). Slow fishing conditions. The limit is two bass. All bass over 12 inches must be immediately released.
•Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). Fly-fishing is excellent for tiger trout up to 18 inches, using a size eight black beadhead leech pattern. The fish are deep and near the lake bottom. A float tube is recommended about 100 yards in front of the dam at a depth of 16 to 22 feet. 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. There has been almost no fishing pressure. Due to extremely low water levels, boats cannot be launched. 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 to 20 inches must be immediately released.
•LaSal Mountains. Kens Lake is very low. The daily bag limit has been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1 due to low water conditions and expected loss of fish. Fair to good fishing has been reported at almost all LaSal mountain lakes. Medicine, Oowah and Hidden lakes are highly recommended. Dons Lake was stocked this week, and should offer good fishing through the rest of the year.
•Lower Fish Creek. Flows remain good. Conservation officer Stacey Taggart says that Lower Fish Creek and the Price River offer the best stream fishing conditions on the mountain. Aquatic vegetation is thick along the shoreline, so anglers are encouraged to walk the middle of the channel and cast toward shore. Most trout are less than 14 inches. From the railroad bridge approximately one mile below the Scofield Reservoir dam downstream to the confluence with the White River, only artificial flies and lures may be used.
•Miller Flat Reservoir. The reservoir has been reduced to a puddle, according to Kip Draper, Emery County conservation officer. The daily bag limit is eight trout to help anglers harvest the trout before the reservoir drains entirely.
•Petes Hole. This pond provided good fishing over the Labor Day holiday. Try an olive wooly bugger in the evening or a Jake’s Spin-a-Lure. The daily bag and possession limit is four trout.
•Potter’s Ponds. Both ponds were stocked with 1,500 catchable-size rainbow trout before the Labor Day weekend. Good fishing is expected through the rest of the year.
•Price River. Louis Berg, aquatics manager reports that fly fishing in the vicinity of the turnoff to the BLM’s Price Recreation area is very good for brown, rainbow, and tiger trout up to 13 inches in length. Berg recommends using a Hare’s Ear or Double Ugly pattern.
•Scofield Reservoir. Fly fishing from a float tube is good to excellent on the east side of the lake in water 10 to 13 feet deep about 150 yards from shore. Spinners will work in the same area. Most of the fish being caught are small rainbow trout, but a few are cutthroat trout ranging up to 17 inches.
•Willow Reservoir. Fishing success continues to be good, especially in the early morning. A dry fly and bubble combination has produced excellent results.
•Wrigley Springs Reservoir. Due to drought conditions, the highly alkaline water continues to stress and even kill trout. Nevertheless, good fishing has been reported.
•Lake Powell. DWR Lake Powell project leader Wayne Gustaveson provides the following report.
The lake elevation is 3,627 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 76 to 80 degrees Farenheit.
Last week’s report of poor fishing was proven wrong in a few places. Bullfrog Bay was the place to be for striper fishing. Stripers were boiling from first light to mid morning and then again in the evening. The action was in mid bay and quite visible from Bullfrog Marina to Halls Creek and into the main channel. While the boils are not very long lasting a few stripers can be caught from each one and they pop up quite often and are very entertaining to chase. When boils quiet down there are more stripers to catch by trolling down riggers or leaded line at 45 feet in the general area where boils were seen. Use a Little Mac, Shad Rap or Wally Diver behind the down rigger cannon ball. Hite was next best with only a few stripers boiling here and there. There was some decent bait fishing for stripers right at main channel buoy number 132. Visit the buoy early and late for fast action on anchovies during twilight periods. Battleship Rock and further back in White Canyon was good for bait fishing and produced a decent bite with shallow running lures cast to cruising stripers.
Smallmouth bass fishing at Hite ranges from good to excellent. Top water lures, spinner baits and crank baits were taking smallmouth and largemouth bass and sunfish in good numbers.The quick reaction baits were out performing soft plastic grubs which indicates bass were chasing bait fish up in the water column. These aggressive fish eaters can be caught in a hurry on top and just under the surface on shallow running crankbaits. There was a school of stripers in Reflection Canyon that boiled early and late and then ate anchovies during the day. Stripers boiled on the San Juan in quick morning and evening boils from Spencers Camp to Neskahi Bay. Some very nice smallmouth were captured just as striper boils subsided. Bass fishing was steady and getting better each day.
The lower lake was only fair for smallmouth and stripers were nonexistent. Fishing is expected to be quite similar this week. That means Bullfrog and Hite will be the preferred fish catching destinations. The water is cooling, though, and that will jump start bass fishing in the lower lake and San Juan.
The absence of striped bass in the lower lake remains a mystery. Fish for smallmouth bass if heading out of Wahweap and if an encounter with stripers does occur, be sure to let us know so we can spread the word.

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