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Late September fishing report for southeastern Utah

By Sun Advocate

At 6 a.m. on Nov. 1, Joes Valley Reservoir will be closed to fishing until Dec. 14. Once the reservoir reopens to fishing, the trout limit will be two, of which only one can be over 22 inches. All trout 15 to 22 inches must be immediately released. This amendment to the 2002 fishing proclamation was made to protect the large adult splake, which come into shallow water during the new closed period. We need protection for those large splake as well as those between 15 to 22 inches to help control the Utah chub population. The growth and survivability of trout at Joes Valley Reservoir has decreased as chub numbers have increased.
Fishing limits have been adjusted at the following southeastern waters.
•Electric Lake. Eight fish limit. 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.
•Duck Fork Reservoir. Anglers may keep up to 16 trout, using 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 no fishing opportunity at Monticello Reservoir now that the dam, outlet and spillway are under construction. Repair work will 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.
•Benches Pond. This pond was stocked for the last time this year just before Labor Day.
•Cleveland Reservoir. The daily bag limit is eight fish until Nov. 1. Fly fishermen have had good luck from float tubes using size eight black beadhead leech patterns. The water level is holding.
•Duck Fork Reservoir. Fishing remains excellent, especially for tiger trout. The water level is very low, and will remain so until after the rotenone treatment project scheduled to begin Sept. 23. Anglers have from now through Sept. 22 to harvest fish. Current fishing regulations, which allow anglers to harvest 16 fish using any legal bait, will end Oct. 1. Beginning Oct. 1, harvest of cutthroat trout will be prohibited and anglers will be required to use artificial flies or lures.
•Electric Lake. Due to drought, anglers may now take a limit of eight fish using any legal bait. Fishing remains excellent at Electric Lake. The power company reports that the lake may become empty in March unless they are able to drill some wells to pump water into the lake.
•Ferron Reservoir. Fly fishing is excellent for rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout along the shoreline of Ferron Reservoir with a caddis pupa or a small, tan, sparkle wooly bugger. Anglers are encouraged to harvest brook trout.
•Gigliotti Pond. A few people are fishing, but there are currently no fish to catch! Fish will be restocked after the pond completely refills and it is confirmed that the leaks have been fixed. That will probably occur in early October. Construction of a restroom is anticipated to begin in October, with funding and service donations from the Carbon County Restaurant Tax Commission, Helper City, and the Price River Water Improvement District.
•Huntington Reservoir (near the top of Huntington Canyon). The water level is holding. Fly-fishing has been 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. Beginning on Nov. 1, fishing regulations will change at Joes Valley Reservoir. The reservoir will be closed to fishing from 6 a.m. on Nov. 1 until Dec. 14. When the reservoir reopens to fishing, the trout limit will be two. No more than one trout may be over 22 inches. All trout 15 to 22 inches must be immediately released. This regulation change will protect the large spawning splake which are very vulnerable in November and early December. In addition, we need to save the splake from 15to 22 inches which can help control the chub population.
•LaSal Mountains. Ken’s Lake is very low. The daily bag limit has been doubled for all game fish until Nov. 1. Fishing has been fair to good at many LaSal mountain lakes.
•Lower Fish Creek. Flows are low to moderate with some color due to recent rains. 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.
•Petes Hole. Fair to good fishing is expected, since stocking occurred two weeks ago. Olive wooly buggers and Jake’s Spin-a-Lures have been effective. The daily bag and possession limit is four trout.
•Potter’s Ponds. Both ponds were stocked with 1,500 catchable-size rainbow trout before Labor Day. Good fishing is expected.
•Price River. No recent report. Flows are somewhat colored from recent storm runoff. Recommended fly patterns include the Hare’s Ear or Double Ugly.
•Scofield Reservoir. Fishing was excellent this past weekend. Some anglers were taking home limits of good-sized fish. Worms and PowerBait are recommended.
•Wrigley Springs Reservoir. The highly alkaline water has been diluted from recent storms, giving the trout some relief. Good fishing continues to be reported.
•Lake Powell. Report updated Sept. 19 by Wayne Gustaveson, DWR Lake Powell project leader.
The lake elevation is 3,627 M.S.L. and the water temperature is 74 to 77 degrees Fairenheit.
After covering Rincon and San Juan last week we headed uplake to electrofish and take the pulse of those fisheries.On Monday we left Wahweap with the first stop at the inflow of the Escalante River. Lots of shad there but we found fishing slow for bass and stripers. Next stop Good Hope Bay. That’s a lot of lake to cover in a day. The survey showed good numbers of smallmouth bass with lots of green sunfish for forage.
Despite working most of the night, morning’s first light was time to find stripers. On the run to the back of Ticaboo a great blue heron was patiently waiting for fish. There was no surface action in the back so it was time to retrace the path. Near the mouth, the heron fly across to the near shore. Then a flock of mergansers began half flying, half scooting along the surface heading for the same rock the heron had perched on. The boat was then stopped and remained idle as a cast was made to the herons rock. A striper immediately took the Jumpin’ Minnow. Two more casts and two more fish. As soon as the surface lure quit working, a spoon to the bottom was dropped and picked up six more stripers all fat, healthy two to three pounders. When the morning sun hit the water, fishing stopped. Always get out early for the quick morning striper boil.
Stripers can be found mid day as well. While motoring around the horn between Four Mile and Good Hope, a dozen ravens congregated near a flat slickrock point. Moving in closer, the point dropped off into a cliff face. The first cast directly to the point was ignored. The second cast to the left side produced a giant swirl and then a striper that snagged the lure on the third pass. The boat drifted onto the shallow point, grounded and held. A cast was made to the deep water right off the stern without moving the boat. Each cast would get hit by a striper as the surface lure crossed deep water then neared the ledge. The hooked fish would be accompanied by the entire striper school as they tried to take the lure from his mouth, Each cast was the same, 20 times in a row. The stripers would hit right at the cliff edge then all would follow the hooked fish to the boat. What a sight! When their buddy disappeared into the boat they dropped back over the edge into deep water waiting for another shad to swim by. The lure seemed to be the only “shad” in the vicinity. Watch for birds in striper country. They eat shad fleeing from stripers and will hang around after the boil is done hoping for one more fish.
At Bullfrog the next morning was windy, with rain. Not the right conditions to find a striper boil. But we went anyway as this was our only morning at this location. We tried the tire breakwater at fist light. No luck. Then Crappie Cove. No fish. Then we cruised to the Haystacks near Stanton Creek and saw three splashes in calm water near shore in the big cove to the left of the rock structure. Each time we cast surface lures into the cove stripers would hit. The wind carried us back out and we had to reposition the boat to return to casting range. Stripers hit for an hour between 6 and 7 a.m. As soon as the stripers quit smallmouth moved in to get any leftover shad. We caught smallmouth to two pounds after the boil. Stripers are boiling early each day in the mid to upper lake. Bass fishing is steady everywhere. Bigger bass are feeding with stripers on top. The lower lake is not as good but slowly improving.

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