The surface water temperature is 38 degrees, and there is no ice on Bear Lake. Anglers are catching both lake trout and cutthroat trout by trolling and jigging off Gus Rich Point/rockpile. There’s also good fishing to the south of the point, all the way to the rest area. Second Point and the pump house are also producing some nice fish. Good depths to target have been about 60-80 feet for trolling and 40-70 feet for jigging. Minnow-type lures work the best if you’re trolling. You might want to try large tube jigs tipped with cisco if you’re jigging. Anglers should start seeing cisco off the rockpile area this week. Jigging for cisco should be good this year in about 40-50 feet of water, and it will likely be open water due to the warm-weather forecast. Boat launching is available at the Utah State Park marina, First Point and the Rainbow Cove ramp. All of the boat ramps have courtesy docks in place at this time, but they can become iced over and slippery, so please be cautious. The ramp at Cisco Beach is not usable right now. The concrete portion of the ramp is well underwater, and it’s easy to get stuck in the soft sand and loose rock. The cisco run updates will begin on Jan. 13 and continue until the run is over. Remember, if you launch, boat or fish on the Idaho half of the lake you must have an Idaho mussel certification sticker on your boat or you will be ticketed.
Birch Creek Reservoir
If you want to catch a nice tiger trout through the ice, this is a good place to go. Catch rates are slower, but the fish are a good size.
Blacksmith Fork River
Watch for midge hatches with the warmer temperatures.
Use extreme caution—warmer temperatures could affect ice conditions.
Conservation Officer David Beveridge reports that the ice is good, but the fishing is slow. Occasionally, anglers will find a school of kokanee and do really well. The Wheatgrass arm still has some open water near the inlet.
Cutler Reservoir & Marsh
Cutler Reservoir receives almost no fishing activity in the winter months. River flows at major access points make the ice unstable and unpredictable.
East Canyon Reservoir & State Park
Volunteer Rick Johnson reports that ice conditions range from three inches on the west side to eight inches on the east. Warmer temperatures have thawed the top layer of ice, leaving water on top. The shoreline ice is getting soft in the late afternoon. Anglers reported some success while fishing on the buoys. There are very few fish on the finders.
Fishing is slow to fair at Echo. The ice is approximately eight inches thick. Anglers are using various baits and lures, and fishing is fair.
The pond is closed to vehicle access.
Holmes Creek Reservoir
Conservation Officer Brandon Baron observed one party of anglers over the weekend. Use caution as periods of warmer weather may cause changes in the ice conditions.
Hyrum Reservoir & State Park
Park Ranger Steve Bullock reports that the reservoir has six to eight inches of ice. Anglers report good fishing for rainbow trout.
Jensen Nature Park Pond
One angler interviewed over the weekend caught a nice rainbow from shore with PowerBait.
Conservation Officer Brandon Baron reports the ice is not safe. The anglers that have been fishing report doing well.
Little Creek Reservoir
The DWR stocked several thousand rainbows in October 2011, and they are providing good fishing opportunities.
Watch for afternoon midge hatches with the warmer weather. There are large slabs of ice along the banks, so use caution when accessing the river.
Lost Creek Reservoir
Biologist Phil Tuttle reports that the reservoir is capped on the east arm, the north arm and near the dam. The middle of the reservoir is not yet capped. Ice fishing is good to great for rainbows and the occasional large cutthroat. Try using white jigs (tipped with wax worms or nightcrawlers) either near the bottom or just a few feet under the ice. Anglers have already caught a few trophy cutthroat (over six pounds) through the ice this year. Remember that new regulations went into effect on Jan. 1. The total trout limit is four. You may keep three fish under 15 inches and one fish over 22 inches. All trout between 15 and 22 inches must be immediately released.
Anglers report good fishing for smaller bluegills. The ice is nearly 10 inches thick, and it’s very slick—ice cleats are a good idea. Biologist Clint Brunson reports some success for rainbows, perch and bluegill in eight to 18 feet of water. The ice is still clear, and warmer temperatures have produced some water on top of the ice. The fish are biting light.
Smith and Morehouse is still accessible. Ice covers the reservoir, but you can get there in a car.
Biologist Chris Penne reports that Newton has eight or nine inches of ice. As of last weekend, the edges were getting a bit soft around midday. With the warm weather, anglers should exercise caution on the ice. Fishing is fair to good for perch using ice jigs and wax worms. Biologist Kent Sorensen fished Newton on Jan. 2 but reported that fishing was slow.
Look for some midge hatches with the warmer weather. Flows continue to be low and clear.
The ice is generally unsafe. Due to the warmer weather, the ice has melted at Browning Point and at the narrows. There are anglers out on the Anderson cove side and Gertsen. On Jan. 5, two anglers were seen on the north side of the narrows, fishing with lights after dark. Access can be dangerous because puddles of water have weakened the ice along the shoreline, especially in the narrows. Anglers who have fished Pineview over the past week report that the fish haven’t been interested in any of the baits used.
The edges have iced up, but there is open water in the middle.
The ice fishing at Rockport has been good. Anglers report good fishing with ice flies and wax worms. Worms, PowerBait and other traditional baits have also worked well. The fish are suspended at depths of around 15 to 25 feet. Anglers have also been doing well at the south end in shallow waters. Joseph Hamby reports that although there’s ice on Rockport, it’s thinning in some spots. Use extreme caution on the ice with the warmer weather. Tagged fish were planted in the reservoir on Dec. 28, and the contest will continue through the winter. For more information on the tagged-fish contest, visit the Rockport State Park website.
Biologist Paul Thompson reports that stream flows in the Weber River (below Echo Dam) remain high for this time of year. Fishing is still good, however, with standard nymphs (hares’ ears, pheasant tails, scuds and midges). Stream flows between Echo and Rockport have remained constant at just over 200 cfs. This reach has also been fishing well with winter nymph patterns.
Willard Bay Reservoir
Assistant Park Manager Chris Bradshaw reports that although there is ice on Willard Bay, it does not look good after the recent warmer weather and should be considered unsafe. The fishing is slow. One person estimated the catch was one crappie for every eight hours of fishing. Park Ranger Mert Russo reports that anglers are catching some perch and crappie in the north marina, but it is slow. The ice ranges from one to two inches in the marina, and it’s not safe to walk on.