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Joe's Fishing Hole: Anglers asked to fill out surveys

The Elko Daily Free Press

Northern Nevada got some much needed moisture last weekend and it looks like we may be getting some more this weekend and the middle of next week. However, the snowpack is still hovering around 50 percent of normal for this time of year, so bring on the snow.

Highs are expected to range from the low 40s to mid 50s over the next 10 days with overnight lows ranging from the low 20s to low 30s. Unfortunately, these warm temperatures combined with poor ice at Wildhorse means that ice fishing is probably over for the year.

Angler drop boxes are located at several of our local reservoirs and fishing holes around the eastern region. This is a completely voluntary program, but the Nevada Department of Wildlife is asking all anglers to participate. They consist of a metal box that contains pencils, survey forms, and a slit on the side to place the completed survey.

These boxes provide anglers with a short survey of the day’s fishing experience and the opportunity to express their opinion on their day’s experience, the size of the fish caught, and the number of fish caught, while providing significant creel data that is used as an important management tool for NDOW biologists.

These angler boxes provide important information on water use and angler success rates that aid in a variety of management decisions. They are a valuable management tool for our smaller, more remote waters where it is difficult to obtain angler information. Please take the time to fill out the short survey form and help NDOW better manage our area waters.


Wildhorse is in limbo as it is covered with unsafe ice and little to no open water for shore fishing. With the warmer temperatures forecast, some water may start to open up. Call ahead for water conditions before heading up to the lake.


The thin ice that was covering the lake is quickly melting away. Any ice that is left is extremely unsafe. Fishing continues to be just fair, but those fish being caught are ranging from 15 to 22 inches with the occasional 25 inch fish being reported. Most anglers are having some success with PowerBait or worms, while fly rodders should be using chironomids, hares ears, prince nymphs and buggers. Sherbet PowerBait fished using a slip sinker off of the bottom about 25-30 feet from shore seemed to work the best.


Zunino Reservoir has open water for fishing, but no recent word on fishing success. Expect it to be fair to good using the usual PowerBait or worms.


The road to Wilson is rutted and with the forecast snow travel will probably be difficult and should be considered 4WD. At last report, the lake was ice free, but it may have some skim ice like the other lakes. The water level is approximately 50% of capacity with lite flow at the inlet to the lake. No report on what anglers are using and no recent report on fishing success.


Fishing has been fair to good at the collection ditch depending upon the day and the experience of the angler. The water is turbid, so for the most part sight fishing is out. Small spinners and minnow imitations were producing some fish for spin fishermen, but fly rodders were doing better. Fly rodders should be using hare’s ears, pheasant tails, prince nymphs, midge patterns, eggs and egg sucking leeches. The fish are moving, so if you don’t have much luck in one area, pack up and hit another. Harrison Pass was closed by last week’s storm and with snow coming in this weekend, anglers should plan on taking Secret Pass to the Refuge.


No recent report, but there should be some open water.


At last report Cold Creek was 100% open water, though it may have some skim ice on it now. Expect fishing to be fair to good for trout though there is no recent report of anglers fishing here.


At last report there was unsafe ice with some open water at the inlet where you can fish. No word on ice conditions so assume it is unsafe. The usual PowerBait or worms as well as small spinners, panther Martins or rooster tails should all work.


Unsafe ice with open water in the north lake and the extreme south end of the lake that is fishable. However, the ice has come back to cover more of the lake, but it is still unsafe. Anglers report catching limits in the open water using worms, though PowerBait should also work. Fly fishermen should be using wooly buggers, prince nymphs, damsel fly nymphs, hares ears and pheasant tail nymphs.


Illipah is approximately 50% open water, primarily along the dam side. The rest of the lake is covered in unsafe ice. Expect fishing to be fair to good along the ice edges using the usual PowerBait or worms. If you are throwing hardware, small bright spinners, rooster tails and small minnow imitations can be productive here.

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