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Northeastern Utah Region Fish Report

Information compiled by Tonya Kieffer

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.\

Big Sandwash Reservoir

Fair

Anglers report slow fishing at Big Sandwash. Try fishing early mornings and late evening hours for trout species. Anglers have caught rainbows recently. As the water cools, trout will be feeding and moving around more. Perch are biting well. Continue to try using a variety of PowerBait, nightcrawlers and Jake's lures. If you can fish from a boat, try bass fishing mid afternoon. Bass are biting on PowerBait and crankbait. Smallmouth bass fishing is good, but fish will start to find deeper water as it continues to cool. Water levels are still dropping fast, so watch for rocks when launching and operating boats. (10-24-17)

Brough Reservoir

Slow

The fishing is slow this week. Try using PowerBait and/or a Jake's lure in the morning hours. As of Jan. 1, 2017, regulations changed from artificial fly use only to the regular statewide regulations. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook. (10-24-17)

Browne Lake

Fair

The reservoir is full and the fishing has gotten better now that the lake has been restocked with both rainbow and cutthroat trout. The fish are smaller than 12 inches, but the action can be fast. Try fish bait near the bottom or cast small spoons and spinners near the inflows. Fly fishing is good early and late in the day. (10-24-17)

Bullock Reservoir

Fair

Fish are very active throughout the day, so try using a Jake's lure in gold or silver. You may also try using traditional nightcrawlers and PowerBait for quick results. Please let us know if you are successful at catching any tiger muskies. (10-24-17)

Calder Reservoir

Fair

The reservoir was recently surveyed and showed good numbers of cutthroat and rainbow trout up to 16 inches. Those fish were healthy, averaged about 12 inches and were consuming scuds and chironomids. 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. (10-24-17)

Cottonwood Reservoir

Fair

Wipers are active and being caught on Rapalas in the evening and at dawn. Anglers report catching wipers up to 19 inches long. Try using jigs or Rapalas to target tiger muskies, brown trout and rainbow trout. The tiger muskie bite has been good with anglers catching fish up to 36 inches. Anglers are encouraged to remember good catch-and-release techniques with tiger muskie, as most fish have not reached the 40-inch length limit and must be immediately released. Decent-sized catfish were captured in the fall surveys (channels and black bullhead). Anglers might want to try targeting these fish on the bottom using bait. (10-24-17)

Currant Creek Reservoir

Good

Enjoy the cooler autumn temperatures of the mountain and try fishing from the boat ramp. Anglers have been successful and are reporting that fishing is picking back up, but be aware that fish may be hanging out in deeper water. Try using worms on the bottom, and PowerBait. Anglers are also having success casting from shore with sinking Rapalas in trout patterns. The road is very wash boarded so take your time getting there. (10-24-17)

East Park Reservoir

Fair

Be sure to bring bug spray, as mosquitos are out in full force. Trout have been rising in the early mornings and late evenings, so try using a variety of baits to see what they bite on. We haven't received any recent angler reports. (10-24-17)

Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Good

Elevation is 6,033 feet and stable. The water temperature is 60 degrees F in the canyon (Utah region). Fishing is slow to good, depending on what species you target.

Kokanee salmon: Fishing for kokanee is now closed until Dec 1st.

Rainbow trout: Fishing is fair. Catchable rainbow trout were recently stocked in the Utah portion of the reservoir. Now that water temperatures have cooled, trout are moving shallow and becoming more active along shoreline habitat. Fishing will get even better once the reservoir cools into the upper 40s to low 50s. If fishing from a boat, casting jigs near creek inlets has been productive. Trolling in 10 to 15 feet of water with pop gear, spinners and small spoons is also effective. If fishing from shore, cast parallel to the shoreline, let the bait sink some, and slowly retrieve with occasional jigging strokes. Marabou jigs in earth tone colors are a good option in shallow or deep water. Look for rising fish on warm days when hatches are more prevalent. When you catch one, there are likely more. Pinch down the barbs for quick release.

Lake trout: Fishing is fair. Fishing will get even better once the reservoir cools into the low 50s. Anglers are catching smaller lake trout while trolling or jigging in 50 to 80 feet of water near main channel points and ridges. You may find fish suspended above the bottom using a fish finder. Troll spoons like Williams Wablers, Northland Forage Minnows, and #3 Needlefish to target aggressive pups. Vertically jig a white or glow-n-the-dark tube jig or jigging spoon (Northland Buckshot) on a 3/8-ounce head tipped with sucker/chub meat. Gulp minnows and blade baits (Sebile Vibrato) can also work really well. Linwood Bay closes to nighttime fishing (sunset-sunrise) starting Oct. 15th. See the Utah Fishing Guidebook for details.

Smallmouth bass: Bass fishing has slowed down considerably with cooler temps and shorter days. Expect patchy success, as smallmouth bass will concentrate along main channel habitat in preparation for winter and colder temps. Fish shallow for higher catch rates, but try fishing depths greater than 20 feet for bigger fish. Smallmouth bass will remain active until water temperatures drop consistently into the mid 50s. Jigs mimicking crayfish (earth tone colors), their primary forage, are the best option. Jerkbaits and crankbaits in copper, silver and rainbow trout colors may also entice fish. Expect patchy success, as smallmouth bass will concentrate along main channel habitat in preparation for winter. Smallmouth bass will remain active until water temperatures drop to the mid 50s.

Burbot: Fishing is good. Some recent reports indicate fishing success has picked up since water temperatures have consistently fallen into the 50s. Many are being caught while jigging for lake trout, even during the day, but the best activity has been at night. Boaters can 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/chub meat, recharge glow frequently, and jig the presentation a couple inches from the bottom. Hot spots are uplake of Buckboard near the Confluence/Lost Dog and Firehole Boat Launch. (10-24-17)

Green River below Flaming Gorge dam

Fair

Due to maintenance in the power plant of the dam, flows have dropped to a stable 1,500 cubic feet per second. Water temperatures have also dropped to the low 50s. Flows can change daily so be sure to check them before you head out. Dry fly fishing has been fair to good. Terrestrials like hoppers, crickets and ants are a great option this time of year. Nymphing is good using midge, mayfly, caddis and scud patterns. Try a dropper with a cicada or hopper on top and a nymph trailing a few feet below. Spin fishing is fair. Marabou jigs or tube jigs in earth tones are a good option in shallow or deep water. Rainbow or brown trout-patterned crankbaits will also entice fish. Pinch down the barbs for quick release. (10-24-17)

Little Montes Reservoir

Slow

The reservoir has been drained for final repairs on the outlet gate. Construction will begin in October and be done by January. We will begin to refill the lake as soon as the repairs are complete. Division biologist are also looking for Eagle Scouts or community members to build fish habitat structures over the next few months. We want to install these while the lake is empty. If interested, please contact Natalie Boren at 435-219-2644. (10-24-17)

Long Park Reservoir

Good

The reservoir is full and shore anglers are having good success either casting or trolling small spinners (Roostertails) and spoons (Jake's) or fishing bait (PowerBait) near the bottom. Gold colored blades have been best. (10-24-17)

Matt Warner

Good

Anglers are reporting good fishing after the slower fishing of the summer during the algal bloom. The reservoir was surveyed at the end of the summer and although catch rates were lower, the fish were extremely healthy. Rainbow and tiger trout were observed up to 19 inches and averaging 17 inches. The surveyors also observed only large fish, nothing smaller than 16 inches or so. Most were eating chironomids, but some also had crayfish and shiners in their stomachs. Try casting marabou jigs or fishing bait (worms, PowerBait) close to the bottom. (10-24-17)

Moose Pond

Good

Angling pressure has been high. Fishing has been fair for recently stocked rainbow trout using casting bubble/bait rigs, fly patterns like ants, stoneflies, and midges, and small spoons like a Jake's Spin-A-Lure. Bait fishing is always a good option, using PowerBait and a slip sinker or water-filled casting bubble. (10-24-17)

Pelican Lake

Good

Fly anglers are using a range of patterns, from dry flies to nymphs to tiny jigs. Those using spinning gear are throwing a worm or two-inch power grub on a #12 hook. Early and late in the day, those after larger bass should try throwing a weedless frog pattern in among the reeds. Conditions are good for bass and bluegill. Top-water frogs have been reported to be working well there lately. Due to a treatment that has now been moved to the fall of 2018, limits have been liberalized to 12 largemouth bass, and there's no limit on bluegill. (10-24-17)

Red Fleet Reservoir

Hot

The yellow perch and eight-inch stocked wipers are active and biting. Biologists have discovered that some of the wipers have reached almost 19 inches. Anglers continue to report good wiper fishing and are catching 10- to 12-inch fish trolling crankbaits. Anglers are encouraged to harvest larger yellow perch to help grow a larger population of fish. Summer surveys show an abundance of yellow perch in the five- to six-inch range and anglers are encouraged to take advantage of them. Anglers have been actively catching wipers, yellow perch, black crappie and a few walleye from the shoreline and on boats. Try fishing from the shoreline midday with rooster tails and Jake's lures tipped with bait. The evenings are producing tiger trout, brown trout and mountain whitefish near the brush creek stream inlet and in the back of many of the coves. Trout fishing for browns, tigers and a few rainbows should be picking up as the water continues to cool down. Try casing jigs in the canyon areas or even fly fishing near the mouth of Brush Creek. Biologists transferred select sizes of largemouth bass back into Red Fleet within the last month. These fish are larger than 12 inches and have a metal jaw tag on the lower jaw. Anglers have caught walleye, but most are eight to 12 inches. (10-24-17)

Sheep Creek Lake

Good

Be aware of afternoon thunderstorms. Fly fishing anglers report good fishing near the dam. (10-24-17)

Spirit Lake

Fair

Higher mountain lakes are producing good-sized tiger trout. Try using a size 8 black leech pattern for decent results. Fishing is good from shore if you are casting small spinners and spoons like Panther Martins and Jake's lures. (10-24-17)

Starvation Reservoir

Good

The water temperature has been consistently around 52-55 degrees F and the visibility in the water was about five feet because of algae in the water column. The reservoir level is at 5,702 feet (82 percent full) and rising. Walleye and kokanee fishing has continued to be great! Try trolling a pink mini squid with a very silver dodger scented with garlic for best results. This is the time walleye stock up for the winter months and tend to feed heavily on smaller forage fish and even bigger rainbow trout. Biologists are encouraging anglers to harvest their limits of 10- to 14-inch walleye to thin out the walleye population and to help out the yellow perch population. Rainbow trout will become more active as the water temperature continues to cool down. Anglers have reported observing and catching spawning kokanee salmon in the lake (kokanee must be released from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30). Try fishing from 15 to 24 feet of water, tip jig heads with worms or Rapalas. Crayfish jigs are also working well. The walleye are very aggressive and biting on almost anything you cast at them. For trout, try using a curly tail grub. Other anglers have reported success using swim bait and rainbow trout-colored crankbait. Fly anglers were having success with size 6 to 8 bead head leeches and buggers in olive, black/orange, and purple. The water temperature is around 67 degrees F and the visibility of the water is about six or seven feet. Two-hundred and fifty crappie were moved by DWR biologists from Pineview and stocked into Starvation to establish a new population of forage fish. If you catch crappie, consider voluntarily releasing them so the population can become established. (10-24-17)

Steinaker Reservoir

Good

Water levels continue to drop. Bluegill are stacked up by the dam and easy to catch. Bluegill fishing is still fast from a boat. Try fishing along the northern shoreline for decent size bluegill, and along the eastern rocky shore for largemouth bass. Anglers report fast trout fishing along the dam. Bass fishing is still good when throwing spinner baits and tube jigs off the rocks. If fishing from the shore, use a bubble or bobber to suspend your line off of the bottom. Anglers report catching rainbows on jigs near the inlet. There are still no limits in place as there are still lots of fish in the lake. The Division has issued an emergency change, liberalizing limits at Steinaker. There is no daily bag limit for any species: largemouth or smallmouth bass, rainbow or brown trout, and bluegill. This change will remain in effect until December 31, 2017, though this will most likely be extended into 2018. The Bureau of Reclamation will be drawing down Steinaker Reservoir this year and next year in preparation for dam repair work. The drawdown will take the reservoir past dead pool and a complete fish kill is expected. It will be restocked with bluegill, rainbow trout and brown trout upon refilling, and largemouth bass the year after refilling begins. (10-24-17)

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