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Fishing mixed in cooler weather

With colder weather moving into the state, fishing has been mostly mixed recently, with anglers doing a bit better in the state's southern areas as opposed to the mountains, which have already received some snow. Here are the reports compiled by the Division of Wildlife Resources from various areas around the state:

FLAMING GORGE RESERVOIR: All reservoir ramps are open. Lake trout action is fair to good at Squaw Hollow, Anvil Draw, Linwood Bay, Antelope, Stateline, Rawlins Draw, Sheep Creek, Gold Point, Jarvies and Mustang at 70-to-120-foot depths over points and along the river channel. Linwood Bay is closed between 6 p.m. and 7 a.m. through Dec. 15. Techniques include trolling bottom structure using down-riggers or steel line with a flatfish, crank bait or a flasher trailing a squid or small lure; or vertical jigging using tube or bucktail jigs with or without a minnow or sucker meat. There are many small- and medium-size lake trout in Flaming Gorge; limit is six lake trout (one over 28 inches.) Rainbow trout have moved back into shallower water.

GREEN RIVER (upper): Flows are averaging 1400 cfs with one daily fluctuation possible between 870 and 1770 cfs as allowed for recovery of threatened and endangered downstream fish. The flows typically increase between 7 and 11 a.m. and drop after 10 p.m. Large terrestrial patterns including hoppers, beetles and ants have been effective dry fly patterns, with occasional midge, mayfly and caddis hatches adding to the action, particularly on the downstream river reaches. For stream fishing, try brown, tan or olive wooly buggers, size 2-6, and light-colored minnow imitations.

GREEN RIVER (lower): River has good flows for this time of year. State and local officials issued a fish consumption advisory on Nov. 10 for Desolation Canyon where elevated mercury levels have been found in channel catfish. Advisory signs are posted at access points to the canyon advising adults to limit their consumption of channel catfish to no more than two 8-ounce servings per month and advising women and children not to eat more than one 4-ounce serving per month.

Eating more than these amounts over a long period could result in an intake of mercury that exceeds the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health recommendations. There is no health risk to other recreationists, including those swimming, boating and waterskiing. Additional sampling of the Green River above and below Desolation Canyon will be conducted in 2006.

BEAR LAKE: The lake trout spawning has peaked, and the fishing on Bear Lake has been good but spotty. As the spawn winds down, the fish should start to feed prior to winter, and the fishing will improve. Both lake trout and cutthroat trout fishing are very good in November and December. Anglers have reported some success with trout and cutthroat trout by jigging off the rockpile area in 35 to 45 feet of water. The anglers who are trolling are doing best off the Utah State Park marina on the west side of the lake and off South Eden and Cisco Beach on the east side of the lake.

The Cisco Beach boat ramp is available for launching all sizes of boats, but you need to make sure you keep an eye on the weather, since there is no protection from the wind if you choose to launch there. The State Park marina has plenty of depth and is open to launching all sizes of boats. Beach launching smaller boats is going to be difficult this year due to the increased water levels.

PINEVIEW RESERVOIR: Fishing success was slow.

WILLARD BAY: Fishing success was fair to good for wipers and walleyes. Anglers have reported success trolling with crank baits and jigs.

STRAWBERRY RESERVOIR: Docks were pulled at the marina, so launching is a little tricky, so wear boots or waders to avoid getting your feet wet. Trout success continues to be good to very good when casting or trolling tube jigs (white was the best color), using wooly buggers, trolling minnow-imitating lures (pointer minnows have worked well) and by using baits from shore. Anglers are catching fish at most locations and depths.

JORDANELLE RESERVOIR: Bass success was reported as slow. Trout fishing continues to be "good" when using traditional lures and baits. Perch limit was raised to 50 fish this year. Bass limit is six, but immediately release all bass over 12 inches long.

DEER CREEK RESERVOIR: Water level has dropped considerably, but there are no problems with launching. Bass success is slow. Trout success is good from boat, tube or shore. Early morning hours produce the best success. Trout limit is four (statewide). Walleye limit is six, but only one can be over 20 inches long. Bass limit is six, but immediately release all bass over 12 inches long. Do not transport any parts of fish caught here to other waters.

UTAH LAKE: Light pressure and slow success reported. Walleye limit is six, but only one can be over 20 inches long. There is no limit on white bass. Largemouth and small-mouth bass limit is six, but immediately release all largemouth and smallmouth bass over 12 inches long.

YUBA RESERVOIR: This reservoir is becoming more popular as stories of big rainbows are heard. A few walleye and northern pike continue to be caught. Fishing pressure, however, is still light. Morning is definitely the best time to catch fish here. Anglers must release perch.

PROVO RIVER: (artificial-fly-and-lure-only stretches) The brown trout spawn has begun and success is good for trout and whitefish all along the Provo River. Expect good success when using midges, pheasant tails, gold-ribbed hares ear, etc., in small sizes (18 to 22). Special regulations apply to much of this river.

CURRANT CREEK RESERVOIR: Last report was good fishing. The area has received snow.

MOON LAKE: No new reports. Should be fair to good fishing. Weather has been colder and area has received snow.

PELICAN LAKE: Anglers reported good fishing for bass and bluegill due to the seasonally warm, sunny weather. Fishing expected to be slow once the weather changes, and it gets cold again. Most recreational activities now related to waterfowl hunting.

STARVATION RESERVOIR: Anglers report fair to slow fishing for bass and walleye and fair for brown trout.

UINTA MOUNTAIN LAKES AND STREAMS: High-elevation lakes, ponds and slow-moving waters are beginning to freeze along the edges. Mountains have received snow. Getting scattered reports from anglers of fair to excellent fishing, especially for brook trout and for brown trout in the larger streams. Always go prepared for serious weather as the Uinta Mountains are well known for the frequent unexpected storms and high winds it receives.

CHALK CREEK: Small stream east of Fillmore. Good fishing for small wild rainbow trout and rainbow/cutthroat hybrids. Best fishing is away from the campground and more heavily fished spots. The North Fork provides a good spot for those willing to hike. Meadow Creek and Pioneer Creek are other small streams in the area that contain populations of small, wild trout.

EAST FORK OF THE SEVIER RIVER: The river above Tropic Reservoir has been good for small brown trout and brook trout. There are also a few cutthroat in the drainage. The river in Black Canyon has been low and clear, but can turn muddy pretty quick with any thundershower. Small brown trout are present in most of the river.

FISH LAKE: Little fishing pressure. Reports of a few rainbows. Fishing for splake is generally good for those braving the elements this time of year. Special regulations for Fish Lake include no more than two- of your four-trout limit may be lake trout and only one may be a lake trout larger than 20 inches.

FREMONT RIVER: Small brown trout are abundant in the section between Mamoit Springs and Mill Meadow. Try bait, nymphs or small spinners is the slower pools or backwater areas. The lower river in the Bicknell Bottoms can turn muddy with thundershowers but can turn out some nice fish this time of year if you hit it right.

GOOSEBERRY AREA/ SEVEN MILE CREEK: Good fishing in the Gooseberry area including the streams and smaller ponds. Stream flows are down and clear on UM Creek and Seven Mile Creek. Good fishing for brook trout in Seven Mile and cutthroat in UM. Special regulations on UM Creek include artificial flies and lures only and closed to the taking of cutthroat trout. Construction along Sevenmile/Gooseberry Road can cause delays.

GUNLOCK RESERVOIR: Little fishing pressure. A fish consumption advisory has been issued for largemouth bass from Gunlock. It is recommended that adults limit their consumption of large-mouth bass to two 8-oz. portions per month. Women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should limit their consumption to one 4-oz. portion per month. For further details, check the news release on the DWR Web site. Fishing has been slow for large-mouth bass and bluegill. Try plastics or crayfish crank baits for bass, small jigs or a piece of worm below a float near any cover for bluegill and crappie. Remember special regulations for bass — four bass under 10 inches and two over 20 inches.

JOHNSON RESERVOIR: Little fishing pressure. Abundant chubs, suckers and small perch are a problem here. A limited number of tiger muskies have been stocked in Johnson Reservoir. A number of them have been in the reservoir long enough to produce some large fish. If you catch one, please contact the nearest UDWR office with some details.

KOLOB RESERVOIR: The reservoir is still near full. Mixed reports but slow fishing for most folks. Try black or olive wooly buggers or silver spinners. Special regulations include artificial flies and lures only, with a limit of one trout, which must be over 22 inches. Scented jigs are not allowed.

KOOSHAREM RESERVOIR: Little fishing pressure. Slow to fair fishing. A few nice cutthroat still being taken.

LOWER BOWNS RESERVOIR: Water levels are still high. Good fishing is reported for 10-14 inch rainbows. Lower Bowns is one of the reservoirs that remains open on the Boulder Mountain through the winter. Many other waters closed to fishing on Nov. 1.

MILL MEADOW RESERVOIR: Water level low but now refilling. Good fishing for rainbow trout as well as a few hybrid trout and brown trout. Try spinners or bait from shore, spinners or popgear from boats. Prevent the spread of whirling disease; do not transport any parts of fish caught here to other waters.

MINERSVILLE RESERVOIR: The reservoir level is relatively good for this time of year. Light fishing pressure but some reports of good fishing for heavy rainbows up to 20 inches. Try dark bugger/leech patterns or jigs. Special regulations include artificial flies and lures only, with a limit of one trout which must be over 22 inches. Scented jigs are not allowed.

MONROE MOUNTAIN LAKES: Little fishing pressure but a few nice fish remain. Special regulations at Manning include artificial flies and lures only and a limit of only one trout which must be over 22 inches. Special regulations at Barney Lake include artificial flies and lures only and a limit of two trout.

NAVAJO LAKE: The lake level is still high. This time of year is generally good to catch some nicer rainbows that have put on weight during the summer as well a some brook trout. Usually some ice by the end of this month.

OTTER CREEK RESERVOIR: The reservoir level is still good. Reports of improved fishing success. Trolling with popgear has been good in the north end. The east campground overflow area has been good from shore.

PANGUITCH LAKE: The lake level is relatively high. Slow fishing but a few nice trout being taken. Special regulations include the release of all cutthroat trout under 22 inches. Only one cutthroat (over 22 inches) may be kept in daily limit of four trout.

PIUTE RESERVOIR: The reservoir level is still good. Limited fishing pressure. Some reports of fish 2 pounds and over.

QUAIL LAKE: The lake level is down about 15 feet. Good fishing for trout using powerbait or worms. Remember the special regulations for bass — four bass under 10 inches and two over 20 inches.

SAND HOLLOW RESERVOIR: A large reservoir near St. George. Public access to the reservoir is available only through the State Park. Water temp is in the mid 60's. Fishing pressure has decreased and success has slowed from shore.

SEVIER RIVER, ASAY CREEK, MAMMOTH CREEK: Tributaries and headwaters are low and clear. Try drifting a night crawler in the deeper holes or use a streamer, egg pattern or gold-colored hardware for spawning browns.

URBAN PONDS: Trout stocking has begun for the winter at the St. George ponds. Good fishing for 10-inch rainbows. The trout limit is two. Catch and release only for largemouth bass. Anglers 14 years or older need a valid Utah fishing license to fish here. Older anglers are requested to use artificial flies or lures. Woods Pond near Cedar City may still contain a few rainbow trout. The Hurricane Pond was recently stocked with rainbow trout.

WIDE HOLLOW RESERVOIR: Reservoir at Escalante State Park west of the town of Escalante. Fishing has been good for bass, bluegill, and trout. The reservoir level has dropped however as the water level is lowered to make dam repairs.

YANKEE MEADOW RESERVOIR: Good fishing for rainbow trout and brook trout. Cutthroat trout are also present. Try powerbait or worms from shore. Better success on the cutthroat by trolling or spin casting. Please pack out your garbage.