But we are on the cusp of some great fishing. Lakes such as Alamo and Bartlett remain stained and muddied, but with a week or two of sunny, calm weather, rods will be bending.
Crappie anglers might have to wait a couple more weeks until action picks up for these panfish delights – they remain extremely deep at most lakes and mostly inactive.
Meanwhile, it’s still trout time in Community waters. Some big trout have been coming in the past few weeks. Hot spots seem to be Desert Breeze Lake in Chandler, Tempe Kiwanis and Surprise Lake.
Silver Creek in the White Mountains is fishing great for big trout if you can stand the beard-frosting cold and can find the right holes.
Now’s the time make a strategic plan to set that state record, too. See where the next AZ state record might come from.
See a winter trout stocking schedule, maybe grab a fishing license online -- you can get them 24/7 -- and go "Fish AZ."
Catch of the Week
(Send your Angler Reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov – one will be featured as Catch of the Week)
Karrie R. caught this 22-pound flathead catfish from shore at Lake Pleasant on Thursday, Jan. 26 using a dropshot rig with a worm. "It was definitely cold," she said, "but worth the catch! Also caught an 8-pound carp and 3-pound channel catfish."
Public fishing events
Free fishing clinics, loaner rods are provided, bait is free, and no license is required to those who register during event hours.
Saturday, Feb. 4 — Youth Family Fishing Day, 9 a.m. – noon, Anthem Community Park (41703, N. Gavilan Peak Pkwy.)
See the full schedule
Nets and waders: Working for you
This new section will periodically show what our fisheries biologists have been doing in the field to improve fishing in Arizona.
Our fish biologists conserve wildlife, provide sport-fish opportunities -- and sometimes snowmobile! See a slideshow from our Jan. 25 surveys to Big, Crescent and Lee Valley lakes in the White Mountains.
Biologists checked dissolved oxygen levels under the ice at Lee Valley (pictured) and Crescent to predict a fish die-off due to low oxygen. Ice conditions were checked on all lakes, and ice was unsafe, especially at Big Lake.
Thursday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Jan. 27 — Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, all "core" waters except Rio Vista, as well as Patterson Ponds, and Green Valley lakes. Tuesday, Jan. 24 — Pena Blanca Lake, Council Ave. Pond, Yuma West Wetlands Pond. Monday, Jan. 23 — Lower Salt River, Verde River (middle).
Next week: We’re scheduled to stock Deadhorse Lakes, Goldwater Lake, Canyon Lake, Cluff Pond, Dankworth Pond, Pena Blanca Lake, Fortuna Pond and Redondo Pond.
See the full schedules.
Thank you, anglers!
Arizona fishing opportunities wouldn’t be possible without the Sport Fish Restoration Program. It was created through the Dingell-Johnson Act of 1950 (Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Act) and the Wallop-Breaux amendments of 1984. Through a federal excise tax paid by manufacturers on fishing gear and motorboat fuels, it provides funds for fishery conservation, boating access, and aquatic education.
Reports from tackle shops, or fishing guides/services are neither sponsorships nor endorsements. These reports are appreciated! Please send them to email@example.com
(Updated Feb. 2, Editor Nick Walter, 623-236-7214)
ROOSEVELT LAKE -- (2,102 feet, 49-percent full)
The lake level has risen 14 feet during the past month.
The talk among all anglers is the amount of water flowing into all of the lakes and streams throughout Rim Country and Northern Arizona. The snowfall records from the last storm will ensure a steady flow of water into Roosevelt Lake for the next couple of months. The lake level has increased more than 16 vertical feet during the past month going from 36 percent full to 49 percent full.
The water condition is very stained throughout most of the lake. The water entering the lake is very cold with the water temperature in the middle of the lake recording 52 degrees. Anglers willing to brave the cold weather are fishing the backs of coves where the water temperature may be a few degrees warmer during the afternoons on sunny days. Successful baits reported are crank-baits and jigs.
The next AZGFD aquatic reef ball habitat building days are schedule for February 3rd & 4th at the Game and Fish Mesa office. These habitat reef balls are planned to be deployed into Roosevelt Lake in a couple of months. This is a great volunteer project for any bass club or organization. You can get more details by contacting Amberle Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 623-236-7593.
Crappie anglers are reporting a poor to fair bite. Most crappie anglers are waiting for the high water flows to recede before resuming the search for the large schools of crappie that were plentiful a month ago. Schools of crappie are in the 15-20 foot depths however, the bite during colder months can be very slight. Trolling 1/8 oz jig-head hook and a black, blue and chartreuse color 2-inch grub-tail bait will produce good crappie results.
Have a great week of fishing and I hope to see you on the water.
LAKE PLEASANT – (Lake elevation 1,689 feet, 85 % full).
A new moon this weekend means fishing with submersible lights at night for striped bass and crappie could be the best option. Anchovies and live shad have been great baits – try dropshot rigs. Otherwise, fish northern coves during afternoons where there might be some pockets of warmer water. Shad can be found in the back of Castle Creek or Coles Bay. Anglers will need to keep finding different spots when netting shad. The ideal depth for shad has been 7-15 feet of depth near the shore.
Catfishing can be decent using dead shad fished on the bottom with hot dogs, chicken liver, or anchovies. Some anglers will chum a cove overnight with corn and return to fish the same cove with corn – this can be an effective tactic for catching carp and catfish.
This month in general, fishing in general has been decent for striped bass in northern coves, in 55-80 feet of water, using live shad. Humbug has been particularly good for stripers with anchovies in 60 feet of water depth. Jigging spoons in deep water and using Alabama rigs has been producing decent fish as well. With cooler water temperatures, the best bite might be from noon to sunset -- try Alabama rigs, Skinny Dipper paddle tails, or jig 1- to 1.5-ounce spoons. Live shad and anchovies are effective as well. Try the mouths of Humbug, Castle Creek or Coles Bay.
See more winter striper fishing tips.
BARTLETT LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,780 feet, feet, 75 % full.
The lake level has risen 8 feet (10-percent change) during the past week. High inflows of cold water seems to have slowed bass fishing, but with calmer, sunnier days, fishing could turn on any day. The whole lake ahs been discolored this week and the best bet is fishing the main lake. The dropshot has been a productive rig using morning dawn-colored Roboworms, as well as jigs, Texas rigs and a new J rig. See a video of how to use a J rig at Bartlett during the winter.
Look for bass to be following shad, and so the bass have not been in the same location from one day to another. In the morning, fish dropshots, Texas rigs, jigs, spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Once the sun comes up, fish in 20-30 feet of water over points, humps, reefs, etc.
Be ready for a subtle bite – winter bass are lethargic and more likely than in the fall or spring to hit a bait as its falling. It’s also a particularly good time to try jigs or worms in watermelon or green pumpkin.
The Yellow Cliffs boat ramp has once again opened -- there was 30 feet of water depth at the ramp on Thursday. For one, this can be a good crappie area. Fish in deeper water off cliff walls during the winter, targeting underwater brush and ledges.
Don’t forget the Bartlett Lake Marina is now open. See www.bartlettlake.com or contact 480-221-0503 for more information.
COMMUNITY FISHING WATERS — See the Community Fishing Bulletin. Rio Vista Pond was not stocked as scheduled this week since the pond is being lowered for maintenance.
SAGUARO LAKE – The lake is 1,527 feet (97-percent full). Rainbow trout stockings scheduled for last week were moved to this week.
Although it is a little deeper than Alamo Lake and not quite the solar bowl, Saguaro can heat up as well -- in more ways than one. Trout and yellow bass are options if the largemouth bass are finicky. It’s also the early bird for channel catfish that like to feed on shad. Plus, Saguaro is just downright gorgeous.
For now, it's typical winter fishing. Anglers are reporting hit-and-miss action on bass, with many daily bags of less than two bass a day. Yellow bass fishing can be good -- try using a silver and blue Kastmaster or similar.
CANYON LAKE – Lake level is 1,658 feet (97-percent full.) Rainbow trout stockings scheduled for last week were moved to next week.
Trout were previously stocked in December.
A new fishing pier is under construction in the Boulder Creek Recreation Area. This pier serves as excellent structure for sunfish.
Fishing has been difficult for largemouth bass, as is the case during the dead of winter. Fish afternoons when water is at its warmest.
Some anglers have had success throwing dropshot Roboworms in morning dawn near cattails in 10-20 feet of water.
APACHE LAKE - Lake elevation is 1,910 feet (94-percent full).
Apache Lake has been stocked this week with rainbow trout (last week’s stocking has been moved to this week).
There is a good smallmouth bass bite. Anglers can catch a lot of fish on jerkbaits. Also try dropshot-rigged Roboworms in morning dawn, or crawdads imitations in chartreuse chugger (Texas rig or Carolina rig).
Various jigs also can be effective – try crawdad imitations. Points, islands and rocky structures tend to hold the majority of largemouth bass – keep moving.
Largemouth bass fishing is good. You might also find bass chasing shad at the surface, especially at first light. Try working the major points using soft plastic crayfish like lures worked along the bottom. Crankbaits can also work well at times.
Crappie fishing should pick up as winter progresses and they congregate in bigger and tighter schools.
Walleye fishing could be decent at first and last light using nightcrawler rigs, or jigs tipped with worm. Apache is also full of some really nice yellow bass. Try gold KastMasters or yellow/gold Rooster Tails.
HORSESHOE LAKE – Lake elevation is 2,017 feet (79-percent full).
Water levels have risen significantly during the past month. When the lake is full, there are a lot pf spawning fish. Below the dam on the Verde River, there's probably some great catfish action.
LOWER SALT RIVER – On Friday morning the river was flowing at 8 cfs out of Stewart Mountain.
Trout were stocked the week of Jan. 10 into the lower portion of the Salt (above where the Verde River meets the Salt).
Cooler air temperatures should help trout fishing to continue to pick up. Try using wet and dry flies. Many fly anglers typically have success with leech patterns.
Remember that the walk to the shoreline is steep, and don’t wade into the river because of quick-sand spots. Try nightcrawlers, small spinners, Kastmasters and flies in this unique desert river trout fishery. You might be able to catch some bass or sunfish in the deeper holes. Good time for tubing the Salt -- take along a fishing rod.
Creeks below the Mogollon Rim
Jim Goughnour of Rim Country Custom Rods reported that most trout stream anglers are waiting for better weather and those who did fish reported poor conditions.
(Updated Jan. 26; Editor Gregg Cummins, 928-263-8868)
Important notice: With the discovery of invasive quagga mussels in Mead, Mohave and Havasu, proper cleaning of all watercraft is critical to help prevent the spread of these invaders. Please drain and dry your livewell and bilge on land. Drain all the water you can from your engine. Also, inspect your vessel and trailer, removing any visible mussels, but also feel for any rough or gritty spots on the hull. These may be young mussels that can be hard to see.
For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department's web pages at azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.
LAKE MEAD – The current elevation is 1085 feet above msl. The National Park Service has been working to improve conditions at South Cove launch ramp, but 4x4 vehicles are recommended for launching/retrieving boats. Be sure to check out launch ramp area prior to launching. Be careful boating because of low water level, many new islands and near surface rocks have appeared. The largemouth bass bite is slowing with the cold weather. Night crawlers were the bait for the channel catfish. The striper bite is steady on Lake Mead. Fishing the boils with top water baits is probably your best type of lure. Cut anchovies are still the bait of choice for stripers when anchored at night. Check the moon phases before you go –the last new moon was December 28th. The next new moon will be January 27th. Dark nights work best when fishing under light. Fishing for stripers in 40 plus feet of water will normally find the larger fish. If they are not taking the anchovies try lures and see if you can get them to bite. If you can locate the shad, the stripers are not far behind. Trolling usually works best in areas where shad are found and best done in the early mornings and evenings.
LAKE MOHAVE – The lake level is currently 644 feet above msl. At this elevation reefs and sandbars are exposed so be very careful of rocks just under the surface. The fishing dock at Katherine's Landing can produced some nice fish. The striper bite has returned according to reports. Down deep by the dam and above the power lines are reported as the hottest spots. Lures that mimic trout are working for stripers as well as the old tried and true anchovies. Submersible lights fished during the new moon are an effective way to catch stripers. Check the moon phases before you go – the last new moon was December 28th. The next new moon will be January 27th. Cut anchovies usually work the best for stripers at night.
Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife with the help of volunteers, National Park Service, and Bureau of Reclamation personnel have continued to install fish habitat in Carp Cove, Box Cove, Shoshone, Princess and Arrowhead. Prospect Cove (1st cove south of Princess Launch Ramp) is the latest addition on the Arizona side of the lake to get habitat deployed. Fish habitat consists of PVC structures, tamarisk bundles and a new type of habitat we call poly shrubs. The largemouth, smallmouth, bluegill and catfish are really utilizing the new structures. Additional habitat will be added at several locations over the next two years. These structures are fish magnets.
There is a wheelchair accessible fishing pier just south of the main launch ramp at Katherine's Landing. If you fish Mohave and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW BEACH – Try spinner baits along with cut anchovies for stripers. Trout are scheduled to be stocked the first week of February. If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM - Trout stocking has begun and the latest stocking was the week of Jan. 12. The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for this week, the week of January 25th. The best bait is reported to be yellow and orange power bait and of course night crawlers. Try small spinner baits if the power baits are not working. Try swim baits for stripers, especially ones that look like trout. You can check the Bureau of Reclamation Web site for flow predictions http://www.usbr.gov/lc/riverops.html before you go. If you fish the river below Davis Dam and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others. Many thanks to Rusty from the Riviera Marina for his fishing report.
Billy G wanted to remind everyone to check the expiration dates on their license before they go fishing.
TOPOCK GORGE - Use swim baits and pencil poppers if anchovies aren’t working. Stripers are being taken and are ranging between 1-4 pounds.
TOPOCK MARSH – Try chicken livers or worms for catfish. You can access the marsh by boat at the North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. The cold weather has slowed the bite and access to the marsh is difficult due to low water levels. The last report I received said that launching at North Dike was extremely difficult. For more information on the marsh, contact the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge at (760) 326-3853 or go to http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/arizona/havasu/index.html.
DEAD HORSE RANCH STATE PARK – Trout were stocked the week of January 16th and are tentatively scheduled for the week of February 6th. Bring a variety of baits just in case the fish aren’t biting. Try small spinners or spoons, Powerbait, night crawlers or any other bait. Bass bite has slowed. If you fish Dead Horse please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
VERDE RIVER (throughout Verde Valley) – Trout were last stocked the week of January 9th and are tentatively scheduled for this week, the week of January 23rd. The smallmouth bass and catfish bite has slowed but the bass that are caught are on the small side and you can keep all you catch. Bring a variety of bait so you can change if the bite is absent.
FAIN LAKE — Park is open and fish were stocked January 10th. Reports are that the fish are biting but bring a variety of bait.
GOLDWATER LAKE — Goldwater was stocked the week of December 12th. The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for the week of February 6th. Try several colors of power bait and power eggs and if you don’t get bites try night crawlers or small spinners. They are a great option if you are not getting bites with other baits. Jonathan reports that he has success using orange and yellow power bait eggs on about a 12 to 18 inch leader. Small spinners work very well also. Michael reports that 1½ inch Crappie Tubes & Acme Castmasters lures work very well on the trout. This is the second time he has reported method in the last couple weeks.
If you fish Goldwater and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
GRANITE BASIN LAKE – The warming temperatures have increased the bite for largemouth and bluegill. If you fish Granite Basin Lake and are having luck, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
LYNX LAKE – The latest rainbow trout stocking was the week of November 7th. The next stocking is tentatively scheduled for the week of January 30th. Catchable Brown Trout were stocked September 6th and catfish were stocked the week of September 22nd. Change baits if you are not having any luck and move down the shore a few hundred feet. Rob reports that the morning bite is best and limits can be caught in the 20 degree air temps. Later in the morning the trout move to the 14-35 feet in depth. Try yellow colored power bait or power eggs for trout if the spinners don’t work. The gold colored Super Duper is a distant second. Night crawlers are always good bait that can work on most fish.
Lynx also can be an exciting place to fish for carp. Common carp are very strong fighters and will provide excellent table fair. A quick search on the internet will produce tasty recipes for these robust fish. Corn and an assortment of other baits will attract these fish. Lynx can be difficult to fish, if you are not catching anything try moving to a new spot.
MINGUS LAKE – Trout were last stocked the week of October 17th. The best bait is white or pink Powerbait, fished under a bobber or a spinner with a silver blade are doing well. The gate will be locked soon, with an anticipated mid-December locking. The lake is iced over according to reports so be careful if you fish there.
Someone illegally stocked yellow bullhead into Mingus several years ago. These fish compete directly with the trout and keep growth rates very low. If you witness anyone, anywhere, moving fish like bass, bluegill, catfish and stocking them, please report it to our Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700. Illegal stockings cost YOU money!
WATSON – Trout were stocked January 9th. Bring night crawlers if your other baits are not working.
If you fish Watson and are having luck, please e-mail me at email@example.com so I can share your successes with others.
WILLOW CREEK RESERVOIR – Largemouth bass are the predominant species. Shore fishing is difficult due to the aquatic vegetation although the cold temperatures have helped cleared some of that mess. Try top water baits so you can eliminate some of the snagging. If you are in a boat or float tube you can always retrieve your baits without too much difficulty. Try drop shots from shore also. If you fish Willow and are having luck, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can share your successes with others.
(Updated Jan. 30; Editor Don Mitchell, 520-388-4451)
The winter trout stocking season is underway! See the schedule -- bookmark this page for easy access!
Please send me your fishing reports from Southern Arizona! Fishing reports for southern waters can be sent to Don Mitchell, Regional Fisheries Program Manager by email at email@example.com. These reports will then be complied and reported in our weekly fishing reports.
Need ideas on where to go fishing? Try the Department's Fish and Boat Map.
ARIVACA LAKE – Current lake level is 6.45 below the spillway. Launching conditions are fair. As temperatures cool, expect fish to become more active throughout the day. Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.
CLUFF RANCH — Trout stocking is ongoing. Anglers continue to report the fishing to be fair. The pond is down approximately 1.2 below the spillway and there should be no problems with boat launching. Visitors are reminded that it is illegal to obstruct the use of the boat ramp by anglers trying to launch the boats. No parking, standing, sitting, swimming or fishing is allowed on the boat ramp. For lake information call (928) 485-9430.
PATAGONIA — No reported launching problems. Trout stockings are ongoing. The lake is currently full. No recent reports of success.
PARKER CANYON — The lake is 2.76 feet below the spillway. Launching is greatly improved with increased water levels. Trout stocking is ongoing. For future stockings check the schedule here: Winter 2016 - 2017. The bag limit on white amurs is one fish over 30 inches in length. Anglers are asked to immediately release any smaller amurs that they may catch unharmed. Anglers can also contact the Store at the lake for updates on fishing at (520) 455-5847. Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.
PENA BLANCA – Water quality problems continue to be a problem at Pena Blanca Lake and trout stocking is still on hold. All trout scheduled for stocking at Pena Blanca Lake will be sent to Patagonia Lake. Anglers are reminded that all largemouth bass caught must be immediately released alive. Additionally all mercury advisories against the eating of warmwater fish caught at Pena Blanca Lake remains in effect. Future testing will determine if and when these advisories will be lifted. Gasoline engines are restricted to 10 hp or less and boaters using gas motors are asked to be courteous and not create wake problems for others boaters.
RIGGS FLAT LAKE – This lake is closed for the winter.
ROPER LAKE — No recent reports have been received from this location. The lake level is 1.94 feet below the spillway. Launching should be good. Trout stockings will begin soon. Find the schedule here: Winter 2016 - 2017 For lake information contact Roper Lake State Park at (928) 428-6760. Sunfish live or dead is not legal bait at this lake.
ROSE CANYON LAKE – The lake is closed to vehicle access for the winter. Anglers can still access the lake by foot.
LAKE POWELL AND LEES FERRY
“Last report of 2016”
LAKE POWELL -- Water temperature 65-68 degrees, Lake Elevation 3,609; 52 percent full.
Lake Powell fish are now in prime time. Water temperature is in the mid 60’s which means that all fish can basically go anywhere they want to. During summer there is a separation of large and small stripers because big fish need cooler temperatures. Those barriers are now removed.
See the full report from Wayne Gustaveson (www.wayneswords.com).
LEES FERRY –See the full Nov. 4 fishing report from Lees Ferry Anglers.
ALAMO LAKE – Jan. 5 report from Mark Knapp at Alamo Lake State Park:
Well folks, all said and done, the lake came up about 3 feet. It's a far cry from what we need, but we will take it. Plan on launching off the old rental boat area still. The lake looks like a mud hole. Lots of debris washed and floating all over the place. The only thing really biting is catfish. Anytime we get an inflow of water they go nuts and this is no exception. I don't know about shore fishing, but by boat just head up to the northeast side where the river channel is and throw about anything and you should catch a fish. This will only last until the river stops flowing. You have about two, maybe three, days left. It's been cold and colder out here. Plan on dressing very warm. That's about it for now. -- Mark
(Editor Russ Engel, 928-341-4042)
LAKE HAVASU – Lake level 91.5 percent full, 69+ degrees.
See the latest report from www.havasufishing.com.
YUMA AREA PONDS – Trout have returned to the Community lakes Fortuna, Redondo, West Wetlands Pond and Council Ave. Pond in Somerton. See the schedule.
MARTINEZ LAKE -- No report. This tends to be one of the top early-bird bass lakes.
No updates on Parker Strip or Mittry Lake. Please send in your reports to BFishing@AZGFD.gov.
(Updated Jan. 30; Editor Sally Petre, 928-532-2307)
Recommended Waters to Fish
Fishing is good at Patterson Ponds and Silver Creek. Silver Creek is in the catch and release season, which had a parasite outbreak in October, but fishing is now good. Patterson Ponds in St. Johns were stocked Jan. 25 with catchable rainbow trout! All other lakes have unsafe ice and/or are inaccessible. Use extreme caution.
MOGOLLON RIM LAKES
*Skim ice may be present, use caution. Ice coverage is unpredictable with warm days and cold nights. Forest Road 300 (Rim Road) to Woods Canyon Lake and Bear Canyon Lake is closed for the winter.
BEAR CANYON LAKE – Inaccessible. Forest Road 300 (the Rim Road) is closed for the winter as of 1/5/2017.
BLACK CANYON LAKE – Inaccessible. Lake is covered with thin, unsafe ice.
CHEVELON LAKE – Inaccessible. Forest Road 300 (the Rim Road) is closed for the winter as of 1/5/2017. Road in from the north is snow packed due to 48 inches of snow. Ice is thin and unsafe. Some open water.
WILLOW SPRINGS LAKE – Fishing is fair for stocked rainbow trout and tiger trout. No/little ice and the road is open, however, use caution. Temperature are freezing. Ice is thin and unsafe. Road is snow packed.
WOODS CANYON LAKE – Inaccessible. Forest Road 300 (the Rim Road) is closed for the winter as of 1/5/2017. Ice is thin and unsafe. There is some open water.
PINETOP/SHOW LOW/ST. JOHNS LAKES
*Skim ice may be present, use caution. Ice coverage is unpredictable with warm days and cold nights.
FOOL HOLLOW LAKE – Ice covered. Ice is thin and unsafe. The two fishing piers have been disconnected so that winter ice does not damage them, thus, they are not available for shore fishing.
RAINBOW LAKE – Ice covered. Ice is thin and unsafe.
SCOTT RESERVOIR – Ice covered. Ice is thin and unsafe.
SHOW LOW LAKE – Ice covered. Ice is thin and unsafe. The two fishing piers have been disconnected so that winter ice does not damage them, thus, they are not available for shore fishing. The road over the dam is closed for the winter.
WOODLAND LAKE – Ice covered. Ice is thin and unsafe.
PATTERSON PONDS – This is a community fishing water in St. John’s. A regular fishing license or a community fishing license is required to fish here. Channel catfish and sunfish fishing is fair, but trout fishing is good. Catfish were last stocked in October and rainbow trout were just stocked in January 25! The pond daily bag limits in community fishing waters (2 trout; 2 catfish; 5 sunfish) apply.
WHITE MOUNTAIN LAKES
*Skim ice may be present or lakes may be frozen over. The 261 and 273 roads are closed. Forest roads are icy and snowpacked.
BECKER LAKE – Mostly frozen, but ice may come on and off. Ice is unsafe. Becker Lake is open to catch-and-release only for trout, artificial fly and lure only; single barbless hooks only. No bait. No trout may be kept.
BIG LAKE – Inaccessible and ice covered. Ice is still VERY thin and unsafe. During the winter survey on January 25, accessed with snow mobiles, ice was easily broken through just standing on it. Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter. Forest roads from the south are not passable due to deep snow.
CARNERO LAKE – Ice covered with thin, unsafe ice. Forest roads to the lake have deep snow in spots and are not accessible all the way to the lake by vehicle.
CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR – Fishing is poor for trout, but fair for sunfish, bullheads, and bass. No ice.
CONCHO LAKE – Fishing is poor. Skim ice present. The lake is stocked with trout only in the spring, but catfish were stocked in early summer and could still be biting. Try a night crawler on the bottom.
CRESCENT LAKE – Inaccessible and ice covered. Ice is thin, slushy, and easily broken through. Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter.
GREER LAKES (River; Tunnel; Bunch) – All 3 lakes are full or nearly full, and ice covered. The ice is thin and not safe.
HULSEY LAKE – Ice covered but has thin, unsafe ice. The road is snow packed and impassable.
LEE VALLEY LAKE – Inaccessible and ice covered. Ice is thin and unsafe. There is a large layer of slushy snow on top, which is easily broken through. Use caution. Highways 261 and 273 are closed for the winter.
LUNA LAKE – Ice covered with thin, unsafe ice.
LYMAN LAKE – Lyman Lake State Park is open. Fishing is fair for bass, walleye, carp and catfish. Use corn or night crawlers for carp and catfish. No ice.
NELSON RESERVOIR – Mostly ice covered. Fish may have sores from a parasite called Lernaea, however they are safe to eat.
WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS
EAST FORK of the BLACK RIVER – Inaccessible due to snow packed roads.
LITTLE COLORADO RIVER in GREER – Fishing is fair. The stream was last stocked in September. Wild brown trout are also present in the stream. Partially ice covered. Moderate flows.
SHOW LOW CREEK – Fishing is poor. The road over the dam at Show Low Lake is closed for the winter.
SILVER CREEK – Fishing is good. Current regulations are catch and release with artificial flies and lures with single barbless hooks only. A protozoan infection called “Ich” hit rainbow trout in Silver Creek in October, causing significant stress, some mortalities of trout, and poor fishing, however, that bout of infection has passed. Fishing is good! This stream is ice free all year round.
SHEEPS CROSSING/LCR – Inaccessible. Highway 273 is closed for the winter. Frozen over and snow covered.
(Editor Chuck Benedict 928-214-1244)
We have roughly 3 feet of snow up here and the lakes are iced over with unsafe ice. One good thing about all the snow is it should help fill all of the lakes.