Colorado River Northwest

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January 28th, 2009

LAKE POWELL — By Wayne Gustaveson, Utah Division of Wildlife: It has been a great fishing season but this is my last regular report for the year. Next week we head up lake for annual gill net sampling, so I won’t be able to provide a new reports from my other office – which is Lake Powell. There will be incidental updates through the winter as news worthy events occur.

The yearly summary is very bright. Shad made a tremendous comeback in 2008. They fed the rising generation of game fish left over after the old generation passed out of the picture in shad-poor 2007. Young stripers grew rapidly, doubling in weight from 1.5 to 3 pounds from spring to fall. Some trophy stripers remain and continue to pack on pounds but the bulk of the population weighs in at 3-4 pounds and is primed to produce a bumper crop of stripers in 2009.

Striped bass hatched in 2009 will survive on plankton early in the year and may eat some shad in summer and fall if shad are abundant. The main predatory impact of the new striped bass overpopulation will not be felt until 2010. Striped bass fishing in 2009 will be great for large numbers of 4-pound fish. If shad are scarce, bait fishing will be excellent. If shad are abundant in 2009, then stripers will grow to 6-pounds before the predation induced forage crash occurs in 2010.

Bass, particularly largemouth, were treated to a forest of habitat as the lake rose 45 feet in 2008. Brush that had grown around the lake edge was flooded providing dense cover for largemouth, crappie and bluegill. Copious shad were added to the fish forest resulting in lush habitat and feeding conditions seldom seen in this lake.

Smallmouth hung out on the rocks at the edge of the habitat forest feeding on shad at a leisurely rate and loving it. These conditions were optimum for all sport fish. Bluegill, crappie, walleye, and catfish all excelled. The perfect mix of food and cover was to the liking of all participants, perhaps with one exception.

Here is what’s happening. Stripers are feeding quickly during their prime feeding times. At first light and last light there is a brief flurry of feeding. Some of it is on top when five fish splash in unison. These fish are as susceptible to angling as are any stripers when they decide to eat. They grab anything close to their mouth when in feeding mode. The event lasts for about 20 minutes and then its over.

This quick boil is almost impossible to find by running around the lake looking for boils because it is of short duration and happens early when light is not adequate to illuminate a few splashes. Those that have been successful are camped near the action and waiting when the sky lightens in the morning. Once a feeding location is known, an angler could be waiting at the right spot to get 5 quick fish. Find them one day and return to the spot the next for consistent action.

During daylight, fishing is tough with only a random boil that could happen anytime, any place and then not repeat. Spooning is good if a school is found but they move quickly out of the zone. Cooler temperatures will improve spooning results as shad move deep. Do not expect that to happen until November.

Trolling is working near the inflows where shad abundance is high. At Hite and upper San Juan use a deep diver to get down 20 feet and near the lazily moving stripers.
For this week the best bet is to fish for bass around shad schools located in the backs of many brushy coves. Surface lures tossed near brush (with shad) are being whacked with regularity morning and evening. During the day plastic tubes and drop shot shad baits are working on the deep water side of brushy shad coves. Fish 25 feet for best action on keeper sized fish.
When fish are fat and fussy the strategy is to make them mad. Shad colored baits blend win well with thousands of shad. Sometime the wild colors of a fire tiger crankbait trigger a reaction when shad colors will not. Go bright and see if the fishing fortunes improve.


LEES FERRY – Fishing report courtesy Lees Ferry Anglers. Today’s Fly Fishing: We have had no guides out for the past few days

The river is still fishing well, there are a few anglers out there but, I am getting no face to face reports.

Trout have been spotted on the redds but, only in a few areas that I know of. Last year the spawn took place in deeper water and were harder to locate. If you know this river well you can find em’.

The last few reports that I received were positive, anglers are catching a fair number of healthy trout and we have clear weather ahead so, I see no reason that the fishing would suddenly slow down.

If you have been reading my reports then you know I won’t feed you any BULL, I tell what I know.

The folks that are fishing the river are not headed this way just to pass along a report to me to give to you. The fishing is good, the weather could not be better. What else can I say? I am really just the middle man, and I don’t see anyone on either side of me. I can tell you this, come on up and fish you will not be disappointed! T

Fishing Synopsis and Forecast by Terry Gunn 11/12/08
Recent Fishing Conditions: At a time when just about everything you read is bearing bad news, it gives me great pleasure to bring you some good news: The fishing at Lees Ferry is not just good, it’s great!

The fish are in the best shape and size that I have seen in several years and everything points to this being a trend that I expect to continue. Fishing is just going to get better and better as 2009 arrives….  Isn’t it great to hear some good news for a change!

Not only is the fishing upriver great but rumor has it that the Walk-in area is fishing extremely well. One other thing; there has been no one here…come up (you can probably book a guide for tomorrow) and see the best fishing in years and you will likely have the river to yourself. Read on for the full story.


LAKE MEAD – Lake Mead water levels continue to creep up to around 1,111 feet above msl.  Fishing remains on the slow side from Temple Bar up through Greggs Basin.  An occasional striper is being caught down below 40-feet on anchovies.
Launching conditions at South Cove have remained nearly the same for the last three months.  The new concrete ramp the National Park Service just completed is two lanes with cones marking the edges. Use caution not to go off the sides of the metal extensions at either side. National Park Service is working to keep the ramp open.


Important notice: With the recent 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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.


LAKE MOHAVE –  The lake level is around 639 feet above msl is the current elevation.  Fishing has been slow here as well as at Mead but the stripers that do get caught are fat and happy.   Lots of bass and bluegill located on fish habitat in 10-15 ft.  As the aquatic vegetation has died off, the fish have consolidated around submerged trees and brush.  I have been getting some reports of 5-15 lb stripers being caught in the area of Katherine’s landing.

Biologists from both Arizona Game and Fish Department and Nevada Division of Wildlife have continued to install fish habitat in both Carp Cove and Box Cove.  The largemouth, 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 mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Where:
Lake Mojave, Katherines Landing
When:
01/03/09
Caught:
6 Strippers 5 to 11 pounds
Technique:
Drift fishing in the wind using anchovies.
Comments:
Fish were caught within an hour while we drift fished in high winds Saturday Afternoon.
Name:
Gary DuPont

Important notice: With the recent 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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.
Angler report:

Where: Lake Mojave, Katherines Landing
When: 01/03/09
Caught: 6 Strippers 5 to 11 pounds
Technique: Drift fishing in the wind using anchovies.
Comments: Fish were caught within an hour while we drift fished in high winds Saturday Afternoon.
Name: Gary DuPont

WILLOW BEACH – Trout are stocked every Friday.  Fishing has been pretty good for trout.    Most of the success has been coming from or around the new pier. Try using green Power Worms, or salmon eggs.  The striper fishing has been fair.
Important notice: With the recent 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. If you fish Willow beach and are having luck, please e-mail me at mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.
For more information, go to the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s web pages at www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

TOPOCK MARSH – Water level is going down for the winter, so be careful while launching.  The fishing for crappie has picked up a little, but is still on the slow side.  Golden shores and Game and Fish held a kids fishing clinic at five mile landing on Saturday  October  11th.  This is the second year this event has been held.  The kids had fun.  Some catfish and bass were caught.

Game and Fish biologists surveyed the Marsh starting on the week of Jan. 15.  The largemouth bass population was observed to be very healthy, as well as channel catfish.  Crappie were also present, but in smaller numbers.

You can access the marsh by boat at North Dike, Catfish Paradise, and Five-Mile Landing. All three also provide plenty of area for shoreline fishing too. 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.

Important notice: With the recent 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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

COLORADO RIVER BELOW DAVIS DAM –The striper bite has been slow.    Trout were last stocked on December 17th and 18th.  Trout are stocked once a month at both Davis camp and the Riverside.  Look for the trout fishing to be good immediately following the stocking.

Water levels on the river fluctuate, so be careful. 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 mchmiel@azgfd.gov so I can share your successes with others.

Important notice: With the recent 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 www.azgfd.gov or visit http://100thmeridian.org/.

One Response to “Colorado River Northwest”

  1. need info on renting boats from katherines landing.

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