White Mountains

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January 31st, 2008
White Mountains

Note: Streams are flowing very high with recent precipitation. Many lakes are spilling, are very turbid, and are ice-covered to ice-free. Higher elevation lakes are still ice-covered. Lower elevation lake conditions can change from day to day and have unsafe ice. Forest roads are closed. State Highway 261 is closed to Big Lake and Crescent Lake, as well as most interior Forest roads. State Highway 273 on the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest is undergoing reconstruction and realignment and the following closures are in effect. State Highway 273 from the Forest and Fort Apache Indian Reservation boundary to Crescent Lake is closed to all traffic, including snowmobiles, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will remain closed until the road construction project is complete. Snowmobilers should use Forest Road 249 from Williams Valley to Big Lake and Crescent Lake.

BECKER LAKE —The lake is 95-percent ice-covered with a few small open water areas near the shoreline. Unsafe ice conditions.

BIG LAKE — Highway 261 is closed from Eager.

ACCESS: State Highway 273 from the Forest Service-Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Crescent Lake is closed for road construction and is also closed to snowmobiles. Snowmobilers should use Forest road 249 from Williams Valley to Big Lake and Crescent Lake.

CARNERO LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice. Forest Roads 117 and 117A are snow packed. Access to the lake is by snowmobiles only.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

CONCHO LAKE—The lake is 95-percent ice-covered, low, and weedy. Unsafe ice conditions.

CRESCENT LAKE — Highway 261 is closed from Eager. Highway 273 from Forest Service-Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Crescent Lake is closed for road construction and is also closed to snowmobiles. Snowmobilers should use Forest road 249 from Williams Valley to Crescent Lake and Big Lake.

FOOL HOLLOW LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The west side boat ramp is temporarily closed due to extreme high water. The east side boat ramp is accessible. All fishing piers and walkways are under water. The lake is full, spilling, and ice-free. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, Super Dupers, crankbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers and semi-seal leeches. Fish habitat (juniper trees) were placed at four locations in the southern part of the lake. These trees are marked with a fish habitat buoy. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp gas motors.

GREER LAKES — All Greer lakes are ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice. Bunch Reservoir is 100-percent ice-covered, has 12 inches of ice, and is 70-percent full. One ice fisherman last Friday was catching rainbow trout on a jig with attached salmon eggs through the ice out from the boat ramp. Tunnel Reservoir is 100-percent ice-covered and 60-percent full. River Reservoir is 100-percent ice-covered and 80-percent full.

HULSEY LAKE — Forest roads are snow packed and access is by snowmobile only. The lake is ice-covered. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR — Access to the lake is closed.

Access: State Highway 273 from Sunrise Lake to Crescent Lake is closed for road construction and Highway 261 from Eager is closed. Both roads are closed to snowmobiles.

LUNA LAKE — Fishing is poor. The lake is 95-percent ice-covered with a few open water areas. The lake is full and spilling. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice. The ice thickness is about 10 inches.

LYMAN LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The boat ramps are accessible but the lake has some ice cover at the bottom of the ramps. The lake is 45-percent ice-covered with scattered open water areas. Unsafe ice conditions. Try worms, Power Bait, catfish stink baits, and lures such as spinners, crankbaits, and Rapalas.

The Lyman Lake recreation area is managed by Lyman Lake State Park and camping is available. There are also some new cabins for rent.

There is a fish consumption advisory here, so check with the State Parks Office at the lake for details. Also contact the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Regional Office in Pinetop at (928) 367-4281. There are no motor restrictions on Lyman Lake.

NELSON RESERVOIR — The lake is 100-percent ice-covered, nearly full but not spilling over the dam. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice. Unsafe ice conditions.

RAINBOW LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is full, spilling, and is ice-free. The boat ramp and parking lot is under water. Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as Z-Rays, spinners, spinnerbaits, crank baits, Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

SCOTT’S RESERVOIR — The lake is full, spilling, and is partially ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

SHOW LOW LAKE — The lake is full, spilling, muddy, and 20-percent ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions. Water level at the boat ramp area is very high and launching boats may be difficult. Try worms, salmon eggs, and Power Bait. Since the lake is muddy, lures and flies may not work very well. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.

SILVER CREEK — Silver Creek is currently closed to fishing for safety reasons due to a weekend rain/snow storm. The creek is overflowing all the way to Bourdan Ranch Road. When stream flows return to normal fishing should be fair. Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is open to catch and release fishing, artificial lure and fly only and barbless hooks only from October 1 through March 31.

WOODLAND LAKE — The lake is full, spilling and is partially ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:

WEST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – The stream is flowing very high. Forest roads are snow packed and Highway 261 and 273 are closed.

EAST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – The stream is flowing very high. Forest roads are snow packed and Highway 261and 273 are closed.

SHEEPS CROSSING – Not accessible. Highway 273 is closed for the year due to road construction and an area closure is still in effect around Sheeps Crossing, including snowmobiles.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER – GREER – The stream is flowing very high.

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