White Mountains

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March 31st, 2008
White Mountains

Note: Streams are flowing high. Many lakes are spilling, are very turbid, and are ice-covered to ice-free. Higher elevation lakes are still ice-covered. Lower elevation lakes are ice-covered to ice-free and are slightly turbid to turbid. 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 — This is a fishing hot spot for big trout. The lake is open to artificial lure and fly only, barbless hooks and a two-trout limit. The lake is full and ice-free. The boat ramp is accessible. Try small lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, and Z-rays. Fly-fishers are catching 15- to 18-inch rainbow trout. Try small nymphs such as scuds, Zebra midges, pheasant tails, zug bugs, prince nymphs, wooly worms, dragon fly nymphs, peacock ladies, egg patterns, and brown Montana stone nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors.

BIG LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. 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. Ice fishing is likely poor. Limnology surveys indicate there was very little dissolved oxygen under the ice during January and February, and some improvement in oxygen levels in March but the lake has probably winterkilled. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice. Forest Road’s 117 and 117A are snow packed and not accessible to vehicles. Access to the lake is by snowmobiles only.

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is ice-free and full. The east side boat ramp is accessible and the best ramp to use. The north boat ramp (steep hill) may have soft sand and would be difficult to launch a boat. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners, Z-rays, crankbaits, and Rapalas, flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. There are no motor restrictions on Clear Creek Reservoir.

CONCHO LAKE—Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is ice-free and full. The boat ramp is accessible. Recent netting revealed rainbow trout ranging from 12 to16 inches, with an average length of 13 inches. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, and Super Dupers, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and small nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp gas motors. The water temperature last week was 43 degrees.

CRESCENT LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Ice fishing is likely poor. Recent limnological surveys indicate there is very little dissolved oxygen under the ice and the lake has probably winterkilled. 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 lake is ice-free, full, and spilling. The boat ramps are accessible. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, crankbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers and peacock ladies. Fish around structure such as rocks, tree stumps and fishing piers. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors
The water temperature last week was 54 degrees.

GREER LAKES — Fishing is poor. Bunch and Tunnel Reservoir are ice-free; River Reservoir is 30-percent ice-covered. Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, Z-rays, and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, wooly buggers, and small nymphs. Bunch and Tunnel Reservoirs are open to electric trolling motors only. River Reservoir is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors. Bunch Reservoir’s water temperature last week was 43 degrees, Tunnel Reservoir’s was 41 degrees, and River Reservoir’s was 42 degrees.

HULSEY LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The Forest road is open to the lake. Hulsey Lake is a short hike-in fishery. The lake is 95-percent ice-covered, full and spilling. Check ice thickness before venturing out on the ice. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners, Z-Rays, Super Dupers, and flies such as woolly worms, woolly buggers, Peacock ladies, and small nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. The water temperature last week was 48 degrees.

LEE VALLEY RESERVOIR — The lake is ice-covered. 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 fair. The lake is ice-free, full and spilling. The boat ramp is accessible. Try worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, Z-rays, and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms, wooly buggers, and small nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10 hp. gas motors. The water temperature last week was 48 degrees.

LYMAN LAKE — Fishing is fair. The lake is ice-free, turbid, and almost full. The lake level has been coming up with recent runoff into the lake. Anglers are catching largemouth bass on lures. 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 Region 1 Office in Pinetop at 928-367-4281. There are no motor restrictions on Lyman Lake.

NELSON RESERVOIR — Fishing is poor to fair. The two boat ramps are accessible except for the east boat ramp and road. The lake is ice-free, full, and spilling. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, Super Dupers, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors. The water temperature last week was 46 degrees.

RAINBOW LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The boat ramp is accessible. The lake is full and ice-free. Recent netting has revealed lots of northern pike, bullheads, a few large largemouth bass, and some bluegills. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as Z-rays, spinners, crankbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors. The water temperature this week is 52 degrees.

SCOTT’S RESERVOIR — Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is ice-free, full, and spilling. The boat ramp is accessible. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, crankbaits, Super Dupers, Z-rays, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and prince nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. The water temperature this week is 43 degrees.

SHOW LOW LAKE — Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is ice-free and slightly turbid due to runoff from Show Low Creek. The boat ramp is accessible. Try worms, Power Bait, and salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, crankbaits, lead head jigs, and Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, and peacock ladies. The lake is open to electric trolling motors and/or up to 10hp. gas motors. The water temperature this week is 49 degrees.

SILVER CREEK — Fishing is fair. The stream’s water clarity is slightly turbid. Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is open to catch and release fishing, artificial lure and fly only and single barbless hooks only from Oct. 1 through March 31. The upper section is open to fishing. Try small lures such as Mepps, Panther Martins, and Rooster Tails, and flies such as wooly worms, wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, shrimp patterns, and small beadhead nymphs. Try dry flies such as Adams, parachute Adams, midge and caddis fly patterns. Silver Creek is a spring creek that does not get ice covered during the winter months.

WOODLAND LAKE — The lake is ice-free, full, and spilling. The boat ramp is accessible. Try worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, and small spoons, and flies such as wooly worms or wooly buggers, peacock ladies, and prince nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors only. The water temperature this week is 53 degrees.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:

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

EAST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – The stream is flowing 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 high.

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