White Mountains

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December 19th, 2007

Note: Heavy winter storms have hit the White Mountains over the last couple weeks, dropping significant rain and snow.  Most streams are flowing high and muddy due to this heavy precipitation.  Lake levels have likely come up considerably with the heavy runoff and may be turbid.  The lakes may also have a thin layer of ice, depending on nighttime temperatures and the amount of inflow.  Forest Service Roads are closed and others are snow packed so drive with caution.

State Highway 261 is closed to Big Lake and Crescent Lake, as well as most interior Forest Service Roads due to a recent snow storm. 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 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will remain closed until the road construction project is complete.    

BECKER LAKE —The lake is ice-covered with a few open water areas. Unsafe ice conditions.  

BIG LAKE — Highway 261 is closed.   

ACCESS: State Highway 261 is closed from Eager. State Highway 273 from the Forest Service-Fort Apache Indian Reservation to Crescent Lake is closed for road construction.  

CARNERO LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.  Forest Roads 117 and 117A are snow packed and many vehicles are getting stuck. Please use caution and common sense. 

CLEAR CREEK RESERVOIR — Fishing is fair for bullheads and sunfish, fair for bass, and poor for trout. Try fishing off the bottom with worms. Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures (spinners, Z-rays, and spoons, crankbaits, spinnerbaits, and Rapalas), and flies (wooly worms or wooly buggers, zug bugs, prince nymphs, and peacock ladies). The northeast boat ramps are usable but the middle boat ramp is steep and has soft sand. There is also an old concrete dam structure across from the middle boat ramp so use caution when motoring on the lake. There are no motor restrictions on the lake when using larger watercraft. Clear Creek Reservoir has largemouth bass, sunfish, black bullheads, and channel catfish.  

CONCHO LAKE— Fishing is poor to fair. The lake is low and weedy. The boat ramp is very low. Small boats, canoes, or float tubes are recommended.   Try worms, meal worms, Power Bait, salmon eggs, and lures such as spinners, spoons, Super Dupers, Z-rays, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and hares ear nymphs. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors.    

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.    
  
FOOL HOLLOW LAKE — Fishing is fair.   The lake is ice-free. All boat ramps are accessible.   Anglers have been catching smallmouth and largemouth bass and crappies at the dam and trout by the southwest boat ramp area.   Try worms, meal worms, salmon eggs, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Super Dupers, Mister Twister worms (chartreuse green, brown or gray with silver specks) on ¼-ounce lead head jigs, crankbaits, and Rapalas, and flies such as peacock ladies, wooly worms and wooly buggers and semi-seal leeches. Boat anglers may want to try trolling lures or flies with an attached worm. Fish near structure such as rocks, trees, weed beds, and fishing piers.  Fool Hollow State Park has excellent camping facilities. Anglers wishing to fish the lake for free must use the southwest side boat ramp and parking area. A fee is charged for use of the other facilities including the east side boat ramp. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors. 

GREER LAKES — All Greer Lakes are ice-covered.  Unsafe ice conditions.    

HULSEY LAKE — Forest roads are snow packed. The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions. 

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 due to recent storms. 

LUNA LAKE — The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions. 

LYMAN LAKE —Fishing is fair. The left boat ramp is accessible.  Anglers have been catching channel catfish on hot dogs, chicken livers, and prepared baits. Largemouth bass are being caught on lures. Try worms, meal worms, catfish prepared baits, and lures such as crank baits, spinner baits, and Rapala’s. 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. Consult the fishing regulations or contact the Arizona Game and Fish Regional office in Pinetop for more information. The lake has no motor restrictions.

NELSON RESERVOIR — The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.  
                
RAINBOW LAKE — The lake is mostly ice-covered with a few open water areas. Unsafe ice conditions.         

SCOTT’S RESERVOIR — The lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.      

SHOW LOW LAKE — Fishing is fair. The lake is ice-free. The lake level has come up after the latest precipitation and was only 2 feet below spill when last checked. Try worms, salmon eggs, mealworms, Power Bait, lures such as spinners, Z-rays, ¼-ounce lead head jigs (chartreuse green, and brown, or gray with silver specks), Rapalas, and flies such as wooly worms and wooly buggers, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, and semi seal leeches for trout.  Shore anglers have been catching trout and walleyes on Rapala’s and night crawlers. Walleyes, trout, and smallmouth bass are being caught by anglers trolling Rapalas and casting jigs with an attached night crawler along rocky shoreline areas early in the morning and in the evening. The lake is open to electric trolling motors or up to 10 hp. gas motors. The store is closed.  Boat rentals are available at request from the Park Ranger, in the campground.   
  
SILVER CREEK — Fishing has been good. Silver Creek on the Arizona Game and Fish Department property is now open to catch and release fishing, artificial lure and fly only and barbless hooks only from October 1 through March 31.  The upper section (big fence boundary) is open to fishing. Try small lures such as Mepps, Rooster Tail, and Panther Martin spinners. Fish upstream or downstream. Fly-fishing anglers may want to try peacock ladies, beadhead black or green wooly buggers, prince nymphs, zug bugs, bead head nymphs, mayfly and caddis fly nymph imitations, and shrimp patterns. Fish your flies upstream and dead drift them downstream or cast your fly downstream and retrieve the fly slowly upstream. Try small dry flies such as Adams, parachute Adams, midge imitations, and caddis fly patterns in sizes #16 or #18 or # 20. Night crawlers, Power Bait, and mealworms work well. The stream was stocked two weeks ago. 

WOODLAND LAKE — the lake is ice-covered. Unsafe ice conditions.

WHITE MOUNTAIN STREAMS:

WEST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – The river is likely running high and turbid after recent heavy rainfall and snow. Ice may also be forming on the stream as flows come down and nighttime temperatures drop well below freezing. Forest Service Roads are snow packed and Highway 261 is closed.

EAST FORK OF BLACK RIVER – The river is likely running high and turbid after recent heavy rainfall and snow. Ice may also be forming on the stream as flows come down and nighttime temperatures drop well below freezing. Forest Service Roads are snow packed and Highway 261 is closed. 

SHEEPS  CROSSING – Not accessible. Highway 273 is closed for the year due to road construction.

LITTLE COLORADO RIVER – GREER – The river is likely running high and turbid after recent heavy rainfall and snow.  Ice may also be forming on the stream as flows come down and nighttime temperatures drop well below freezing. Try worms, meal worms, and salmon eggs, small lures such as spinners and spoons, and flies such as wooly worms, peacock ladies, prince nymphs, zug bugs, and small black, brown or green nymphs.

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