Ice-off coming soon at Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Following an excellent winter for ice fishing at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, forecasted temperatures indicate that ice-off is coming soon. “Anglers need to be cautious of quickly changing ice conditions as the weather warms up, causing ice to deteriorate quickly.  Days are getting longer and the shoreline ice will be the first to go.” said John Walrath, Green River Fisheries Biologist. The spring thaw brings with it opportunities for great shore fishing.  “Early ice-off is a great time for anglers to target trout from shore while the backs of bays and boat ramps are still frozen.” Walrath said.
            Fish stocking trucks will begin stocking the reservoir as the ice recedes and lake trout will congregate around boat ramps. Lake trout consume many freshly stocked sport fish during spring.  Anglers may need heavy line as trophy lake trout also cruise the shallows during this time. The number of lake trout less than 28 inches consuming newly stocked sport fish quickly diminish angler opportunities for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee.  “The more stocked fish that survive predation their first year, the better fishing will be for anglers down the road.” Walrath said. When lake trout are caught, continue to check for a tag around the dorsal fin (top fin).  There are many small lake trout still swimming around the reservoir that were tagged, some of these fish are worth $50 if the angler reports the tag to the Department. Tips for catching and cooking lake trout are available here.
            Anglers will also continue to see fisheries managers from the Department along with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducting the creel survey at the reservoir throughout this summer. The reservoir wide creel takes place once every ten years. The surveys began in January along the highways and creel survey locations will shift from the highway to boat ramps starting in May. Boaters are also reminded to renew their boat registrations and make sure they comply with aquatic invasive species decal and inspection requirements.

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