Franklin County Lakes & Invasive Species Update

A big story this spring in Franklin County has been the threat to close access to lakes because of the concern of invasive mussels. The situation seems to be constantly evolving, but here is the most current information as we have heard it. The whole situation is very confusing, so interpret this information as you wish, hopefully things are clarified here shortly.

All Franklin County Reservoirs: No ballast compartment boats allowed (wake board boats)

Twin Lakes : $5 launching fee, all watercraft using Twin Lakes must have been recently inspected by an inspection station operated by and for the ISDA and have in its possession written certification. You have to stop at Twin Lakes e to show this.

Glendale Reservoir: The barricades will be open tomorrow May 15 at 7:00 a.m. A verification checkpoint will be staffed 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm The cost for verification per watercraft will be $10.00 for Franklin county residents and $20.00 for out of county. The license plate of the tow vehicle and driver license will prove residency. No cash accepted just debit/credit cards and local checks.
The verification staff will be asking for proof of a ISDA inspection form/passbook for any watercraft that has left the county AND a 2016 invasive sticker attached to vessel or Idaho boat registration. The ISDA form must then be displayed on the dashboard of tow vehicle. County residents need to visit the ISDA station within 5 days of launching or have an ISDA trailer/boat orange tag.

ISDA stations are open all daylight hours. One is located at Highway 91 in Franklin City. Others at state line roads throughout Idaho.”

These are the two main lakes we have heard information about. You can safely assume that all lakes owned by the Twin Lakes Canal company will have these regulations in place.As of this writing, nothing has been posted or made known to us about Treasureton Reservoir.

Speaking of Treasureton…… For those who fish Treasureton, this is a big year for the lake. For several years the Fish and Game has been monitoring the situation at the lake with illegally introduced Largemouth Bass. There is talk of poisoning the reservoir this fall and starting over. We have been talking to biologist Dave Teuscher about this and have mixed feelings. Here is a message from Dave regarding the situation;

“We have been considering a treatment since bass were illegally introduced about 10 years ago. As you know, we have many bass fisheries in Franklin County and Treasureton Reservoir is managed as a trophy trout water. I am preparing a data summary for the reservoir that shows the changes that have occurred in the fishery and what actions IDFG has completed to limit bass expansion (e.g., no harvest or size limit on bass and moving bass from Treasureton to other bass fisheries).

We plan to have that summary done in the next week or so. Please check back with me for a copy.

Prior to making a final decision, we will hold a meeting in Preston to discuss options. I will also be trying to meet with the irrigation company to get their input. The irrigation company has been excellent to work with and very supportive of the fishery.”

We will be sure to update conditions as they progress, as well as when this meeting will take place. Dropping an email to the Idaho Fish and Game would be a great way to voice your opinion as well.

 

Henry’s Lake 5-16-16

The opener is just 12 days away and we have received quite a few calls from folks wondering how the fishing will be this year. From what we have heard from the fish and game as well as current water levels, there is no reason not to be optimistic. Last fall, people were finally starting to catch some of the nicer fish the lake is known for with some consistency. The ice came off the lake early this year, so focus on water deeper than you typically would on the opener. Fish should be hanging in that 6-15ft range and should be hungry. Leeches dominate early season fishing so be sure to have a large assortment of leeches in different sizes and colors to make sure your prepared. I would make sure you have some california leeches sz 6, purple showgirls size 4, black mohair leeches in sz 8, and brown and black crystal buggers in sz 8. Call us at the shop with any questions you may have!

here is a little blurb from the fish and game about the spring gillnetting up at the lake “Henrys Lake spring netting is complete. Although the fish per net was below objective, there are sufficient numbers to provide good catch rates. Relative weight or how fat the fish are is improved. Lake conditions look favorable and it should be a good year to catch that fish of a lifetime. Many thanks to University of Idaho graduate students and BYU/Idaho biology students for participating this year.”

Stillwater 5-16-16

Not a whole lot has changed from our previous stillwater post except damsel nymphs are starting to become more active on the bottom of some of our lower elevation lakes. Water temps on most area reservoirs is hovering in the 55-60 degree range, so if we can get a string of warm weather days things should really get going. Some of the best fishing of the year is when damsel nymphs become active on the bottom and begin moving around. This doesn’t always mean you will see the adults, but having plenty of damsel nymphs on you in the next couple weeks would be smart. Fish these nymphs close to the bottom in 4-15 ft of water either by sinking line or indicator and hang on……….

Henry’s Fork 5-16-16

Now is the time for fishing big bugs on the Henry’s Fork! Fishing from Ashton dam down to the Chester backwaters has been the most productive with Salmonflies out in force. Warm River to Ashton has been producing as well. Look for the hatch to continue upriver through lower mesa in the coming days. Chubby Chernobyl’s in size 6, Dornan’s Water Walker in size 6 & 8, Rollin Stones in size 4, CFO Ant’s in size 6 have all been great flies. Consider adding a smaller rubberleg dropper (size 8 or 10) below your dry fly as well. Call us at the shop with any questions you have! Get out there, now is the time!

Stillwater 5-4-16

Fishing is starting to pick up on all area reservoirs open to fishing. Daniels, Chesterfield, Springfield, Hawkins, etc…. Most good fishing has been on indicators fishing with Chironomids in the deeper water. Focus on water around the 10-20 ft range, start on the bottom and work your way up from there. Fish will often be suspended this time of year to intercept chironomid pupa on their way to the surface. Patterns like the chromie size 12-14, black sally 12-14, summer duck pupa 12-14, and the bungie buzzers in 12 have been effective. Leech fisherman are still finding some action fishing shallow early and late and out deep during the day. Use an intermediate in the shallow stuff and a type III out in the deeper water. Any dark leech patterns should produce well. Fishing should only continue to improve as the water warms up so be sure to check back often for reports.

Main Stem Snake River 11-24-15

Flows throughout the river are somewhat below normal for the time of year, and access for walk-in and wade fishing is plentiful. Float fishing is also practical as long as boat launch facilities are maintained for winter conditions. Presenting streamer patterns this time of year is the way to encounter large brown and rainbow trout as well as a few cutthroat.

South Fork 11-24-15

By December 1st the South Fork Road will close to motorized vehicles not far above where the road intersects with the Kelly Canyon Road above Table Rock. This closure protects wintering big game. It will remain legal to ski along the road to access the river. With the low winter maintenance flow (currently 887cfs at Irwin and 1290 cfs at Heise) there are an almost a limitless number of locations to walk in  and wade to fish along the river. Presenting streamers will provide the best chance for encountering the largest trout, but with midges being active during better weather some chances for fishing riffles will happen.

Small Streams 11-24-15

Fishing on a few of our small streams remains practical this time of year. But road conditions can determine whether it is practical to try certain places. For sure we will get enough snow to close some roads until springtime, but a few could remain open. These can become difficult because of daytime warming after nighttime freezing. So consider that, if you must try a location where roads are not usually well-maintained, it may be best to depart while roads are frozen and return after they freeze up.

Henry’s Fork 11-24-15

Two closures will be made after November 30th: the river in Harriman State Park (Last Chance to Riverside) and from Ashton Dam down to Vernon Bridge (second bridge below Ashton Dam). Until then presenting midge life cycle patterns is a great way to fish the river in Harriman State Park, and presenting streamers is the best way to encounter the big trout between Ashton Dam and Vernon Bridge.  Better Hurry! With low flow out of Island Park Dam, presenting streamers is a great way to fish just below down to the Buffalo River, but be ready for winter conditions.  Cross Country skis can get you into the Tubs area where big rainbows are concentrating. If you try there, for sure you will need waders, and vibram soles will be better that felt soles (same applies to Box Canyon)! There is less snow along the lower river where presenting streamers is also the name of the game with some action available from fish feeding on midges.