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Cascade Ice Fishing - January 29, 2015

As expected we saw a large increase in the number of anglers this past weekend due to the Hardwater classic ice derby that was taking place on Saturday.  This pressure continued throughout the weekend with a fair number of anglers being observed on Sunday as well.  This week the number of anglers out on the ice decreased with only a few people out fishing mid-week.  Ice conditions continue to remain steady with approximately 8" of ice around the lake.  We’ve been experiencing some warmer temperatures and lows that aren’t getting cold so we’re probably not gaining any ice.  There have been numerous reports of pressure cracks throughout the reservoir with open water gaps.  The predominant one being noted is around Sugarloaf.  As always caution should be taken anytime travelling out on the ice with an atv or snowmobile.

The fishing over the weekend increased significantly with a lot of bigger size perch being brought in.  With that being said there was a still a lot of people that were reporting very little success.  The winning perch in the Ice derby came in just under 2 lbs.  Although  I saw a lot of nice fish being harvested there wasn’t a lot of extremely large fish.  A majority of the bigger fish being caught over the weekend were in the 13" range with the occasional fish over 14".  There were also several nice trout taken over the weekend, but as with the perch the fishing was slow and very inconsistent.  The majority of the pressure was seeing around Sugarloaf and with that pressure came the best success from around the lake.  Those that were on ATV’s and snowmobiles were about to search out where the fish were and able to catch a reasonable amount of nice fish.

Hopefully we’ll get some colder temperatures and the ice will remain thick for the remainder of the winter.  With warm daytime temperatures and no snow on the ice, the ice is very slick and some sort of traction should be used when walking around on it.

Castle Rocks State Park Fishing Pond - Coming the Spring of 2015

Ground breaking for the Castle Rocks Park fishing pond.

Idaho Parks and Recreation along with Idaho Department of Fish and Game are teaming-up to bring you one of the most scenic fishing ponds in Idaho.  Ground was recently broken in the park for a fishing pond that will be stocked with rainbow trout by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game.

 

Wallace Keck, Park Superintendent and Doug Megargle Regional Fish Manager are collaborating on the project as a way to provide better customer service for anglers visiting the park and living near the town of Almo.  This will also allow the Fish and Game to stock fish in an area where they are more likely to be harvested by anglers.  It will also help to protect Yellowstone cutthroat trout found in Almo Creek by providing more angler opportunities in the pond.

Cascade Reservoir Fishing Condition Report January 23, 2015

This week's ice conditions improved from last week with ice reported between 6-8" everywhere around the lake with some spots with 10+ inches. With that being said we also had a warm spelled sweep through the area on Sunday with rain and warm temps causing the snow that was on top of the ice to melt.  Since we have had cold temps the last couple of days that has frozen solid adding another layer of ice to what was already accumulated.  Since there is no snow on the ice, the conditions are very slick so caution should be had.  There have been a large number of people taking ATV’s and Snowmobiles out on the ice, although caution should be used when taking heavier equipment out on the ice.

The pressure this past week peaked on Saturday which saw a lot of anglers scattered throughout the entire lake both North and South.  But with the warm spell on Sunday the fishing pressure dropped quickly with very few anglers being seen on Sunday as well as through the first part of this week.  Even with the increased pressure on Saturday catch rates were still relatively slow.  Once again perch angler reports of mostly smaller fish and very few quality sized fish coming out.  The trout fishing on the South end of the lake near the city boat ramp and Blue Heron boat ramp has proved to be somewhat productive with some nice size trout being taken early this week.

This coming Saturday (1/24) the Hardwater Classic ice fishing derby is being held so pressure through the later part of this week into the weekend should increase significantly.  Hopefully with this increased fishing pressure more quality size fish will be found and anglers will have a better idea as to where to focus their effort.  Until then the best of luck to anyone out in search of perch through the ice.

Related to ice fishing, here is a picture from South Korea of what real ice fishing competition looks like.

Horsethief Reservoir Kids Ice Fishing Event 2015

Last weekend, the third annual Horsethief Reservoir Kids Ice Fishing Event was held.  This is a great way to introduce your kids to the sport of ice fishing and get out of your house in January.  Here are some of the statistics for the event:

-450-500 in attendance
-200 fish cleaned (most of those cooked)
-500 cups of cocoa served
-400 hotdogs, chips, waters served
-200 rods, 100 ice skimmers, 225 platt buckets, and a ton of lures and bait given away to kids.
- A mess of duck calls and hats given to each kid who caught a fish.

Visit the Regional Facebook Page to view the pictures and mark your calendar for the second weekend in 2016 for next year's event!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.827968213965306.1073741831.221120101316790&type=1

 

Youth Ice Fishing Day at Horsethief Reservoir

Lots of smiles and fish could be found at the 6th Annual Youth Ice Fishing Day at Horsethief Reservoir over the weekend.  More than 450 eager anglers attended the event where 200 fish were cleaned, 500 cups of cocoa and 400 hotdogs were served, 200 rods and other gear were given away to young anglers.  Photos of the event can be seen on Idaho Youth Outdoors Facebook page.

Clearwater Steelhead 1/20/15

Tuesday was the first day the Clearwater steelhead fishery was sampled this past week. The Ahsahka Check Station was visited by many happy anglers who had fished the North Fork that day. One shore angler had kept his limit of 3 steelhead and had fished for less than 3 hours. The largest fish checked for the week was a 37 inch female caught by an angler fishing from the Ahsahka Bridge. Anglers fishing the North Fork on Friday and over the weekend were not as successful as those who fished on Tuesday.

Boat anglers fishing the main Clearwater River in the Orofino area on Friday had a very successful day. Multiple anglers who obtained their limit of steelhead were checked by creel personnel. Heavy rain on Saturday caused the Clearwater to become high and muddy on Sunday, but catch rates did not seem to be effected. Most of Sunday’s effort occurred between Cherry Lane and Orofino. - Amanda Schmidt, Fisheries Technician, Idaho Fish & Game