Late in the fall of 2015, Horsethief Reservoir was drained and treated with a chemical to remove all remaining fish so a rainbow trout fishery could be re-established. Once the treatment was completed, the valve on the dam was closed and the reservoir began to refill.
As of the first week in April, the reservoir is about 1/2 full and is continuing to rise. At this time, the water level is about 50' below the end of the boat ramp. Hatchery rainbow trout will be stocked by the end of April to replenish this popular fishery.Watch our website for details on the actual stocking date and size of fish.
It's not uncommon for a dam that's over 100 years old to require maintenance. Within the next few weeks Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game in cooperations with Idaho Parks and Recreation will be notifying anglers, park users and landowners that lake levels at Winchester Lake will be falling this spring so we can repair a safety siphon and excavate an explorative hole in front of the spillway. Findings from the test hole will dictate whether additional work is necessary. If more work is needed, the lake could remain drawn down from several weeks to the entire summer. All work is being coordinated with the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources and their Dam Safety experts.
There could also be traffic delays on State Highway 95 alternate Route to Winchester, Idaho.
Joe DuPont, Clearwater Fisheries Manager, encourages anglers to join the discussion on how to manage this year's Chinook Salmon fisheries. The public meeting is in Lewiston on February 24, 2016. Meetings are also being held in Orofino on February 22 and Riggins on February 23. Check the press release for more details.
In a tribute to Valentine’s Day, Idaho Fish and Game has released a short video about love in the wild. Dancing, mating calls, males chasing females, grooming, walks on the beach - it has it all.
Idaho Fish and Game commissioners on Thursday 2/4, postponed a decision to offer big-game tags for auction until their March 9-11 meeting in Boise to allow more time for the public to comment on the proposal.
The extended comment period will close March 4th.
If you want to beat cabin there are great opportunities. Here are some random angling reports from the past week. Some are typical fishing spots for this time of year, but others may cause you to say, "why didn't I think of that?"
Cascade is "spotty" at best. People are catching a few large perch and rainbow trout through the ice. If you are looking for qualilty and not quantity - Poison Creek is a good spot. Sugarloaf has produced a few more trout but you need a snowmachine to access the reservoir.
Payette Lake as been yielding lake trout. I've seen several in the 20" - 30" range. Jig just off the bottom in deeper water areas (upper 2/3 of the lake). Be careful on the edge of the ice because it is still a little soft.
Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir has produced nice trout through the ice. Fish the bays, such as Gray's Landing with bait. Anglers are finding fish in 10' - 12' of water.
Magic Reservoir is fishing much like Cascade. Fishing has been "spotty" with some anglers being "skunked." Fish bait about 10 - 12' deep for best results.
LIttle Wood Reservoir is a fishery that has yielded nice catches of rainbow trout with most anglers reporting limits followed by catch-and-release action. You need a snowmachine to access the reservoir.
Warm Lake has been good fishing with several reports of anglers catching limits of rainbow trout. Again, you need a snowmobile. Use eggs, corn, worms or maggots for great results.
Mackay Reservoir is a great winter fishery - if you don't mind a slight breeze. Locals are catching rainbow, cutthroat and an occasional perch using bait.
Bank Anglers and Open Water:
C.J. Strike near Air Force Ramp and Cottonwood Boat Launch have both been reported as great locations to catch rainbow trout and perch. Anglers are reporting bait and lures both yielding great results. Lures (e.g. Dare Devil, Rooster tail) have been effective for rainbow trout.
Arrowrock and Lucky Peak have both been good from the bank. Rainbow trout limits are common using mostly bait (worms, corn, etc.).
This video explains how wildlife biologists have expanded their efforts to understand the disease with the hope of one day helping wild sheep repopulate the western landscape.
Learn more about this research and funding at ...
A closer look at Idaho's bighorn sheep conservation work.