Spokane, WA Weather

Friday, December 23, 2011

CO Ice Fishing Opportunities Update Dec.16, 2011

CO Division of Wildlife

Recommended waters, stocking & safety

 Over the past 10 years, ice fishing has grown more popular. Almost 25% of all Colorado anglers wet lines through the ice between December and late February, according to the 2004 Statewide Angler Survey. The use of portable fishing shelters, electronic fish locators, and new and old bait types have increased angler success. In addition, through its late-fall stocking program, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) Hatchery Program has helped to ensure there are plenty of fish to catch.

Don’t hesitate to contact local tackle shops and state parks for up-to-the-minute reports on fishing conditions.
For more details about fishery management at waters across Colorado, please see our Fishery Survey Summaries page.

NOTE OF CAUTION: On all lakes, be aware of the ice conditions, especially in those waters below 8000’ in elevation. The freeze-melt-freeze conditions in recent weeks can cause ice to be unstable. It is better to be safe than sorry. Check local contacts for up-to-date ice conditions and please read the additional information regarding being safe on the ice.

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Ice Fishing Opportunities

For more Information on fishing conditions in your area, please contact your local CPW Office.
NORTHEAST REGION  (last updated 12/9/11)

Antero Reservoir: This 2200 acre impoundment is located north of US Highway 24 between Antero Junction and the town of Hartsel. Ice conditions are improving but extra caution is advised. Currently, catch rates are moderate. Rainbow trout are averaging 14-18” with an occasional larger fish being seen. Brown trout, cutthroat trout, splake and brook trout are also present. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, please contact the Division of Wildlife Northeast Region Service Center (303-291-7227), Hondo Arms (719-836-7235), or The Jefferson Market (719-839-2389).

Aurora Reservoir: This 820 acre impoundment is located on Quincy Avenue, one mile east of Gun Club Road. The potential for nice rainbow trout and large walleyes is good here. Check out the fishery survey summary for more information. This early in the season ice conditions can be unsafe!  As of December 9, the back portions of Senac Bay and the Marina Cove have 1-2” of ice.  The main part of the reservoir is still open, and some nice trout have been caught from the dam. For updated boating conditions, contact Aurora Reservoir Park (303-690-1633).

Bear Creek Reservoir: This 205 acre impoundment is located on Morrison Road, just east of C-470 in Lakewood. Fish that can be caught include saugeye over 20” and rainbow trout. Check out the updated fishery survey summary for more information. This early in the season ice conditions can still be unsafe! As of December 9, the lake has open water and some ice near the shorelines. . For updated ice conditions, contact Bear Creek Lake Park (303-697-6159).

Boyd Lake: This 1700 acre reservoir, located in Loveland, also serves a state park. The lake is closed to boating for the season.  Skim ice has formed, but the lake is not safe for ice angling yet. The fish survey summary for Boyd has been updated to reflect the prospects for the 2012 season. Nearly 30,000 trout (10 icnhes) were stocked this fall, angler simply need to be patient for safe conditions.  In addition, yellow perch numbers remain high. For additional updates contact Boyd Lake State Park (970-669-1739).

Chambers Lake: This 250 acre impoundment is located seven miles east of the top of Cameron Pass on Highway 14. Chambers offers opportunities to catch cutthroat, rainbow and lake trout through the ice. Kokanee salmon are present as well. Expect lake trout 16-18” though much larger fish are present as well. The most recent cold spell should get the ice into condition for fishing but watch for thin areas and poor quality grey ice that often forms at Chambers and be attentive to changing conditions. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Fort Collins DOW office (970-472-4300).

Chatfield Reservoir: This 1,100 acre impoundment is located on South Wadsworth Boulevard- about 0.5 miles south of C-470. Fish which can be caught include rainbow trout 15-18”, walleye over 24”, smallmouth bass, bluegill and black crappie. Check out the updated fishery survey summary for more information. This early in the season ice conditions can be unsafe! As of December 9, the lake has 1-2” of ice in Kingfisher Bay, the south end of the main reservoir and the north boat ramp cove.  The lake has open water in the northern half. For updated boating conditions, contact Chatfield State Park (303-791-7275).

Cherry Creek Reservoir: This 800 acre impoundment is located just east of I-225 and south of Parker Road. Fish that can be caught include rainbow trout, walleye over 24”. Check out the updated fishery survey summary for more information. This early in the season ice conditions can be unsafe! As of 12/7, the reservoir has open water and some portions of 1-2” ice. For updated boating conditions, contact Cherry Creek State Park (303-699-3860).

Cowdrey: This 80 acre reservoir is located along Highway 125, seven miles north of Walden. The lake is entirely frozen with 8" of ice.  With a couple seasons without a winterkill, Cowdrey has the potential to produce some bigger fish this ice fishing season. Expect rainbows, cuttbows and the occasional brook trout mostly between 12” and 16”.  This is a great place to take kids for success. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the North Park Chamber of Commerce (970-723-4600).

Delaney Buttes: This State Wildlife Area is located 10 miles west of Walden. Please be aware of the special regulations that exist for fishing this property. Ice conditions are good with ice around 8". Expect to find smaller rainbows and browns at East Delaney (65 ac.), rainbows and snake river cutthroats in the 14-16” range at South Delaney (150 ac.) and larger browns that tend to be a bit more difficult to catch at North Delaney (165 ac.)   Please refer to your fishing regulation brochure for special regulations. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Lake John Resort (970-723-3226).

Elevenmile Reservoir: This 3400 acre impoundment is located south of US Highway 24 between Wilkerson Pass and the town of Hartsel. As of 12/7, ice conditions are very unstable.  Once ice condition stabilize, anglers can expect Elevenmile Reservoir to produces rainbow trout in the 14-20” range with 10 pounders caught each winter. Fishing for brown trout will be slower than for rainbows and cutthroat. Kokanee fishing is slow.  For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact Elevenmile State Park (719-748-3401).

Evergreen Lake: This 42 acre impoundment is located just upstream of downtown Evergreen, on State Route 74 (Evergreen Parkway). Fish that can be caught include rainbow trout, brown trout, and an occasional tiger musky. As of December 9, the lake has 6” of ice.  Try wax worms or meal worms on an ice fly.

Georgetown Lake: This 54 acre impoundment is located on I-70 just north of the town of Georgetown. Fish that can be caught include rainbow trout and brown trout. As of December 9, the lake has 5-7” of ice.  Some nice brown trout have been caught there within the past week.  Be careful of the ice near the current area north from the bridge toward the spillway.

Hohnholz Lakes: These three lakes are located west of the Laramie River Road (CR 103) 30 miles north of Highway 14. The eastern lake, Hohnholz #1, has had water now for two years and should be good for fat 12” cutthroat and rainbows. Hohnholz #2, is 37 acres and has rainbow trout and snake river cutthroat trout ranging 12-16”. Hohnholz #3 is 40 acres and has snake river cutthroat and brown trout up to 18”.. Ice at both lakes should be good with the recent cold weather. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact West Laramie Fly Store (888-745-9565).

Jackson Reservoir: This 2,967 acre reservoir is located approximately 32 miles east of Greeley and 10 miles north of Wiggins.  Thin ice has formed along the edges of the reservoir a few times this season, but continues to be melted or broken apart by wind. Thus, it is recommended that anglers stick to soft-water tackle for the time being. The boat ramp is closed, restricting angling to the shoreline. Fishing is slow, but a few wipers, rainbow trout, and channel catfish have been caught off of the dam and near the inlet. More than 7000 10” cuttbow and smaller numbers of 18-20” cuttbow were stocked after the 2010 irrigation season. Therefore, there should be ample opportunities to catch trout through the ice once it forms. For more information, see the fishery survey summary, visit the park's website or contact the park directly at 970-645-2551.

Jefferson: This 145 acre impoundment is located northwest of Jefferson. After the first decent snow fall of the season, the road to Jefferson Lake will become impassable for vehicles except snow machines. Depending on snow drifts, many times by mid-winter the road becomes impassable for snow machines. The ice usually recedes from Jefferson Lake the last week of May. This winter anglers can seek to catch rainbow trout in the 12-14” range, mackinaw averaging 12-18” with a few large fish and possibly a few brook trout. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Jefferson Market (719-836-2389) or Hondo Arms (719-836-7235).

Jumbo Reservoir: This 1,570 acre reservoir is located 35 miles northeast of Sterling and six miles west of Sedgwick. The reservoir is ice free, and the boat ramp is open as of March 11, 2011. For more information, please see the fishery survey summary.

Lake John: This 565 acre impoundment is located 15 miles northwest of Walden. Ice conditions are good with thickness around 8". Lake John grows fat rainbow trout, snake river cutthroat trout and cuttbows.  Anglers have been catching lots of fish in the 10-16” range with an occasional fish in the 3-5 lb range on a variety of lures and baits.  For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Lake John Resort (970-723-3226).Lon Hagler Reservoir: This reservoir covers about 580 acres at full pool and is open year round to fishing. The lake is open to boating. Bass must now be 18 inches in length to keep at Lon Hagler, the limit for bass is 1. Visit the fishery survey summaries page to learn more about this reservoir.

Lon Hagler Reservoir: This reservoir covers about 580 acres at full pool and is open year round to fishing. Bass must be 18 inches in length to keep at Lon Hagler; the limit for bass is 1. Thousands of 10-inch have been stocked in anticipation of the ice fishing season but conditions are currently not safe. At present, the entire lake is covered in ice but is only 1” thick. Visit the fishery survey summaries page to learn more about this reservoir.

Red Feather Lakes: Red Feather Lakes is northwest of Fort Collins about 20 miles west of Livermore. Parvin, Dowdy and West lakes are located on the east side of town. Bellaire Lake is a bit further south off of CR 162, and there is a short walk into the lake. Bellaire is 10 acres and has rainbow trout. All of the lakes have less than 12” of ice, and that will change quickly depending on conditions so take care when going out.. Fishing has been good at Bellaire for 10-12" rainbows with most parties catching large numbers of fish. Dowdy Lake is 115 acres and fishing is just starting to pick up there.  Expect smaller rainbows with occasional larger 'bows and browns. West is 25 acres and anglers are starting to pick up fish regularly there. Parvin is 63 acres. Expect fat browns and decent fishing for rainbows 12-16”.  Note that Parvin is fly and lure only and has a different bag limit from other lakes in the area. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Fort Collins DOW office (970-472-4300).

Seymour: This lake is 81 acres and located about 15 miles south of Walden.  Seymour has rainbows ranging up to 16” and fishing should be good in the early part of the season. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Lake John Resort (970-723-3226).St. Vrain State Park Ponds: Sandpiper, Coot and Mallard ponds were heavily stocked with 10" trout in late November 2009 specifically for the benefit of ice anglers. All ponds are ice free. For additional information contact the St. Vrain State Park entry station (303-678-9402).

St. Vrain State Park Ponds: Sandpiper, Coot and Mallard ponds were heavily stocked with 10" trout for the benefit of ice anglers. All ponds are capped with ice, but it’s only 1” thick. Not quite ready for the ice fishing season. For additional information contact the St. Vrain State Park entry station (303-678-9402).

Tarryall Reservoir: This 175 acre impoundment is located along Park County Road 77 between Jefferson and Lake George. Ice conditions are improving and like always, use caution while ice fishing. This winter anglers can expect to catch rainbow trout averaging 12-14” with a few large fish here and there, such as brown trout, cutthroat trout and northern pike up to 36”. Catch rates are currently excellent, limits are being had. We encourage the harvest of all northern pike caught. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact The Jefferson Market (719-836-2389) or Hondo Arms (719-836-7235).

NORTHWEST REGION  (last updated 12/5/11)

Dillon Reservoir: Kokanee action at the Snake River inlet has been excellent. There is fishable ice in the Snake River area and some other small areas, but overall the reservoir is not safe to fish.

Elkhead Reservoir: Contact Yampa River State Park (970-276-2061) for up to date information on ice conditions and safety. Ice cover is forming in certain areas of the lake at a rapid pace, and the water level is stable.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife encourages the harvest of smallmouth bass and northern pike within regulatory limits.

Granby Reservoir: Ice is slowly starting to spread on the reservoir, but should not be considered to be safe yet. Call Budget Tackle in Granby at (970) 887-9344 for current updates.

Green Mountain Reservoir: As of December 10, the reservoir was just beginning to have full coverage of ice. More time is needed for conditions to become safe.

Harvey Gap Reservoir:  As of December 5, ice is just beginning to form in spots around the reservoir. Weekly updates on ice conditions and angling success will be provided on the Colorado State Parks website. Anglers may also contact Harvey Gap/Rifle Gap State Park, 5775 Hwy. 325, Rifle, CO, 81650; Phone:  970-625-1607.

Lake Avery: Ice is just beginning to form at Avery.  Look for a good ice fishing season for rainbow trout in Avery. Trout are typically suspended at mid-depth, usually in 10 to 50 feet of water. Standard trout fishing baits work well, but tipping small jigs with wax worms can be the best. Crappie fishing can be good, but the challenge is locating schools of suspended fish. Anglers are encouraged to keep their bag of crappie. Contact the Colorado PArks and Wildlife Meeker Office (970-878-6090) for up to date information on ice conditions and safety.

Pearl Lake: The lake is iced over at this time. Ice is approximately 12” thick. Ice fishing for cutthroat trout and grayling are allowed. Please note that only flies & lures are allowed, with a bag limit of two trout 18” or longer. The road is only maintained to approximately ¾ of a mile from the lake. Anglers have to ski or hike from that point. There has been virtually no fishing pressure on Pearl Lake to speak of. Weekly updates on ice conditions and angling success will be provided on the Colorado State Parks website. Anglers may also contact Steamboat Lake State Park at (970) 879-3922 or steamboat.lake@state.co.us.

Rifle Gap Reservoir: As of December 5th, ice has not yet formed on the reservoir. Weekly updates on ice conditions and angling success will be provided on the Colorado State Parks website. Anglers may also contact Harvey Gap/Rifle Gap State Park, 5775 Hwy. 325, Rifle, CO, 81650; Phone:  970-625-1607.

Rio Blanco Lake: Ice is slowly forming on Rio Blanco Lake. Panfishing is expected to be good this year. Contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Meeker Office (970-878-6090) for up to date information on ice conditions and safety.

Ruedi Reservoir: Ruedi has yet to ice over, and conditions have not yet set-up for ice fishing.  Typically, ice fishing can occur safely toward the end of January.  Fish that can be caught in Ruedi include lake trout, kokanee, rainbow trout and brown trout. As well, anglers may catch illegally introduced yellow perch and are encouraged to remove them from the lake. Local contact info for water: U.S. Forest Service, P.O. Box 948, Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601, Phone: 303-963-2266.

Shadow Mountain/Grand Lake: The Farr Pump Plant has not pumped at all over the last few weeks and so ice coverage has formed quickly on Shadow and Grand.  However, ice is probably not safe yet and extreme caution should be used. Call Rocky Mountain Outfitters at 970-798-8021 for current conditions.

Stagecoach Reservoir: Fishing has been very good for catchable rainbow trout in the coves and inlet areas. . Trout in the 16” - 18” range are being reported in the catch, but most are averaging 12" to 15". An assortment of terminal tackle has been producing, such as jigs tipped with powerbait, wax worms, night crawlers, tube jigs, castmasters, solo night crawlers, spoons, etc. The ice is approximately 5 to 6 inches thick, with minimal snow cover. The reservoir has just recently iced over so extreme caution is advised.. Northern pike fishing has been slow. Harvest of northern pike is strongly encouraged. Weekly updates on ice conditions, access, accommodations and angling success will be provided on the Colorado State Parks website. Anglers may also contact Stagecoach State Park at (970) 736-8342 or stagecoach.park@state.co.us.

Steamboat Lake: Fishing has been good for rainbow trout and Snake River cutthroat trout in approximately 8–10’ of water. The Marina cove area, in particular, has been fishing fairly well. The ice is approximately12” thick with minimal snow cover. An assortment of terminal tackle has been producing, such as jigs tipped with powerbait, wax worms, night crawlers, tube jigs, castmasters, jigging rapalas, etc. Weekly updates on ice conditions, access, accommodations and angling success is provided on the Colorado State Parks website. Anglers may also contact Steamboat Lake State Park at (970) 879-3922 or steamboat.lake@state.co.us.

Sweetwater Lake: Safe ice conditions do not exist currently (early December) on Sweetwater Lake.  Depending on weather, ice conditions typically shape up toward the end of December.  The lake is stocked with rainbow trout and contains wild brook trout and brown trout. Feral kokanee are occasionally caught, as well. For up-to-date conditions and local information, contact the U.S. Forest Service- White River National Forest, Phone: 303-945-3255.

Sylvan Lake: Ice cover on Sylvan Lake is consistently 7 – 8”.  Ice fishing has been steady to good for Rainbow trout and Brook trout.  The lake is stocked with rainbow and cutthroat trout and wild brook trout also reside in Sylvan Lake.  Tackle suggestions:  wax or meal worms with colorful small jigs.  Biweekly updates on ice conditions and angling success will be provided on the Colorado State Parks website. Anglers may also contact Sylvan Lake State Park, 10200 Brush Creek Rd., P.O. Box 1475, Eagle, CO, 81631, Phone: 970-328-2021, sylvan.lake.park@state.co.us.

Vega Reservoir: As of December 5, ice is just beginning to form in spots around the reservoir. Weekly updates on ice conditions and angling success will be provided on the Colorado State Parks website. Anglers may also contact Vega Reservoir State Park, P.O. Box 186, Collbran, CO 81624; Phone: 970-487-3407

Williams Fork Reservoir: As of 12/12, there is ice in the coves, but there is also a significant amount of open water in the middle of the lake. The ice should not be considered to be safe yet. Wolford Reservoir: As of December 10, ice in the coves was 3-4” thick and 2” in the main body of the lake. Call The Fishin’ Hole in Kremmling (970) 724-9407 for current conditions.

Wolford Reservoir: As of December 10, ice in the coves was 3-4” thick and 2” in the main body of the lake.


SOUTHEAST REGION  (last updated 12/14/11)

Brush Hollow: This is a 200 acre lake located near Penrose off of Highway 115. The lake is currently ice free. Fishing success is unknown at this time. The boat ramp is open. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida office (719-530-5520).

Clear Creek Reservoir: This 400 acre reservoir is located between Buena Vista and Leadville and is a consistently good ice fishing lake. The lake is totally frozen with about 3 inches of ice near the boat ramp. Ice thickness is unknown elsewhere on the lake so use extreme caution.  Trout catch near the boat ramp has been fair.  For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida Area Office (719-530-5520).

Cottonwood Lake: This 40 acre reservoir is located west of Buena Vista on U.S. Forest Service land. The lake is completely ice covered but thickness is unknown – use extreme caution.  Fishing success is unknown at this time.   For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida office (719-530-5520).

De Weese Reservoir: Located near Westcliffe. The ice is 5-7 inches thick, and fishing is good with trout averaging 12 inches but some in the 14 to 16 inch range.  Swedish pimples, kastmasters, and assorted plastic jigs tipped with meal worms, wax worms, and night crawlers are good bets. For current conditions, contact the Pueblo Area Office (719-561-5300).

Frantz Lake: This lake has 5-6 inches of ice in most areas.  Use caution however, particularly in the inlet area where ice may be thin. Fishing success has been good using ice jigs tipped with salmon eggs.  For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida Area office (719-530-5520).

Hayden Meadows Reservoir: This is a small (5 acres) lake located along Highway 24 just south of Leadville. The lake has been frozen since December 8.  Ice thickness is unknown so use caution.  Fishing success is also unknown.   For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida office (719-530-5520).

Hugo SWA: Ponds are ice free.

Karval Reservoir: Lake is ice free.

Kinney Lake: Lake is ice free.

Lake Isabel: Also called San Isabel Reservoir, this 30 acre lake is on U.S. Forest Service land off of Highway 165 just west of Rye. The ice is approximately 5 inches thick and anglers are doing well with wax worms and pink and green jigs. For updated ice conditions, contact the Pueblo Area Office (719-561-5300).

Manitou Reservoir: Located just north of Woodland Park, this 16 acre reservoir is situated on U.S. Forest Service lands. Lake is capped with ice, and considered unsafe as thickness is under 2 inches. Ice fishing is not recommended. Caution is advised with warming temperatures. No report on angler success. A $5 entry fee at the gate from the USFS must be paid in order to fish. Anglers are encouraged to contact the USFS at 636-1602 for current conditions as well as hours of operation. Contact the Colorado Springs office (719-227-5200) for current conditions.

Monument Lake (El Paso County): This 40 acre lake is located just west of the town of Monument.  Ice should be considered unsafe Ice fishing is not recommended. Contact the Colorado Springs office (719-227-5200) for current conditions.

Monument Reservoir (Las Animas County): This 40 acre lake is located at the Monument Lake Resort about 30 miles west of Trinidad. The lake is frozen but unsafe, as the ice was 2 inches in depth at the time of the report.  Day use is from 0800-1600h (posted) and $3/car per day at the self serve station. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact DWM Bob Holder (719-680-1410).

Mt. Elbert Forebay: This 200 acre reservoir is located just north of Twin Lakes above Highway 82. This is a productive lake that has better than average sized rainbow and cutthroat trout. Anglers also target mackinaw. This reservoir fluctuates considerably and is ice free most of the time, creating open water opportunity in the dead of winter. Ice conditions are unknown at this time. Ice conditions change daily at this reservoir due to hydropower operations so use extreme caution throughout the winter. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida office (719-530-5520).

North Lake SWA: This 100 acre lake is located just east of Monument Reservoir (west of Trinidad). North Lake was not frozen at the time of this report.  Fishing will be unsafe as it begins to form.  For anglers fishing open water, note that fishing is by artificial flies and lures only.  For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact DWM Bob Holder (719-680-1410).

O’Haver Lake: This small (14 acre) lake is located southwest of Poncha Springs on U.S. Forest Service lands. The lake is accessible via County Road 200 (Marshall Pass Road). The road is snow packed due to recent snows, and 4-wheel drive vehicles with good tires or snowmobiles are needed to reach the lake. The lake is completely frozen.  Ice thickness and fishing success is unknown at this time.  Use extreme caution.   For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida office (719-530-5520).

Riverside Ponds (Mt. Ouray State Wildlife Area): These two ponds are located northwest of Salida off County Road 160. These lakes appear to have good ice thickness but use extreme caution in the inlet area where ice may be thin. Both require about a ¼ mile hike, as vehicles are restricted to the parking areas.  For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida Area office (719-530-5520).

Skaguay Reservoir: Located just east of Victor (near the town of Cripple Creek), this 114 acre reservoir is part of the Skaguay State Wildlife Area. The lake is ice covered but thickness and fishing conditions are unknown.  No vehicles allowed on ice. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida office (719-530-5520).

Trinidad Lake: Located just west of Trinidad, this 1000 acre reservoir is part of Trinidad State Park (entry fee required). The lake is not frozen and is not safe for ice fishing. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact Trinidad Lake State Park (719-846-6951).

Twin Lakes and Turquoise Reservoirs: These are larger reservoirs (Twin – 2000 acres, Turquoise – 1600 acres) located on U.S. Forest Service lands west of Highway 24 near Leadville. Twin – The upper lake is completely ice covered but thickness is unknown.  The lower lake is 50-60% is covered as of December 8 at both lakes.  There is almost always open water near dam, power plant and channels. Proceed with caution. Fishing success is unknown at this time.  Turquoise – The lake is about 50% ice covered as of December 8.  Ice thickness and fishing conditions are unknown at this time.  The lake can be currently reached by vehicle but snow fall may soon make it accessible only by foot or snowmobile from established parking areas.   For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Salida office (719-530-5520).

SOUTHWEST REGION  (last updated 12/9/11)

Beaver Creek Reservoir: This 114 acre reservoir is a State Wildlife Area near South Fork. There is vehicle access to the parking lot near the boat ramp. Anglers should expect to catch rainbow trout from 10-16 inches and brown trout and kokanee salmon from 10-14 inches. Due to dam inspections, the water level will remain 10-20’ below the high water mark for the foreseeable future. Anglers should take caution on steep slopes approaching the water.  The reservoir is frozen in areas; however, anglers should use caution as the ice thickness will be variable during this time of year. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Big Meadows Reservoir: This 114 acre reservoir is a State Wildlife Area southwest of South Fork. From Highway 160, access along Forest Road 410 (two miles) is typically accessed by snowmobile, skis or snowshoes. However, as of December 9th there are logging operations that have kept the road open to the lake. Anglers can expect to catch rainbow and cutthroat from 10-16 inches and brook trout from 10-12 inches. The reservoir is completely frozen however anglers should use caution as the ice thickness will be variable during this time of year. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Big Molas Lake: This 20 acre natural lake is located near Silverton. It freezes early, and angler success is generally good for rainbow trout and brook trout early in the season. No reports to date, but ice conditions should be good. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office (970-247-0855).

Blue Mesa Reservoir: This 8,900 acre reservoir is located west of Gunnison. Winter fishing is excellent for brown trout and lake trout and good for rainbow trout. Browns caught through the ice average 16 inches in length but occasionally reach 25 inches.  Rainbows up to 20 inches are commonly landed.  Trophy lake trout can also be found over 40 inches in length and up to about 50 pounds in weight.  Kokanee and yellow perch can also be caught through the ice but are often tougher to target.  Due to an over-abundance of small lake trout, harvest of lake trout less than 30 inches is recommended. The bag and possession limit for lake trout is unlimited, only one of which may be greater than 38 inches in length. Ice thickness can be variable. Anglers may check on current conditions by contacting Curecanti National Recreation Area at (970-641-2337).

Crawford Reservoir: This 390 acre reservoir is a Colorado State Park located 2 miles south of Crawford. Ice fishing season generally runs from January to March. There is vehicle access to several points around the reservoir. Anglers can expect large catches of smaller sized yellow perch. Black crappie and northern pike can also be targeted through the ice with a few residual rainbows being caught as well. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact Crawford State Park (970-921-5721) or the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Montrose office (970-252-6000).  In early December there was still open water and the lake was still in the process of freezing.

Echo Canyon Reservoir: This 118 acre reservoir is a State Wildlife Area located a few miles south of Pagosa Springs on US 84. Echo Lake is typically a good lake for rainbow trout and large yellow perch. Early ice conditions exist but Echo Canyon typically has good ice thickness by late December. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office (970-247-0855).

Groundhog Reservoir: At 6-7 inches thick, the reservoir has the best ice conditions in the area.  Anglers are doing well for 13 inch rainbow trout on nightcrawlers.  With the lake level at historic lows, Groundhog Reservoir may provide very good fishing this year.  The road is plowed but with the current snowstorm it may be closed to vehicles soon.  Access to Groundhog is typically by snowmobile (20 miles). For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office (970-247-0855).

Island Lake: This 179 acre lake on the Grand Mesa offers good ice fishing opportunity for 10-12 inch rainbow trout, a few wild cutthroat and brookies, and good-sized splake as well (8-28 inches). This lake is popular with anglers with snowmobiles. Check with the USFS for road and ice conditions (970-874-6600) or contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Montrose office (970-252-6000).  There is currently about a foot of ice on the lake and fishing has been good for splake and rainbow trout.

Lemon Reservoir: Located approximately 15 miles northeast of Durango. There is little to no ice on reservoir.  For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office (970-247-0855).

Miramonte Reservoir: This 400 acre lake is located 20 miles south of Norwood on the Dan Noble State Wildlife Area. Ice fishing season generally runs from December to March. There is vehicle access to several points around the reservoir. Fishing can be good for larger than average rainbow trout with occasional brown trout being caught as well. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the DOW Montrose office (970-252-6000).  In early December there were several inches of ice on the lake and a few brave souls got a jump on the ice fishing season.  Soon the whole lake should have enough ice to safely fish.

Mountain Home Reservoir: This is a State Wildlife Area near Fort Garland. The water level in this reservoir is variable and may be low during the winter. It is accessible by vehicle to the boat ramp. Anglers should use caution as ice conditions are variable and may be too thin during this time of year. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Pastorius Reservoir: Early season conditions.  No reports on ice thickness or condition. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office (970-247-0855).

Rito Hondo Lake: This 40 acre lake is a State Wildlife Area located west of Creede. Access is by snowmobile, skis, or snowshoes. Anglers can expect to catch brook trout and occasionally cutthroat and rainbow trout. This lake is completely frozen and fishable however, anglers should use caution as ice thickness can be variable. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Road Canyon Reservoir: This 140 acre lake is a State Wildlife Area located near Creede. The reservoir is accessible by vehicle however 4WD vehicles are advised. Anglers can expect to catch rainbow trout, brook trout and splake from 10 to 16 inches. This reservoir is completely frozen and fishable however, anglers should use caution as ice thickness is variable especially around the aerators. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Sanchez Reservoir: This large reservoir is a State Wildlife Area near San Luis. It is accessible by vehicle to the boat ramp. Anglers should use extreme caution as ice conditions are extremely variable this time of year.  The water level is currently 15-20 feet below the high water mark. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Smith Reservoir: This is a State Wildlife Area near Fort Garland. Although we have not had any reports on ice conditions it is likely that the reservoir will not be ready to ice fish until January.  For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Summit Reservoir: Summit Reservoir is a 350 surface acre lake located about 8 miles NW of Mancos and 20 miles NE of Cortez. Summit is stocked with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish. No reports of angling, but the reservoir is covered with thin ice.

Taylor Park Reservoir: This is a 2,000 acre reservoir located northeast of Gunnison. It freezes early and is usually suitable for ice fishing by mid-December.  Anglers can expect to catch lake trout and rainbow trout. During the winter, the road is plowed to the Taylor Park Trading Post. The road to the Taylor Park Marina from the Taylor River Road (FR 742) is no longer maintained through the winter. It is advised that ice fishermen plan to access the reservoir by snowmobile, snowshoes or skis as snow depths otherwise make access difficult. For updated ice conditions, contact the Taylor Park Trading Post at (970) 641-2555 or the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Gunnison office (970-641-7060).

Totten Reservoir: This small reservoir (204 acres) located east of Cortez typically has variable ice conditions. This early in the season the lake is most likely not suitable for ice fishing. Totten is known for larger perch, bluegill, and some northern pike. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office (970-247-0855).

Trujillo Meadows Reservoir: This 69 acre lake is a State Wildlife Area located 40 miles west of Antonito. Access is by snowmobile, skis, or snowshoes. .  Anglers can expect to catch brown trout and rainbow trout. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Monte Vista office (719-587-6900).

Vallecito Reservoir: This 2,700 acre reservoir is located NE of Durango. No ice however fishing for shoreline rainbows has been good. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office (970-247-0855).

Williams Creek Reservoir: Williams Creek Reservoir is covered with ice but of variable thickness; early season conditions exists. Williams Creek is generally good for brook, rainbow and cuttbow trout and the occasional kokanee salmon on jigs baited with mealworms. Please note that snowmobiles are allowed only as an aid to ice fishing and not for recreational use on the lake. For updated fishing reports and ice conditions, contact the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Durango office (970-247-0855).

        Last Updated: 12/16/2011 5:16 PM

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