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Posted by Don on March 21, 2010 in Angler Improvement Articles with No Comments

by Don Allphin

After a long, cold, and wet winter that included ice covering several bays in the Hite area, Lake Powell is finally warming up and promises incredible recreational opportunities in 2010. The lake level is nearly 10 feet higher than at this time last year, and with the upstream snowpack at close to 100 percent of average, water levels are predicted to rise to near 10-year highs by mid summer.
A few friends and I spent a couple of days on Lake Powell this past week and although a cold, brisk wind continually reminded us that spring was still slowly creeping its way into the southern Utah, we found the scenery spectacular, the solitude refreshing, and the fishing – well, it had a little way to go to keep up with the rest of it.
Aramark, Lake Powell’s current concessionaire, has just reopened the Defiance Lodge at Bullfrog for the 2010 season and there is a real excitement in the air. Some of the contractors working with the company told me they will be remodeling some of the lodging and will be increasing the availability of houseboat rentals and storage.
Perhaps the most important change to the entire Lake Powell experience will be passing through the mandatory decontamination booth in operation near the boat ramps. These facilities are manned by employees of the Forest Service, and oversee the certification of every boat entering the lake. The quagga and zebra mussel threat to Utah waters precipitated the need for decontamination facilities all over the lake. Before you launch this year, you must either have your boat professionally cleaned at one of the decontamination facilities, or you must certify that your boat has been cleaned and allowed to dry for a minimum of five days before launching. It is hoped that these extra precautions will stop the spread of the invasive mussels, and the penalties for not getting your boat certified are quite prohibitive. Not displaying a certification on the dashboard of your vehicle can be punishable by a $5000.00 dollar fine among other charges. Officials aren’t fooling around. They mean business.
Due to the new certification requirements, the boat ramps, for the first time in my memory, will also hold to business hours. At Bullfrog, for example, the ramp opens at 7:00 a.m. and closes at 5:00 p.m. on weekdays and 9:00 p.m. on weekends.
DWR officials predict that the fishing for 2010 will be the best anglers have experienced in many, many years. The shad population is strong which translates into fat, healthy stripers, walleyes, bass, crappies, and catfish. Even now, the walleyes are finishing their spawn and are beginning to bite. The stripers are holding in stained water in the backs of canyons. They will respond to small minnow baits like Pointer Minnows or Rapalas. The largemouth bass are chasing jigs and spinnerbaits in water between two and eight feet deep. And, the smallmouth bass are just beginning to come up out of their winter haunts.
Lake Powell attracts recreational boaters and anglers like a magnet, and 2010 promises more of what attracts people to America’s Wonderland than we’ve seen in a decade. Take some time to reintroduce yourself to the beauties that await you just a few short hours southeast of the Wasatch Front.

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by Don Allphin February 22, 2010 Readers sometimes get frustrated when they ask my advice on when, where, and how to catch fish through the ice. I tell them exactly what to do, the baits to use, the depths to try, and the structure to use to target the fish, but sometimes they still co...

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