March 1 opener participation low

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Dennis Clay

District Fish Biologist Mike Schmuck, who covers Grant and Adams counties provided a bit of a forecast first, before March 1, and then the results of the March 1 opener. Here is his report, first the forecast and then the results. Read on.

District 5 Lakes (Grant and Adams County): District 5 Trout Stocking Summary: Includes 2017 fingerling plants (11 to 13 inches this spring), fall catchable (2.5 fish per pound) as well as spring 2017 catchable trout plants.

Forecast

March 1 opener: We have had a rather mild winter and nearly all of our lakes are ice free. We do have ice on a few of our lakes and anglers should be cautious as most ice is not safe.

Martha and Upper Caliche Lakes are usually the top producers on opening day with near limit catches of good size fish. As of February 27, 2018, Martha Lake is 30 percent ice covered, the south end. Both of these lakes received 2,000 fall catchables in 2017. Martha Lake will receive another 4,000 this spring, while Upper Caliche will receive another 2,000.

Lenice and Nunnally Lakes should fish well for trout in the 14- to 16-inch range, with some up to 20 inches. Both these lakes received 3,000 catchables in fall 2017 and will receive another 2,250 (Lenice) and 2,750 (Nunnally) in April 2018.

Quincy and Burke Lakes should continue to fish well although I think that Quincy will produce bigger fish in 2018. Yellow Perch are abundant in Burke Lake which will affect fingerling survival and growth. Anglers can expect good numbers of 11- to 13-inch trout there, however. In addition to annual spring fingerling plants, Burke Lake was stocked with 5,000 fall catchables in 2017 and will receive another 2,000 this May. Quincy Lake, which also receives fingerlings, will receive 3,000 catchables this May.

Other lakes to consider include Lenore, Dusty, Crystal, Upper and Lower Spring, Cup and Cliff.

March 1 opener report

Overall participation for the March 1 opener was low. This was likely due to rainy and cold weather combined with a Thursday opening day. I expect significantly more effort the weekend after the opener, March 3 and 4.

Dennis note: A report on the results of last weekend is not available at this writing.

Lenice Lake fished well with good catches of 12-14 inch trout.

Upper Caliche produced limits for anglers willing to hike around and find fish. Most fish caught were 12-14 inches.

Martha Lake was our most productive lake with catch rates of 4.4 fish per angler. Fish averaged 14 inches with two fish just over 18. Martha Lake will likely continue to fish well this spring. It is scheduled to receive another 4,000 catchables split between March and April.

Quincy and Burke Lakes had low participation compared to previous years. However, as mentioned above, more effort more participation is expected as the season progresses. Catch rates were low on Quincy Lake (2.1 fish per angler). The majority of fish caught were 2017 fingerlings (10-12 inches) with the remainder 14-17 inches. These were likely 2016 carryovers, whereas the 10-12 inch fish were fingerlings planted in April 2017. These fish should put on quite a bit of growth this spring and grow into the 12-14 inch range by early summer.

Burke Lake produced a little better than Quincy with catch rates of three fish per angler. However, the fish were a bit smaller, on average (11 to 14 inches). Higher catch rates on Burke Lake are likely due to the fact that we stocked 5,000 catchables in Oct. 2017. This lake will get an additional 3,000 catchables in May. Yellow perch in Burke Lake are limiting growth and survival of our fingerling trout.

There was no report from Lenore or Nunnally as there was only one angler on each lake.

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