March 21, 2002
By Wayne Gustaveson   Home Page:
Lake Elevation: 3648  Water Temperature: 48-50 F

The water temperature is rising above 50 on warm afternoons only to return to 48 over night. Warming is good news but we need more of it to impress the fish. Catching is still slow lakewide.

Walleye are spawning. The males have been ready during the whole month of March but now female walleye are starting to deposit eggs. While there have been a few walleye caught near Hite catching will not improve until spawning is complete and walleye go back on food. The search for forage begins when warming temperatures speed up metabolism. Expect walleye to bite better in mid-April when temperatures exceed 55 F.

Bass need the same warming to get them in the shallows prospecting for nest sites for future spawning. April is the spawning period and it extends well into May. Largemouth want water to be at least 55 degrees before spawning and smallmouth look for 60 degrees.

Striped bass are the last of the big predators to spawn (panfish are later). Males begin running ripe in mid April but the females wait for perfect conditions before dropping eggs. They need a huge diurnal spike in surface temperatures (i.e. 60-70 F) if lake spawning or a spike in flow if spawning in the river. They don't normally spawn until mid May to June 10th. Stripers do hang around in large schools waiting for the spawning triggers. These congregations are favorite targets of Spring anglers. Try the historic gathering areas near Glen Canyon Dam and the NGS Power Plant Intake for early season stripers.

A few fish have recently been caught at both locations. The BIG school could move in with warming any day now. Anglers could expect to catch enough fish for a meal this week. If the timing on a particular day was perfect there may be enough stripers caught to feed the neighbors too.