Calendar

May 4 Office opens for summer hours
May 11 Fishing season opens!
May 25 Guest fishing opens (Memorial Day weekend)
July 4 -July 6 Ramona is closed to fishing, in preparation for the Kids Fishing Contest
Oct 31 Fishing season closes and boats must be removed from the lakes

2019 Headlines

Water Outlook - we're optimistic about the snowpack above us and therefore expect to be able to fill the lakes this spring. This of course depends on downstream demands and whether we get more snow and rain.

Ice Fishing - we had a surprisingly long season this winter, from mid-December through the first weekend of April. Unlike the past couple years, we didn't have a warm January to melt the ice, so it held up through March. All our ice fishermen reported good fishing, hopefully a good omen for this summer!

Fishing Prospects for 2019 - Crystal Springs Trout Farm will again be our fish supplier this year. Our fish biologist recommends 125-150 pounds of trout per surface acre feet of water in order to maintain a healthy fishery. We monitor the fish population through our surveys, patrolmen's creel reports, and observing the general growth and health of our trout population. We try to maintain a balance of fish varieties through our stocking program which is dependent on availability from our supplier and the health/capacity of our lake fishery. In 2019, we'll be stocking catchable and trophy Rainbow, Cutbows, Palominos, Brooks and Browns in all lakes except Shagwa. Cutbows are a cross between cutthroats and rainbows and are more disease resistant. Palomino Trout are a color variation of the Rainbow Trout and are the result of the crossing of a Golden Rainbow Trout (not the same as the western Golden Trout) and a Rainbow Trout. Palominos are known for their aggressive feeding, fast growth rate and resistance to some diseases.

For Shagwa, we'll stock Donaldson Rainbows. This variety of rainbows is more expensive but grows a bit faster than some of our other varieties. Donaldsons are an aggressive fighting fish and prone to jumping more when hooked. Our plan is to also stock a few brook trout if we can procure them from our supplier. Overall, we'll stock more slowly to allow the minnows, crayfish and insects to establish themselves in the fishery. For those who wade fish at Shagwa, please note that the shore contours are different (especially along the west and southeast sides) - be careful as you relearn the bottom of the lake.

Please continue filling out the survey cards at Apache, Nokomis and Shagwa; this is a key input to managing these fisheries. Have a great time fishing this year!

Apache boat storage area Boat Storage - Last year we initiated a program to remove boats left at the lakes over the winter. In 2018 we started with Apache and appreciated that nearly everyone removed their boats by the end of the fishing season. We took the last few boats (all of which were unregistered) over to our boat yard. In 2019 we'll expand this initiative to Erie, Nokomis, and Letitia; where there are several boats that haven't been used for over a decade! We'll contact all boat owners with boats at the four lakes and take one of three actions this fall:

We'll expand this initiative to Hiawatha in 2020.

Boating Recreation - We've been having larger crowds of watercraft on the lakes, to the point of disrupting the anglers (who've paid to use the lake). We're seeking input about creating a boating recreation membership. For example - How do we administer it (by person or watercraft)? Does it have a guest provision? Who's eligible for a membership (RF residents only, others)? What's the cost? Please send your thoughts to the office. Our goal is to achieve fairness, we'll of course keep you posted as this takes shape.

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