Snowmobile Avalanche Safety Week underway
Snowmobile Safety Week will be wrapping up Jan.13 as sledders are reminded of the dangers that await for unprepared riders. Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Education Specialist Eric Stucki stresses education and avalanche safety for this seven-day observance, and throughout Utah's snowmobile season.
He commented, "This year we urge snowmobilers to be especially aware of the avalanche danger and to use our hotline to get updated avalanche information. The OHV hotline offers current avalanche and snow conditions. In addition, it offers grooming information for all snowmobiling complexes maintained by Utah State Parks and Recreation. Snowmobilers may also get avalanche information online at http://www.avalanche.org."
Riders may access the hotline 24 hours each day by calling the OHV Information Center at 1-800-OHV-RIDE. The hotline also provides information about snowmobiling laws and rules, survival tips, OHV education, and maps. Also in recognition of Snowmobile Safety Week, Stucki provides the following safety tips:
- Check weather and avalanche conditions before heading out.
- Never ride alone. Always ride with a companion and let others know where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Ride within your skill and experience level- know your capabilities and limitations.
- Watch your fuel supply carefully.
- Dress for changing weather conditions.
- Always wear an approved helmet designed for motorized use. All snowmobile operators and passengers under 18 are required to wear properly fitted and fastened helmets, with a Department of Transportation (DOT) Approved safety rating for motorized use.
- Be prepared. Always carry a survival kit containing a map of the area riding in, compass, flashlight, extra food, extra clothing, sunglasses, first aid kit, pocketknife, waterproof matches, and candles or fire starters.
Stucki also urges parents to enroll their children in a Know Before You Go! snowmobile education class now. Young drivers eight through 16 years old must possess an OHV Education Snowmobile Certificate issued through Utah State Parks or valid driver's license while operating a snowmobile on any public land, road or trail. Children under age eight cannot operate a snowmobile on public land. Classes are available now and continue each week throughout the riding season.
For more information on the Know Before You Go! program or to register for a class,
contact the Utah State Parks and Recreation OHV Education office at 1-800-OHV-RIDE.
Dedicated Hunter Conservation Classes announced
Dedicated hunters have an opportunity to attend their Dedicated Hunter Conservation class in Springville Jan. 25 at 7 p.m.. It will be conducted at the DWR Central Region Office, CRCC Building, located at 1115 N. Main St..
Those who cannot attend are encouraged to participate online during January at the Dedicated Hunter Web site (http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/dh/ ). The online course takes about 45 minutes to complete. Applications to participate in the program are due Jan. 31.
More information about the program is available on pages 25 and 26 of the 2005 Utah
Big Game Proclamation and at http://www.wildlife.utah.gov/dh/ on the Web. Those with
questions may call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City
office at (801) 538-4700.
Youth encouraged to apply for Rifle or Muzzleloader Permit to Hunt all Three Seasons
Young hunters who obtained a statewide general archery permit in 2004 missed a chance to hunt all three general buck deer seasons last fall. With Utah's 2005 big game application period now underway, the Division of Wildlife Resources reminds young hunters that they must obtain a general rifle or muzzleloader buck deer permit for a chance to hunt all three seasons this fall.
Young hunters also are reminded that they may take only one buck deer in Utah each
year, so the chance to hunt all three seasons ends as soon as they take a deer. Hunters must be 18-years-old or younger on Aug. 20, 2005 (the beginning of the state's 2005 general archery buck
deer season) to qualify for the youth hunting opportunity.
Judi Tutorow, wildlife licensing coordinator for the DWR, explained, "General archery buck deer permits are statewide permits, and rifle and muzzleloader deer hunting is restricted to specific regions. If a young hunter obtains a statewide archery permit, we have no way of knowing which region they should be hunting in during the rifle and muzzleloader seasons. That's why young hunters who obtain a general archery permit aren't allowed to hunt during the rifle and muzzleloader seasons."
Tutorow encourages youth interested in hunting all three seasons to apply for either a
general rifle or general muzzleloader permit. The application period ends at 5 p.m. Jan. 31 for
hunters applying with a mail-in application, and at 11 p.m. on Jan. 31 for hunters applying
on-line at the DWR's Web site (http://www.wildlife.utah.gov).
Young hunters who obtain a 2005 general rifle or general muzzleloader buck deer permit
may hunt in any of the state's five general season regions during the general archery hunt. During
the muzzleloader and rifle hunts, youth hunters must hunt in the region they obtained a
Young hunters afield during the statewide general archery hunt are reminded that they
may not hunt on limited entry units. Limited entry units are open only to those who obtain a
limited entry permit. Giving young hunters a chance to hunt all three seasons was started in
2000 as a way to increase big game hunting opportunities for Utah's young people. For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.
Cherie Call presents Scholarship Benefit Concert
Cherie Call will present a scholarship benefit concert for the Kimber Academy on Fri., Jan. 14th at 7 p.m. at the Oak Canyon Jr. High Auditorium, located at approximately 2000 N. and 100 W. in Lindon.
Tickets are $7 at the door and tickets may be ordered in advance at 434-9237. Visit
http://www.kimberacademy.net to find out more about the Kimber Academy of Orem.
Becoming an Outdoor Woman Workshops scheduled
Ladies have several opportunities to enjoy the outdoors at workshops, sponsored by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, geared especially for them. These clinics are for beginning and experienced outdoor enthusiasts. Many activities fill quickly and early RSVPs are highly recommended.
Ice Fishing for Ladies-- Scheduled Sat., Jan. 22nd at a nearby water that will be determined as weather permits. Cost is $10 + valid 2005 fishing license, which includes instruction and use of equipment. Come learn how to enjoy ice-fishing without freezing. Ann Evans, Aquatics educator from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Mickey Anderson, owner of FishTech, will be the guest instructors for the day. This event is dependant upon weather conditions.
Valentine's Day Sleigh Ride and Dinner at Hardware Ranch-- On Feb. 12th, couples will enjoy an overnight stay at the Ramada Limited in Logan, dinner for two at Hardware Ranch WMA, sleigh ride for two, commemorative couples photo and gift bag. Participants have their choice of a 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. sleigh ride. Event limited to 40 couples. Cost is approximately $135.00 per couple.
Ice Fishing for Ladies-- Feb. 19th at a nearby water that will be determined as weather permits. Cost is $10 + valid 2005 fishing license, which includes instruction and use of equipment. This event is dependant upon weather conditions.
Ladies overnight Pheasant Hunt-- Hunting will be underway March 13th in Gunnison.
To register for these events, call Nancy Hoff, BOW coordinator, at (801) 560-9605 or email her at: NancyHoff@Utah.gov More information is available at http://www.utah.wildlife.gov
Cisco Run Announced
By Brian Brinkerhoff
Although midwinter fishing may be slowing down at some locations, the Cisco run at Bear Lake will soon be heating up and may provide great fun for anglers, as they catch a limit of these tasty morsels in a less than 10 minutes. Weather plays a critical role in the success of cisco anglers. Recent reports indicate that the lake currently offers open water conditions, which can be difficult when the winds are blowing, but great netting is possible when weather conditions are calm, just before the sun hits the water. Traditionally, early mornings have been the best, although some fishermen report netting fish during the middle of the afternoon.
With snow on the ground, wildlife biologists advise anglers to use caution getting down the rocky marina shoreline to the water. There is currently about 36 inches of snow around the lake that has made beach-launching boats almost impossible at this time. The concrete boat ramp at Cisco Beach was damaged by large waves from a recent severe wind storm and is currently not useable. The State Park is working to try to get this ramp repaired.
The cisco run is expected to start around the weekend of Jan 15-16, however they could begin a little before or after that time. It is hard to predict if the lake will freeze in time, since it depends on the weather. In order to freeze, the lake will need several consecutive days of very cold temps and no wind. If it does not freeze and if boats cannot be launched, due to deep snow around the lake, not all is lost. The last two years have been excellent for dipping cisco off Cisco Beach and this year should be about the same, if the weather cooperates. Wearing waders or even hip boots helps anglers keep dry.
Two popular methods can be used if there are open water conditions. One method is squatting down or kneeling on shore right at the water's edge, the cisco will not see your profile and typically come right in next to shore where they can be easily netted by "swatting" the net down on top of them.
Another productive way to wear waders and stand very still in water with your net submerged and wait for a school of fish to swim by. The only drawback with open water is that the weather has to be calm so you can see the fish. If you do not own a cisco net then it might be wise to purchase one soon. Some of the bigger sporting goods stores and local tackle shops stock "cisco/smelt nets", but once they sell out, then they rarely get in more nets before the run is over.
Once the fish start running they will only be in for about 10-14 days and then be gone for another year. The Bear Lake office of Wildlife Resources will begin monitoring the Cisco Beach area on a daily basis starting this weekend. Individuals can listen to daily reports by calling (435) 946-8501 after 4 p.m.
As the run begins, anglers are alerted to the action at Bear Lake and net their limit of these tasty morsels before it is all over. These fish, located nowhere else in the world, rarely grow larger than 7.5 inches and weigh less than two ounces, but anglers from across the state make the journey each year to catch a number of these little delicacies. Many anglers claim that these fish are best when deep fried and eaten before leaving the lake. Other anglers use them for bait to catch larger prey, including cutthroat trout and mackinaw throughout the year.
According to the 2005 Utah Fishing Proclamation, hand-held dipnets may be used to take Bonneville cisco only at Bear Lake, but the dipnet opening may not exceed 18 inches. When dipnetting through the ice, the size of the hole is unrestricted. The limit is 30 fish and Bear Lake's trout limit is 2.
Since other species, including cutthroat and mackinaw feed on the abundant cisco and their eggs, a feeding frenzy often follows the run, offering other fantastic fishing opportunities.
Fishing for cutthroat and lake trout is currently spotty, but can be very good on certain days. The best success is usually for those fishing off the rock pile using jigs tipped with cisco or sucker meat and along the west shoreline south of Gus Rich Point.
If you prefer to jig, then use the same methods as you would on the rockpile. The best
luck is traditionally reported on jigs tipped with cisco or sucker meat and the most effective
technique is to jig the lure and bounce it off the bottom, which is the same method used
successfully for ice fishing. Experienced anglers recommend fishing around weed beds for
whitefish and cutthroat trout. Anglers, using lures or jigs are reminded that cutthroat trout and
trout with cutthroat markings with all fins intact must be immediately released. Only cutthroat
trout that have had one or more healed fins clipped may be kept.
When ice fishing for fish other than cisco, the size of the hole may not exceed 18 inches.
Anglers are reminded that only keep foul-hooked cisco may be kept and other species of fish must be immediately released. The fishing proclamation indicates that anglers may keep foul hooked Bonneville cisco that are taken through normal, legal fishing activities, but anglers may not use or possess hooks, single or multipoint, with a weight permanently or rigidly attached directly to the shank; or a weight suspended below any hook unless the hook is on an un-weighted dropper line that is at least three inches long.
Fishing enthusiasts are also reminded that Big Spring Creek from Lamborn Diversion (approximately 500 yards below SR-30) downstream to Bear Lake and that area from its mouth into the lake 2,000 feet, or as buoyed, is catch and release only and artificial flies and lures only from Jan. 1 through April 15 and from 6 a.m. the second Saturday of July (July 9) through Dec. 31). All fish caught must be immediately released. Swan Creek from Bear Lake to its headwaters spring also follows the same regulations.
Easy Cisco Recipe provided
Cisco are a popular Utah fish, caught only at Bear Lake for a short period of time. Although these fish are not known for having a lot of meat, they are fun to cook and easy to eat. The meat is typically very high in fat content -- to the point that you can almost squeeze the oil out. Cisco is a soft-boned fish and when you deep fry them, the meat is easily removed from the bone. Although some people will drop the fish straight into the fry oil right after catching them, provided is a recipe for an easy batter mix.
Clean & Skin the fish as you typically would any other fish
Cut off head and tail
Prepare the Batter mix with the following ingredients:
1 cup flour
A shot of Tabasco sauce, chili powder, or black pepper
Combine amounts until you reach consistency of pancake batter. Place fish in batter mix and flip
it to cover both sides well.
With oil at 375º F, lay fish in deep skillet or shallow fry pot and cook until crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with lemon or lime juice.
Tip: If you want to store skinned Cisco for later, toss about a dozen in a milk jug. Fill with water and freeze. Keep in mind that these can spoil quickly due to the high oil content.