Fish Rap by Roger Phillips: Keeping track of reservoirs makes my head hurt

rphillips@idahostatesman.comMay 16, 2013 

That headline has no direct bearing on you, but here's why I mention it. Reservoirs are hot right now. Some of the fishing I've participated in and heard about from very reliable people is bordering on legendary.

So here's the obvious short version. Get out on them and have a blast.

Here's the longer version. Keeping track of them all is a challenge because we're having such a weird water year, and the way Idaho manages water in reservoirs is difficult to predict and sometimes even harder to understand.

Take two popular reservoirs for example, Brownlee and Magic. Magic is about 25 percent filled with about as much water is flowing out as in. Mind you, this is probably peak runoff right now, which doesn't bode well for later. Part of the reason is Magic was drained for dam repairs, then the low snowpack meant a double whammy of low water.

Now to Brownlee. You might think with many Southwest Idaho reservoirs unlikely to fill, that would occur at Brownlee, too. Nope, it's expected to be full by Memorial Day weekend.

Go upstream to Owyhee Reservoir, and it's less than 50 percent filled and dropping.

Now let's move to the north to Cascade, which should easily fill this spring. I think there's going to be some really good fishing up there this summer because it's high enough in elevation that it will hopefully remain relatively cool.

I will try to keep you up-to-date on reservoirs, but don't linger. The best time to be there may be now.

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