ROOSEVELT LAKE: (2,112 feet, 58-percent full).
Rim Country anglers are excited about the recent rain and snow falls throughout the area. Anglers reported rainfall amounts ranging from 1? to 2? depending on locations. The good news is most of that moisture will eventually find its way into streams that feed into Roosevelt Lake. The lack of moisture this year is becoming more evident each week. One only needs to look at the percentage of flows into the lake from the Salt River and Tonto Creek to realize just how little moisture has fallen.
This week the Salt River is flowing at 25 percent of its normal flow for this time of year. The cubic feet per second (cfps) of flow currently is 150 cfps with a normal rate of 590 cfps. The Tonto Creek is flowing at only 10% with 10 cpfs versus a normal rate of 100 cfps. Typically during this time of year, the Rim is covered with a few feet of snow and the ground at lower elevations is saturated. That runoff typically provides lots of water flow into the Roosevelt Lake watershed during late February and early March. The current rainfall is welcome and the snow at higher elevations is critical to the overall process of keeping water and nutrients flowing into the Salt River chain of lakes.
The cold front, wind and rain definitely have had an impact on recent fishing conditions. Anglers willing to brave the elements reported fair to slow fishing conditions. Experienced anglers know that we are just weeks away from pre-spawn activities and as the calmer and warmer weather returns, fishing results are expected to improve. The overnight low temperatures at the lake are still in the mid to low 30s which is preventing the lake water temperature to increase. As the days get longer allowing the sun to shine on the water for longer periods, the water temperature will begin to increase. All cold-blooded fish species are aware of even subtle changes in length of days, water temperatures, etc. and inherently know when its time to being the spawning cycle. Angler reports reflect success using baits such as casting spoons, jigs, Texas-rigged worms and crawdads. Roboworms using a drop-shot technique has also been reported successful.
Crappie reports were called sporadic on Roosevelt Lake by local crappie anglers. Many crappie anglers are trolling a small curly tailed grub, while others are utilizing a vertical fishing technique. Crappie schools are being reported in 35-45 foot depths. The morning bite continues to be better than the afternoon for most anglers. Hot-spots recently reported are Windy Hill and Salome Cove.