Jackson Flat Reservoir
The reservoir has been planted with 7,000 fish. There’s catfish, rainbow trout and bluegill in the reservoir. At this time fishing is limited to the west and southern areas of the reservoir. Motorized boats are not allowed on the reservoir until there is a boating plan in place. Also, be respectful to the land and keep all driving to already existing roads. There are no lifeguards or anyone on site to help in case of an emergency. Swim at your own risk.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, stocked the Jackson Flat Reservoir with 3,000 rainbow trout. The fish, measuring around 11 inches, were raised at the DWR Fish Hatchery at Glenwood, near Richfield.
Whether you’re a seasoned fisherman hoping for a record catch, or just want to relax under the sun with a rod and reel trying your hand at fishing, Lake Powell is the fishing destination of choice. The lake is teaming with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, striped bass, walleye, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill – so there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be hooking dinner for your whole group!
Quick information about fish typically found in Lake Powell:
- Best time of year to fish? Good year round fishing, but best time is April, and September, October. In the fall the fish are very active.
- Taste? Really good flavor. Filet, coat with beer batter, and fry. Light white meat. Not real fishy tasting.
- Best time of year to fish? Good year round fishing and are typically found in deeper waters.
- Taste? Largemouth bass has a more fishy taste than their cousin, the smallmouth bass. Best way to prepare is to smoke largemouth bass using alder or cherry wood.
- Best time of year to fish? Best fishing is when the shad start to school up after spawning. The stripers will “boil” or surface feed on them –typically July through October.
- Taste? Stripers have a stronger fish taste. When you filet them, you must cut out the red meat. Grilled with lemon, butter, and pepper is a favorite way to prepare.
- Best time of year to fish? February through April.
- Taste? Similar to chicken but with a slightly sweet taste. They are considered the best eating in the lake. Dip it in egg, roll them in pancake mix, and fry in butter for great eating.
- Best time of year to fish? Summer and fall. If renting a houseboat, you can catch them off the back of your houseboat from June through October.
- Taste? White-to-off-white in color, firm and tastes buttery. Not real fishy in flavor. Most people coat them in corn meal and fry them for a tasty dinner.
- Best time of year to fish? Spring is the best time to fish Crappie for 1.5 to 2 pounds.
- Taste? Very mild, slightly sweet, non-fishy flavor. Probably the second-best tasting fish in Lake Powell.
- Best time of year to fish? Great summer fishing.
- Taste? They are very tasty, but run about 1 lb. when caught, and only about 6 oz. when filet, so you’ve got to catch several.
This beautiful lake lies in a unique location within an interesting geologic formation. It is fed by snow melt and ground water through numerous springs and lava tubes. Covering over 600 acres when full at an elevation of over 9,000 feet, it drains into both the Sevier River drainage (via Duck Creek) and the Virgin River Drainage (via Cascade Falls). The lake drains through numerous lava tubes in the lake basin.
In an effort to maintain a more consistent water level, a dike was constructed in the east end of the lake to isolate the major portion of the lake from some of the major lava-tube drains on the east side. On good water years, the area of the lake nearly doubles in size in the spring and the dike can be five feet or more under water. Maximum depth of the lake when it is up to the level of the dike is about 15 feet.
The shallow nature of the lake presents some challenges for managing a sport fishery. With its large littoral area producing a significant amount of vegetation and the long period of ice cover at this elevation, winter conditions are often marginal for trout. During the long winter, vegetation decomposes under the ice, using up oxygen and producing toxic gases.
In the past, trout survival has typically been poor over the winter. Spring-stocked rainbow trout grow to over 14 inches in the fall and, during good water years, can reach 16 to 18 inches the next summer, if they survive the winter. Fingerling brook trout are stocked later in the summer and usually better-survive the winter than rainbows.
The latest addition to Navajo Lake is the splake, a cross between brook trout and lake trout. These sterile fish are aggressive predators that help keep the Utah chub population in check. Splake have shown the best observed winter survival rates at Navajo Lake. For example, in winter 2007-2008, while the entire rainbow trout population was lost because of the low water levels, the number of splake actually increased. In 2008, anglers caught splake up to 19 inches and, with the abundance of chubs, you can expect to continue seeing the quality-sized splake.
Navajo Lake’s shallow nature means that anglers can catch splake year-round. Splake head to deep water during warm summer months, so you at Navajo Lake. Try stripping wooly buggers over holes in the weeds, or using flashy lures like Kastmasters and Jake’s. During heavy feeding can usually only catch splake from October until April or May. Anglers have the unique opportunity to catch splake on a fly rod during the summer times in early spring and late fall, or through the ice in the wintertime, jigs tipped with pieces of chub or sucker meat are very effective.
The lake is generally inaccessible during the winter except by snowmobile. Fishing can be good from shore from ice-out to when the lake freezes again in early December. Trolling spinners or popgear and a worm will work for boat anglers. During the late summer or fall there can be some good flyfishing in the west end. Boat launching can be difficult on low water years.