Ice fishing in Williams? Here's what you should know
WILLIAMS Ariz. — Freezing temperatures and frozen lakes just aren't enough to keep some fishermen away. The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) encourages fishers to practice safe fishing guidelines.
Ice fishing in Arizona is a potentially dangerous activity and should be done at your own risk. If you choose to ice fish, check the quality and thickness of the ice close to shore before you venture out to deep water. Ice is not safe to walk on or ice fish from until it is at least four inches thick for a single person. Given the wide variability in daily temperatures that occur in northern Arizona and unpredictable thickness of the ice, it is wise to never drive a vehicle or snowmobile onto the ice. Similarly, ice that may be thick enough to ice fish from in the morning may become thin and unsafe by the afternoon.
The current limit for lakes in Williams is two bass with a minimum size of 13 inches, four channel catfish and four trout. If a lake is completley ice covered the ice must be at least four inches thick (six inches for two anglers) for a single angler with gear to ice fish from.
The day use area and boat launch are open year round, but the campground is closed for the winter. The gate to the lake is often closed after a big snow storm, so the lake could potentially be walk-in only at this time.
The day use area on the Forest Service side (east side of the lake) and access from the county side (west side of the lake) are open. Only boats with a 10-horsepower motor or less are allowed on Cataract Lake.
The road into City Reservoir is closed for the winter.
Road access to the lake, day use, and boat launch is open. The campground is closed for the winter. Given the recent snowfall, the Forest Roads into Dogtown Lake may be very difficult to navigate and may be completely impassable at this time. Only boats with electric motors are allowed on Dogtown Lake. No gas-powered motors.
Santa Fe Reservoir
Road access to the reservoir is open. Only boats with an electric motor are allowed on Sante Fe Reservoir. No gas-powered motors.
Access to the boat launch and campgrounds is closed, but walk-in access is allowed through the winter months. Only boats with an electric motor are allowed on Whitehorse Lake. No gas-powered motors. Given the recent snowfall, the Forest Roads into Whitehorse Lake may be very difficult to navigate and may be completely impassable at this time.
JD Dam is catch-and-release only for trout; no trout may be kept; artificial fly and lure only; single-pointed, barbless hooks only. Only boats with electric motors are allowed on JD Dam. No gas-powered motors. JD Dam is completely ice covered this week. Given the recent snowfall, the Forest Roads into JD Dam may be very difficult to navigate and may be completely impassable at this time.
If it’s too cold for you to get out to fish right now, there are a number of other fishing-related things you can do, whether it be sitting down at your fly-tying vise and knocking out a bunch of flies to refill your fly boxes, or cleaning your fly line, or putting a new line on your spinning reel. Looking for an opportunity to talk about fishing with others? There are fishing clubs throughout the state, as well as Trout Unlimited chapters.
Information provided by Arizona Game and Fish Department
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