Spring fishing means ice at one area lake

About 100 people braved cold weather and slushy ice Saturday to usher Diamond Lake's spring trout-fishing season.

Opening Day anglers at the lake in northeast Douglas County were catching trout 12 inches to 20 inches long, and an Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife creel-checker today rated the weekend's fishing as "medium."

"But considering that's ice-fishing, that's pretty good," says Laura Jackson, the ODFW's Umpqua District fish biologist.

Some open water is available to anglers at the lake's southern end near the mouth of Silent Creek, Jackson says. Other than that, people are dangling dough baits or worms through holes cut through the ice.

The lake's surface is a combination of ice and snow that Jackson today called "fairly rotten."

People should ice-fish at their own risk, Jackson says.

Though having ice on Diamond Lake during the traditional spring trout-fishing opener is not rare, it is rare for the ice to be thick enough for ice-fishing.

Also opening this past weekend were Hyatt and Howard Prairie lakes, both of which were ice-free.

— Mark Freeman

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