Hyatt ice-free; Diamond Lake still under ice

Southern Oregon's first official hot spell of 2009 has prepped Hyatt Lake for boaters Saturday, but it still leaves anglers with rods in one hand and ice augers in the other for Opening Day of the trout season at Diamond Lake.

The recent heat caused the ice to melt and sink at Hyatt Lake east of Ashland.

"We lost the last of the ice Monday," says Jeanne McNeely, one of the owners of the Mountain Resort at Hyatt Lake.

The open water allowed the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to stock Hyatt Tuesday with 14,000 legal-sized rainbows for the start of fishing Saturday.

Not so at Diamond Lake in eastern Douglas County, where the lake Wednesday remained under 30 inches of ice and snow, says Rick Rockholt at the Diamond Lake Resort.

"The lake's not really thawing yet, so it's ice fishing in April," Rockholt says.

Like last year's opening weekend, anglers can borrow ice augers at the resort to cut their own holes, which should be no larger than 12 inches in diameter.

Howard Prairie Lake, stocked April 16 with 10,000 legal-sized trout for Saturday's opener, has been ice-free for more than a month.

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