Horsethief Reservoir Slowly Refilling
Wednesday, April 26, 2000 - 12:00 AM MDT
If your weekend fishing plans include Horsethief Reservoir, don't expect to use the boat ramps. The popular fishing hole is refilling much more slowly than anticipated following last year's yellow perch eradication. Even with the low water, Horsethief will be stocked with rainbow trout before April 29 and on a regular basis throughout the spring and summer. The low water has left boat ramps high and dry, 30 feet from the water's edge. "Float tubes, canoes and car toppers will all be able to get on the water, but the bigger boats will have some difficulty," Fish and Game regional fisheries manager Don Anderson noted. "Still, there are more sandy beaches than usual for shore anglers and the face of the dam is easily fishable." Weather conditions last winter and this spring have kept the reservoir from filling. "We had snow cover last winter before the ground froze," Anderson noted. "And with steady snowmelt this spring, most of what normally would be runoff has simply soaked into the ground." Water flows from Horsethief Creek - the only tributary feeding the reservoir - have already begun to slow down, with very little snow left in the hill country. "This even snowmelt year is generally considered a good thing, unless you have to fill a reservoir," Anderson added. "At this rate, Horsethief may not fill completely until next year." Vandals illegally stocked the perch which quickly took over the reservoir, ruining the trout fishing. "In addition to thousands of sportsmen's dollars, that thoughtless act of vandalism has cost anglers some spring fishing opportunity," Anderson said.