It’s that time of year for some hard-water fishing, also known as ice-fishing. If cold weather conditions stay consistent throughout the winter season, the Magic Valley Region has numerous reservoirs, lakes and ponds that can provide fishing fun while also providing fish for the dinner table.
Don't forget to get your 2021 fishing license before heading out on the ice in 2021.
Dress warm, have fun, but more importantly, stay safe when venturing out on the ice.
This report describes conditions as of December 7, 2020.
Ice conditions can be extremely variable. Many environmental factors can effect ice quality and strength. It is your responsibility to check ice thickness and conditions when you venture out onto the ice.
North Magic Valley Ice Fisheries
Magic Reservoir: Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Smallmouth Bass
Entering winter with extremely low water conditions has limited the fishing primarily to the area near the dam. However, there are many fish stacked into the main channel making for good catch rates. Ice conditions are favorable with 6” of good ice and 2” of packed snow. Anglers are catching plenty of 7-10” perch, 14-20” trout (mixed species), and the occasional bass. It is best to access Magic Reservoir through the township of West Magic, but watch weather patterns, as the road is not plowed consistently.
Mormon Reservoir: Rainbow Trout, Yellow Perch
Mormon is back, well kind of. It is not what it was in 2018, but some decent catch rates of 14-16 inch rainbow trout and 10-12 inch perch are being reported. There is a few reports of trout exceeding 20 inches being caught, but those are an oddity in 2020. Ice conditions are good with 8 inches of clear ice and 2 inches of packed snow already formed. You can access the fishery by heading south from the town of Fairfield on Mormon Reservoir Road.
Catching rainbow trout through the ice on Mormon Reservoir.
Carey Lake: Yellow Perch, Bluegill, Bass
If catch rates are your thing, then Carey Lake is for you! Anglers report hundreds of perch being caught, most are ranging from 6-8 inches in size. Bluegills can be caught on the west end where the lake is deepest. A few nice bass have been caught through the ice as well, which adds for additional excitement. Bolstering the ice-fishing opportunity Fish and Game has also stocked about 1,300 catchable 10” - 12” trout this past fall. Carey Lake is located east of the town of Carey, with a parking lot and bathroom on the west side of the property. Ice is currently 6-8 inches.
Both reservoirs are capped with 4-6 inches of ice, but there is no current fishing report.
Dog Creek Reservoir: Rainbow Trout, Bluegill, Bass, Yellow Perch
A popular summer time fishery, Dog Creek is drawn down to minimum pool during winter months, concentrating all the fish in deeper water. This can make fishing really good! Dog Creek has been heavily stocked with trout leading up to the 2020 winter fishing season, but most of the ice fishing focusses on bluegill, with the occasional catfish, and perch being caught. Because of the fisheries popularity it is best to focus efforts towards the early part of the season (if there’s ice). Dog Creek Reservoir typically is best in mid-January and is accessed by heading north on S 1800 E out of the town of Gooding. No current ice conditions are available.
South Magic Valley Ice Fisheries
Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir: Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch
Salmon Falls Creek Reservoir is one of the last waters to freeze in the region, making it a great option for January and February. Despite its popular walleye fishery, Salmon Falls is a better trout and perch ice fishery. There is currently fringe ice forming in the backwaters and bays, but it is unsafe for fishing. Keep an eye on ice conditions as they continually prove to be variable until late into the winter.
Roseworth (Cedar Creek Reservoir): Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout
Roseworth Reservoir is typically known for its high abundance and regular stocking of rainbow trout. To bolster the rainbow opportunity, an additional 80,000 steelhead fingerlings were released in September, 2017. Ice fishing really gets good in January and stays good throughout the season. Roseworth has been referred to as the “Little Engine That Could”, because catch rates aren’t crazy (about one fish per hour), but anglers that put in the time usually leave with a limit of trout. You can get to Roseworth by heading west on Jarbidge Road out of the town of Rogerson, ID. There is no current ice report for this fishery.
Oakley Reservoir (Lower Goose Creek): Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Yellow Perch
Oakley has become a hidden gem for big trout through the ice. Despite consistent catch rates in the summer and fall, Oakley experiences very little winter fishing pressure. Usually one of the last waters to freeze, Oakley is perfect for that cabin fever trip in January. You can access Oakley Reservoir by heading south from Burley. Currently, fringe ice has formed in the backwaters; but the main body of the reservoir has not capped yet.
Yellow perch are always an ice-fishing favorite.
Make it an Adventure!
Thorn Creek Reservoir: Thorn Creek Reservoir typically has early ice fishing opportunity and when consecutive good water years line up can grow monster rainbow trout. You can get to Thorn Creek Reservoir by way of Hwy 46, north out of Gooding. The roads into the reservoir require 4wd most months of the year. The reservoir is also accessible by snowmobile if conditions allow.
Castle Rock State Park: Castle Rock Pond was developed in 2015 and receives regular stocking of hatchery trout through the spring and fall months. It is the perfect weekend getaway.
Please provide fishing and ice reports from your ice-fishing adventures to the Magic Valley Regional Office by calling (208) 324-4359.