IDAHO FALLS - It's hard to have an ice fishing season without any ice, but that is exactly what's happening at Ririe Reservoir right now. December 1, marked the start of a special fishing season at Ririe Reservoir outside of Idaho Falls, the only catch is that it's an "ice fishing only" season and the lack of ice means no fishing is legally allowed yet! The special season has been in effect for five years. Most local anglers are aware of the regulations dealing with this fishery. For those just learning about this opportunity for the first time, "It is important that people understand that it's an ice fishing only situation!" said Senior Conservation Officer Dan Duggan. He is the officer responsible for patrolling the reservoir and has run into anglers in the past that thought the reservoir was open to all types of fishing. "The law says that they must be fishing through the ice, not from shore or a boat." emphasized Duggan. Even though the current air temperatures are heading sub-zero, overall conditions at Ririe Reservoir have yet to allow for the formation of any ice, especially ice that could safely support anglers. As colder conditions prevail and anglers begin to ice fish, it is important to always check ice conditions. What was safe one day, may no longer be safe the next! The area open to ice fishing extends from the dam upstream for approximately one mile to a marked boundary upstream of the Juniper boat ramp. The boundary will be signed and buoys will also be placed in the ice once it forms. To insure angler safety and protect critical winter habitat for deer and elk, no snow machines are allowed on the ice or within a 1/4-mile buffer zone around the entire reservoir. The gravel road that leads from highway 26 to the parking area is plowed to allow vehicle access. Anglers need to employ foot travel or skis to access their fishing spots. Ice fishing is a unique and fun sport, but takes place in an environment that doesn't allow much of a margin for error. Anglers should take caution in making sure ice is thick enough for safe travel and should be prepared for whatever weather conditions could arise. Because of the danger of thin ice, the ice fishing season ends March 31, and will not continue into April even if ice remains. The entire reservoir will reopen when the general fishing season starts in May.