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Ice Fishing on Half Moon Lake

Ice
Fishing

Drilling an ice fishing hole

Fremont Lake Ice Fishing Derby
Usually held in early March. Sponsored by the Pinedale Boat Club.

Ice Fishing Season:
Late December
to mid-March

Ice Fishing

The Upper Green River Valley offers first-rate fishing opportunities year-round, and winter is no exception. With nine months of winter in western Wyoming, it's a good thing for the avid fisherman!

Area lakes typically freeze around late December and stay frozen until about mid-March. Our coldest month generally is January, bringing several weeks of sub-zero weather to put a good layer of ice on even our largest lakes. Closest lakes for ice fishing near Pinedale are Fremont and Half Moon Lakes.

Each winter, usually in early March, the Pinedale Boat Club sponsors the Big Fish Ice Fishing Derby on Fremont Lake. This is a 2-day weekend event that draws fishermen (and women) from all over western Wyoming, Idaho and Utah.

Ice Fishing Conditions
The Wyoming Game & Fish Department recommends at least four inches of clear ice for safe fishing. Although 12-14 inches of ice are reported to support a vehicle. The G&F discourages driving on a frozen lake. Fluctuating water levels in reservoirs and our wind impact ice conditions and can create very dangerous conditions. Be aware of recent weather conditions and temperatures and scout out the lake your wish to fish for overflow, wet areas and open water. With variable ice conditions across the state anglers are urged to call local sources to confirm conditions and to drill test holes when venturing onto the lake or reservoir.

Safety First
The G&F recommends fishing on the buddy system for safety. Anglers are advised to wear a life jacket or personal flotation device, plus a pair of ice picks, screw drivers or big nails with about 5 feet of wire draped around the neck. The PFD will help you stay buoyant while grabbing the ice picks to get a grip and pull yourself safely onto the ice. The G&F also suggests team anglers bring a small extension ladder in the truck which can be pushed to the hole so the victim can grab it and be pulled out. To help fend off hypothermia in the event of getting wet in an ice fishing accident, extra clothes and hot liquids are also mandatory ice fishing equipment.

In southwest Wyoming, G&F Fish Biologist Bill Wengert warns anxious ice anglers the ice on the Green River, or any river, is never safe. "Shifting river currents under the ice and weather conditions make river ice very unpredictable and extremely dangerous," he said. "Parents are advised to keep their children off the ice on the Green River and to keep a close eye on pets as well."

Species and where to ice fish
Species to be found include Mackinaw, our largest species, German brown trout and rainbow trout. In a few select locations on New Fork and Boulder lakes it is possible to find kokanee (freshwater salmon). The two closest large lakes near Pinedale, Fremont and Half Moon, are both open to ice fishing in the winter, and can be driven to year-round. Other lakes may require a snowmobile trip to access (Willow, New Fork, Boulder, Green river Lakes and Middle Piney Lakes). Lakes CLOSED to fishing in the winter include Burnt, Meadow and Soda Lakes.

Services
Wyoming requires fishing licenses for resident and nonresident anglers 14 years of age and over.
Fishing licenses, regulations, bait and gear, are all available in Pinedale at local hardware and sporting goods stores.

Related Links:
Wyoming Game & Fish Fishing Regulations
Fishing Businesses
Local Outfitters & Guides
Pinedale Boat Club

Related Pinedale Online News Stories & Ice Fishing Photos:
2004 Big Fish Ice Fishing Derby on Fremont Lake
March, 2004

Ice Fishing Derby on Fremont Lake

Caseys big fish

Fremont Lake Ice fishing derby

Bringing fish into Lakeside Lodge

Ice fishing holes

 

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