Trout anglers will find open water at Hyatt and Howard Prairie lakes and a sea of ice and snow atop Diamond Lake for Saturday's opening of the trout-fishing season.
The two Dead Indian Plateau lakes are ice-free this week after warm weather took care of the last ice on Hyatt. The Bureau of Land Management's Hyatt Lake Recreation Area and its campsites open today, as do the resorts at both lakes.
Howard Prairie Resort is the hub of activity at Howard Prairie. The resort and boat ramp have been open since last weekend.
Both lakes will welcome boat and bank anglers, and the weather will be better than it is for most openers, possibly because this year's opener falls on the latest possible fourth Saturday of April.
Forecasts call for a slight chance of rain Saturday and sunny Sunday, with highs in the mid to high 50s both days, according to the National Weather Service.
At Diamond Lake in eastern Douglas County, the vast majority of the lake is under 4 to 5 inches of ice plus about 2 feet of snow and slush atop it, says Rick Rockholt of Diamond Lake Resort.
That's more than enough ice to convince itchy anglers to drill holes and ice-fish for trout beginning Saturday morning, Rockholt says.
"I have no doubt I'll see 40 to 50 people, easily, out there fishing," he says.
The only open water at Diamond is at the mouths of Short and Silent creeks on the lake's south side and at the outflow at Lake Creek on the north, Rockholt says. They are accessible by skis, snowshoes, snowmobiles or ATVs because the Forest Service has not plowed the roads to them, he says.
The Diamond Lake forecast calls for a slight chance of rain Saturday with highs in the upper 40s, then mostly sunny Sunday with a high of 60, according to the Weather Service.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.