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Diamond Lake ice melts fast

Diamond Lake heads into the weekend in fishing limbo as the lake starts to transition from ice to open water.

After a solid opening weekend of ice fishing at the eastern Douglas County lake, anglers are likely to be iced out of trout fishing there this weekend.

The lake is about three-fourths iced over, but the ice is breaking up fast along the edges, says Rick Rockholt, events coordinator for the Diamond Lake Resort. That means much of the lake is inaccessible to ice fishers, except perhaps ice near the lake's north ramp, Rockholt says.

"It'll be real iffy if they can get out on the ice this weekend," Rockholt says.

The lake's boat ramps remain inaccessible, Rockholt says.

"I'm hoping in two weeks that we can get some boats on the water," Rockholt says.

A few hundred acres of open water exists on the lake's south end, but it's accessible only to snowmobilers, snowshoers, skiers and ATV riders, because the roads are not plowed, Rockholt says.

The Umpqua National Forest earlier this week conducted some "exploratory" plowing into its Diamond Lake Campground, but the campground remains closed, Umpqua Forest spokeswoman Cheryl Caplan says. No plowing is scheduled there until mid-May, she says.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host a "family fishing event" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Reinhart Pond in Grants Pass.

Agency employees will team with the Crater Bass club to provide loaner fishing rods and bait-and-bobber kits. Volunteers also will be on hand to help participants catch fish.

The pond is in Reinhart Volunteer Park, 1690 SW Webster Road, Grants Pass. It is stocked regularly with legal-sized rainbow trout. The event is free. Kids ages 13 and younger can fish without licenses, while teens 14 through 17 must have a juvenile angling license.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@mailtribune.com.