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Grab your net, the cisco are running at Utah's Bear Lake.

It's anybody's guess just when the Bonneville cisco will begin their spawning run at Bear Lake, which straddles the Idaho-Utah border 50 miles northeast of Logan. The run usually starts in mid-January and lasts about a month.

The 8-inch-long fish are tasty pan-fried or smoked; others use them as bait for the renowned Bear Lake cutthroat.

Catching them takes more grit than strategy. You need a Utah or Idaho fishing license. If the lakeshore is ice-free, you simply stand in the 33[deg.] water wearing waders and holding your dip net until a dense school of females darts by, heading toward shore. Then you make a mad stab and come up with a netful of squirming, silvery cisco. Simple--yet it can take minutes or hours to get your 30-fish limit, depending upon the snap of your wrist.

Good spots to try are the rocky points or beaches where the females try to lay their eggs. Cisco Beach on the east shore has been among the most productive. If the lake area here is solidly icebound, you can take your ax, chair, fishing pole, and tear-drop lure, chop a hole in the ice, and fish for cisco one by one; believe it or not, this method is sometimes more reliable.

To get to Cisco Beach from Logan, take U.S. 89 northeast to Garden City, turn right on State 30 to Laketown, and follow the signed gravel road north to the beach. This road can be tricky in snowy weather; it's a good idea to carry chains. For highway conditions, call (801) 964-6000.

For a report on the start of the run, call (801) 533-9333.
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Copyright 1985 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Feb 1, 1985
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