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Lake: Mount Elbert Forebay

Mt. Elbert Forebay

Post By: skiman      Posted: 1/31/2019 10:47:32 AM     Points: 2173    
Has anyone ice fished Mt. Elbert Forebay, or is it like Gross with varying water fluctuations and unsafe ice?
 Reply by: brookieflyfisher      Posted: Jan. 31, 11:25:00 AM     Points: 6121    
My understanding is the point of the forebay is to generate electricity during summer shortages, so the reservoir should stay at the same level in the winter when power generation isn't active. Logic would say the ice is probably fine, but a call to the managing agency ought to clear things up.
 Reply by: tjcolorado      Posted: Jan. 31, 12:45:24 PM     Points: 225    
I've never iced it but it almost never freezes solid. I believe they run the power plant year round (hence why Twin lakes is always open water in front of the plant) but I could be mistaken. I've heard the spots that do freeze can be safe but I've never ventured out myself.
 Reply by: fishingmanlee      Posted: Jan. 31, 1:21:22 PM     Points: 126    
Usually open water on this lake all through the winter because of hydroelectric operations. I don't think ice fishing is allowed anymore and if it was, I'd not go on it. When I was a kid ice fishing on this lake my Dad and I were on at least 6". I ventured away not twenty yards to try a different spot. My hand auger only took one full turn before it broke through about 1" of ice. Spooked us bad enough they we all left immediately.

Falling through the ice probably sucks but this lake is so far away and remote from everything that you'd be playing with your life on this one.
 Reply by: fishingmanlee      Posted: Jan. 31, 1:27:25 PM     Points: 126    
Page 29 does NOT say," Ice fishing prohibited" so I don't think the state has restrictions. Might be posted on the fence around the lake however? Anyways, if the ice was safe and legal to fish, this place would be an awesome destination for lakers and browns.
 Reply by: Alpineanglers      Posted: Jan. 31, 1:55:16 PM     Points: 115    
Ice fishing is prohibited on fore bay. Water level fluctuates daily as they are pumping water for electricity generation. My friend is the power plant operator there. DO NOT GO ON THE ICE!!!
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: Jan. 31, 6:38:06 PM     Points: 2173    
Good information. Thanks all!
 Reply by: Anteroman      Posted: Feb. 1, 8:50:30 AM     Points: 4109    
Forebay middle of winter very cold 2010, please, don't even think about it.
 Reply by: kicker      Posted: Feb. 1, 9:05:47 AM     Points: 112    
Used to drive onto the lake years ago.
Can you still do this?
We took my brothers van. Open the sliding door, start heater.

 Reply by: fishingmanlee      Posted: Feb. 1, 9:30:54 AM     Points: 126    
The above pictures are of Lower Twin Lake right at the pump house and not Forebay. If the gates at Dexter Point are open you can drive on the lake. Stay away from the pumping area, south west side, and eastern islands. Those areas have current and the ice WILL be unpredictable.
 Reply by: spawnbags      Posted: Feb. 1, 11:04:37 AM     Points: 1    
I have ice fished it 20 years ago and back then people used to bring a 20 ft ladder to lay across the shoreline onto the ice so if the water level dropped and the edges broke up you could still get off the lake I've heard stories of people being stuck out on the lake after the water level drop and all the ice around the edges cracked but caught a hell of a lot of fish best eating fish are out of that lake
 Reply by: spawnbags      Posted: Feb. 1, 11:07:18 AM     Points: 1    
It can be very dangerous your best bet is to go in on the west end of the lake from the campground area but you have to walk in you can't drive to the campground.I used to go around the back of the dike and come up behind the pump house and you can park right behind the pump house and walk up onto the edge of the lake from that end I used to ice fish around the boil,but it can be dangerous you must be very careful
 Reply by: skiman      Posted: Feb. 2, 8:03:24 AM     Points: 2173    
Did a visual on 02-01. Ice on Forebay was probably an inch at best across the entire surface north of the buoy line, with no snow at all on the ice. My guess is that the water movement and temperature coming from Twin prevented the formation of the ice, and kept the snow off. DEFINITELY NOT SAFE OR FISHABLE! Ill wait until Spring to chase some macs!
 Reply by: malty falcon      Posted: Feb. 2, 9:18:28 AM     Points: 6002    
Skiman is right. Mt. Elbert Forebay #2 is ABSOLUTELY NOT ICE FISHABLE. Once every four to six years, the power plant gets shut down in winter for maintenance. For this 10 day period, it will be safe ice.

All the rest of the time, the lake is drawn down during the day to produce electricity. The shoreline rocks get very icy, slick, and VERY difficult to walk through. At night, water goes back UP into Forebay from Twin Lakes, refilling it, and this up and down prevents Forebay from freezing to a safe thickness.

Last time I fished the open water of Forebay in November, 2018, the water level dropped 14 in 2 hours! There is a serious amount of water moving from Turquoise to Forebay to Twin.
 Reply by: Bwallace10327      Posted: Feb. 3, 8:58:21 AM     Points: 204    
I will join in in saying DO NOT GO ON FOREBAY ICE! Even if there is 8" of ice, the water fluctuation can mean disaster. There is a strong current in that lake and if someone fell through the ice I'd imaging they would have a hard time not being pulled away from the hole they fell through. This lake doesn't need another memorial bench. Do not venture onto that ice.

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