Ask Zimo: Loon Lake near McCall is still a premier mountain trek

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comMarch 12, 2014 

Q: I thought you would know if the fire that burned up near Warren got to Loon Lake?

I looked on Google Earth and it looks like it burned and fell trees on the trails going in. It really looks sad up there. Also, was the airplane removed from the area?

MONTY JONES, via email

A: Recent forest fires in the mountains northeast of McCall, including the one in 2008, did reach the Loon Lake area, but did not burn the entire area around the lake, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The fires were spotty with trees burned here and there and others left unburned.

The area around the lake has already greened up with new shrubs and other vegetation, according to the folks at the McCall Ranger District.

Fire hit parts of the trails to the lake but Forest Service trail crews keep, this premier trail system open all summer.

Crews get in there in mid-June to start clearing trails and get them in shape for the Fourth of July holiday.

The trail system is well maintained, according to the Forest Service, because it's so popular among hikers, motorcyclists, mountain bikers and horse riders.

It's a 10-mile round trip to the lake and you can get information from Roger Phillips' book, "Hiking and Angling in McCall," or Steve Stuebner's book, "Mountain Biking in McCall."

And yes, part of the plane at Loon Lake, a B-23 Dragon Bomber which crashed Jan. 29, 1943, is still there.

WHAT'S UP WITH MORROW RESERVOIR?

Q: According to Idaho Fish and Game's website, Morrow Reservoir has not been listed as stocked during the last five years. I am going to assume it gets too warm for trout? Could it be a bass pond?

DAVID C. GIBBS, via email

A: Morrow Reservoir, a 50-acre desert reservoir just 4 miles north of Glenns Ferry, has potential for being a fairly decent bass and bluegill pond.

The reservoir was drained two years in a row during the last decade for dam repairs and never replenished with bass and bluegills because of questions about public access.

With access still up in the air, Fish and Game's plans for transplanting bass and bluegills to the pond remain in limbo.

The reservoir has a long history of being a mixed fishery with largemouth bass, bluegills and even crappie.

Fish and Game still sees it as a valuable asset. I remember hearing stories of good fishing at the reservoir way back in the '80s.

But, Fish and Game sees no sense in rebuilding a fishery yet without public access being certainty.

We'll have to wait and see what the outcome is for Morrow Reservoir.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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