Cisco Disco

(Adam) “Thanks for tuning into KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle and welcome to a beautiful, stormy Bear Lake, the third week of January, the annual event up here, that’s right, it’s the Cisco Disco, something that started back in the early 80’s and continues today.”

(Ralph Blotter, long time Cisco Discoer) “bryce Nelson and I started this Cisco Disco about 20 years ago, maybe 25.

(Scott Tolentino, D.W.R. Bear Lake Project Leader) it started off on the tailgate of a pickup truck with an old stove that pumped up with the white gas in it.

(Scott) now were are up to two three burners stoves and we are up to about 50 pounds of scone dough, 50 pounds of french fries and about 10 limits of cisco.

This eight to ten inch fish is what spawns all the craziness, the Bear Lake Cisco. A little fish found no where else in the world.

For two weeks each January, the cisco come shallow to spawn, creating such excitement, you can’t understand, that is until, you’ve been a part of it.

(jerry Wilson, South Ogden) “i’ve been coming up for the last 35 years.”

Jerry still remembers cisco fishing trips with his dad Cliff. Cliff has since passed away, but Jerry brought up an old newspaper clipping from 1984, to remind him of adventures long ago.

(Jerry Wilson, South Ogden) “My dad would come up for 2-3 weeks at a time and just stay in a camper off the back of his truck, loved every minute of it, come up by himself, and then i’d come up and spend a little time with him.”

(Jerry) “and it’s good to come up and reminisce about old times, talk with these older gentlemen and it kind of brings back memories.”

(Scott) I’ve got Jerry, Jim and Ralph all helping here in the kitchen it’s our local group and we have fun doing it every year. (Adam) “scones, fish and fries. (Scott) “it’s the east beach diet.

This is an informal party. Most folks that stop by the Cisco Disco are friends of Scott, Jerry, Jim or Ralph who come by just for the fun of the cookout.

But passerbys if they want to add their catch to the pot or taste a bit of local flavor, well that just adds to the fun.

(Corey & Jake Raemer, Riverton) we are just an eater, we just watch. (adam) “what do you think of this Jake? Have you eaten a fish?” (jake shakes head)

Most of the kids on hand were more interested in the fries and scones, not the cisco. Nothing a little bribe can’t fix.

(Adam to Makaylee) “i’ll go try one if you try one. No, i’ve got ten bucks if you try one. I’ll give you a ten dollar bill if you try one. (makaylee laughs) (adam) “you want to make ten bucks real quick? Let’s go do it.

(bill out of wallet) “alright, lets see if Makaylee has got the guts.”

(Adam) “Just take a bite, you don’t have to eat the tail. you don’t have to eat the tail. (crowd) for ten bucks, i’ll do it for four. there it is, (makaylee takes bite) ok, you’ve got the chew it. It’s not bad huh? Is it good? “no” (makaylee) “can I spit it out? (adam) “yeah you can spit it out. (adam) “ok, a deal is a deal, there you go.”

(Ralph Blotter, 25 year Cisco Veteran) he’s the next generation to be cooking over here and you can see he’s had plenty of eat today, if you look at his mouth, he’s got plenty of it on him.

(Adam) “that’s why you continue to do this? (ralph) yup, for the generation, yup keep it coming, it’s important.”

The cisco spawn is running a little late this year. Fisherman with dip nets in hand waited all morning long, but just a few of the endemic fish showed up for the party. Scott thinks the high water, combined with new vegetation along the shore, might be keeping the fish in deeper waters.

(Scott) “We don’t know if it’s going to happen, but we did see some fish show up at the marina yesterday. Went down there about 8:30 in the morning, no one around and I was watching fish swim by and I was going where’s the people.”

I found the people, there in boats jiggin, just off the rockpile.

(Randy “mort” Lamborne, Smithfield) “They’ve been catching a bunch out on the rock pile, so we’ll go try it on the rockpile. (adam) you guys have caught a few already?” yeah we caught a few this morning. (adam) “limit is 30?” (mort) 30 per person.”

Just off the rockpile, thousand of cisco have gathered, readied for the spawn. A jigging spoon, bounced off the bottom is all it takes.

(adam) fish on.” he’s fighting hard, look at his rod. Buckle me in.”

What drives these people to brave the elements each year is a mystery. Almost as mysterious as the urge of this little fish to come back to the shallows each year, like they have for millions of years, before man dipped and then discoed. Some might say they are crazy, I hope it’s a craze that continues for generations to come.

(Adam Dancing with Lori) “you have to lead though because I don’t know how to dance. (lori) “we are dancing” (adam) “i don’t know about that.”

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