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A USU study finds that fishing brings in $259 million or more annually for Utah economy. The Salt Lake Tribune has this article about the study. Below are excerpts.


The economists say that conservatively, they estimate anglers contributed $259 million in direct spending to fish in Utah in 2011 — about $184 million of that spent specifically to fish Utah’s Blue Ribbon waters.


This study showed that Wasatch County benefitted the most from Blue Ribbon Fisheries, with more than $110 million of total economic input from anglers heading to waters like Strawberry Reservoir, the middle Provo River, Jordanelle Reservoir and Currant Creek.


Daggett/Uintah counties pulled in second as the favorite destination area for Blue Ribbon Fisheries with the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir being the main draws. Garfield County saw more than $17 million in contributions from anglers visiting Lake Powell, Panguitch Lake, Panguitch Creek and Corn Creek.


Read the entire article.

Published in News
Thursday, 31 January 2013 02:19

28 Pound Striper Caught At Lake Powell

Last week Jesse Pond caught a 28 pound striped bass near Forgotten Canyon at Lake Powell. His father, Sean, posted this account of the epic battle in the Anglers' Corner section on WaynesWords.com. He posted 2 photos, one of which is shown here. Below we give excerpts from his account. It is worth reading the entire post.

While traveling west over Eisenhower tunnel and over Vail pass everyone looked at us like we were crazy for having our boat in tow in January. as we headed out of Grand Junction Colorado into the Utah Desert the outside temperature was 7 degrees Fahrenheit and my wife started to believe I was crazy too……….

The next morning we slept in until about 9AM, grabbed a quick bite and headed back to the off shore marina to look at the house boat, when we finished our houseboat tour we made it back to the Boat inspection station about 11AM and it was 43 degrees, sunny and no wind, once the inspection was complete we hit the boat ramp to launch and realized there were only 2 other trucks in the parking area, we had the lake all to ourselves!

Jesse had been bugging me to fish so I finally gave in and rigged up his and my poles with a couple of cast masters and trolled all the way out of Forgotten Canyon with no luck, as we reached the main channel I rigged up 2 poles with leaded line , mine had a Rapala CD9 and was out 7 colors, I set Jesse up with a Storm Thunder stick in green and let him out 8 colors and settled in behind the controls, I varied our trolling speed between 1.5 – 2.3mph on my GPS, about 15 minutes later we had just turned into the main channel towards Bull fog when Jesse Yelled “ DAD, I HAVE A SNAG” I looked at the fish finder and said Jess we are 200 ft deep , that’s not a snag, HOLD ON!

some 20 to 30 minutes later with the fish actually coming our way he must have been able to see the bottom of the boat because he dove straight down and hard! It pulled Jesses rod so fast the handle was forced into his groin, Jesse yelled and fell forward , I grabbed Jesse by his hoodie with my left hand and his pole with my right, feeling the weight of this fish...

Once the fish was in the boat we snapped bunch of pictures and decided to head to bull frog marina and get it weighed. The post office scales were all that we could find and it showed about 27 ½ pounds. We froze Jesse’s fish that night and upon return to Bailey Colorado my wife had it weighed at our local Safeway and it came in at 28.31 lbs.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012 03:15

Exploring and Fishing Cathedral In The Desert

Cathedral In The Desert is an iconic landmark in Glen Canyon at Lake Powell. It is a beautiful canyon grotto with a waterfall (actually two waterfalls). A few years ago Lake Powell dropped to a very low level and the main waterfall was exposed. Many people make a trek to see the Cathedral, which was often been described as paradise lost beneath the waters of Lake Powell.

In recdent years the lake's level has risen and, at this writing, the top of the main waterfall is under 10 feet of water. (See photos and a video showing Cathedral In The Desert.)

On Oct. 20, 2012, DWR Biologist Wayne Gustaveson boated into the Cathedral and filed this report:

For example, on Saturday we took a side trip into Cathedral in the Desert at the back of Clear Creek Canyon on the Escalante. The lake level now is at the base of the second waterfall with the main cathedral well under water.  We viewed the falls and then retraced our steps.  While passing over the first falls (10 feet deep) marking the cathedral we noticed a school of fish sunning themselves near the surface of the 50 feet deep chamber. A Kastmaster spoon tossed to the basking fish proved them to be largemouth bass. A slab spoon simultaneously dropped to the bottom of the chamber resulted in a 5-pound striper. The next two drops to the 50-foot bottom produced two walleye. Then the fish quit.  That is a good summary of fishing this week. There are fish to catch in a wide variety of places but it takes a subtle key to understand when fish are vulnerable.

Salt Lake City -- The Utah Blue Ribbon Fisheries Advisory Council voted Sept. 20 to designate a newly restored section of the Ogden River as a “Blue Ribbon Fishery.”


With that vote, the 1.1-mile restored section of the Ogden River—located downstream from Washington Boulevard—is the forty sixth water body in Utah to be recognized, protected and appreciated for its unique recreational qualities.


In order to be designated as a “Blue Ribbon Fishery,” a water body must provide high quality fishing, a quality outdoor experience, contain high quality fish habitat and provide an economic benefit to the community.


The Sept. 20 vote recognizes intensive efforts by Ogden City, the Division of Wildlife Resources and a long list of project partners to enhance and improve the river.


“For many years,” says Ben Nadolski, regional aquatic habitat restoration biologist for the DWR, “it has been our collective desire and passion to transform this neglected and often abused reach of the Ogden River into an asset that everyone, including future generations, can be proud of.”


The following is among the work the DWR and its partners have done to improve habitat for fish and provide more access to anglers:


·        Protected 17 acres of riparian and in-stream habitats using perpetual conservation easements


·        Installed 20 cross-vanes that restore riffle/pool sequences and diversify habitats in the river


·        Removed and recycled 5,684 tons of concrete and metal, including seven car bodies


·        Removed 8,359 tons of non-recyclable glass, concrete and miscellaneous waste


·        Removed and recycled 2,460 automotive tires that were used to manufacture flip flops


·        Built nine storm water filtering areas that are vegetated with wetland plants


·        Built two fishing ramps that are accessible to those with physical challenges


·        Created 20 access points to the river for fishing and other recreation


 “The recent vote, along with recent awards and other wide-spread recognition, have proven to all of us, as well as to communities across the nation, that Utah’s rivers and fisheries are unique and valuable resources that improve our quality of life,” Nadolski says.


The Utah Blue Ribbon Fisheries Program was established in 2005 by former Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.  The Blue Ribbon Fisheries Advisory Council, a broad-based citizen advisory group, oversees the program.


Funds for the Blue Ribbon program come from those who purchase fishing licenses.

For more information, call the DWR’s Northern Region office at (801) 476-2740.

Published in News

(This is a news release provided by Utah DWR.)

Kokanee Salmon Day is Sept. 15

Manila – You don’t need binoculars or a spotting scope to see kokanee salmon in Sheep Creek—the bright red fish are easy to see once they enter the stream.

But if you attend Kokanee Salmon Day on Sept. 15, bring your binoculars or a spotting scope with you anyway.  In addition to the salmon in the stream, you might see some bighorn sheep in the distance.

On Sept. 15, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resource will hold its annual Kokanee Salmon Day.  Viewing runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is free, and the viewing site is easy to get to.

Sheep Creek is in northeastern Utah, about six miles south of Manila.  The viewing site is at the Scenic Byway turnout where Sheep Creek crosses under state Route 44.

UDWR biologists will be at the site between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.  Display materials will be available that will help you understand the life history and the behavior of the salmon you see in the stream.  Spotting scopes will also be available in case bighorn sheep visit the area, which they usually do during Kokanee Salmon Day.

Fish are close to entering the stream

Kokanee are a land-locked relative of the salmon found in the Pacific Ocean.  Rather than migrating upstream from the ocean, though, the Sheep Creek population migrates upstream from Flaming Gorge Reservoir to spawn in the stream.

On Sept. 4, biologists said salmon were staging offshore but hadn't entered the stream yet. "They’re a bit late,” says Ron Stewart, a conservation outreach manager with the UDWR, “but that's common for a drought year.”

In 2011, Stewart says the salmon started entering the stream on Aug. 26.  Records kept by the UDWR show the salmon have come into the stream as late as Sept. 9.

“Anglers are seeing good numbers of salmon turning red in the reservoir,” Stewart says, “so we hope when they do decide to run, the spawning run will be good one.”

See a wide variety of wildlife

Seeing bright red kokanee salmon makes a trip to Sheep Creek more than worth it.  But the salmon are often just one of many wildlife species that have been seen on Kokanee Salmon Day.

Stewart says you should bring your camera and binoculars to the event.  "At Sheep Creek,” he says, “Kokanee Day often becomes ‘Wildlife Day.’  You can often see bighorn sheep, turkeys and other wildlife from the viewing site and the surrounding area.”

If bighorns or turkeys appear, Stewart says you’ll be able to see them through spotting scopes UDWR biologists will focus on the animals.  Or the biologists can help you spot them so you can see them through your own spotting scope or binoculars.

In addition to bighorn sheep, Stewart says other big mammals, and a large variety of smaller mammals and birds, often pay a visit.  “Birds of prey, including golden eagles, kestrels, osprey and vultures, are frequent visitors," Stewart says.  "And participants often hear sandhill cranes flying overhead.”

Stewart says driving along one of Utah's first National Scenic Byways—with its spectacular scenery and 18 interpretive sites—fall weather that’s usually pleasant, leaves that are changing color, lots of wildlife and a chance to see bright red kokanee salmon make Kokanee Salmon Day an event you won’t want to miss.

For more information, call the UDWR’s Northeastern Region office at (435) 781-9453.

Published in News
Friday, 31 August 2012 18:07

Catch Fish, See Birds At Utah State Fair

See “The Wild World of Predators” in Wildlife Building at Utah State Fair


Salt Lake City -- There will be plenty to do in and around the Wildlife Building at this year’s Utah State Fair.


Kids can catch fish at a fishing pond. Inside the building, you can see fish from across Utah in the building’s aquariums and learn more about Utah’s predators by touring “The Wild World of Predators” display. And a group from Earthwings will provide a bird show in front of the building every evening at 7 p.m.


In addition to live fish, tarantulas and reptiles, a full-size eagle’s nest, a replica of a bat cave and many other exhibits and taxidermy animals are waiting for you inside the building.


“The building is full of cool stuff about Utah’s wildlife,” says Patricia Engel, events coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.


When it’s open


The 2012 Utah State Fair runs from Sept. 6 – 16. The Wildlife Building will be open every day of the fair.


The fishing pond on the south side of the building will also be open from 4 to 7 p.m. every day of the fair. Anyone 13 years of age and younger can fish at the pond. Anglers who are 12 or 13 years old must have a fishing license, though.


The DWR puts the exhibit in the Wildlife Building together every. DWR personnel staff the building and the fishing pond.


The Utah State Fairpark is at 155 N. 1000 W. in Salt Lake City. More information about the 2012 fair is available at www.utahstatefair.com.

Published in News

Fishing changes for 2013 will be discussed soon

Using ideas they received from more than 1,300 anglers last spring, fisheries biologists are recommending some fishing changes in Utah in 2013.  The following are among the proposed changes:

Allow anglers to have up to three hooks on their fishing line.

Currently, Lake Powell and Flaming Gorge are the only waters in Utah at which anglers can use up to three hooks.

Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, thinks walleye, bass and fly anglers are among those who will be excited about the proposed change.

“Some of the more experienced fly anglers are using a rig that consists of a large fly with nymph ‘trailers’ attached to it,” Cushing says.  “Allowing them to fish three trailers, instead of two, will give them a better chance to catch fish.”

Cushing says bass and walleye anglers are starting to use umbrella rigs.  An umbrella rig consists of two or more lures that are attached together.  As the rig is pulled through the water, it imitates a small school of fish swimming together.

“Just like with fly anglers,” Cushing says, “allowing bass and walleye anglers to use three hooks will give them a better chance to catch fish.”

Umbrella rigs often include more than three lures.  If the change is approved, only three of the lures in a rig could have hooks on them.  “If only three of the lures had hooks on them,” Cushing says, “the rig would still be very effective.”

Umbrella rigs and worm harnesses are currently sold in Utah, but they’re not legal to use in the state if they have more than two hooks.  “This change would make it legal to use umbrella rigs and worm harnesses that have up to three hooks,” Cushing says.

Allow archers to use bows and arrows to fish for common carp in shallow water at night.

Currently, bow fishing for common carp is allowed only during the day.

Cushing says anything that can legally be done to remove carp is a good thing.  “Carp populations grow quick,” he says, “and they’ll eat anything, so they compete for food with all of the other fish in the water.”

Also, carp grow fast.  They don’t stay small long enough to provide adequate forage for other fish.  “And that isn’t all,” Cushing says.  “Carp stir up the mud on the bottom of the waters they’re in.  They also feed on and damage aquatic plants.  The mud they stir up prevents sunlight from reaching the plants.  The damaged plants can’t repair themselves, and new plants can’t grow.”
Cushing says 1,367 anglers responded to a survey that was available on the DWR’s website from mid May to mid June.
Because of how the survey was conducted (for example, it was offered online to anyone who wanted to take it), Cushing says the survey isn’t statistically valid, and it doesn’t represent every angler in Utah.  But he’s still excited about the number of anglers who responded to the survey and the ideas they shared.

Learn more, share your ideas

All of the fishing changes the DWR is recommending for 2013 are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings. After you’ve reviewed the ideas, you can let your Regional Advisory Council members know your thoughts by attending your upcoming RAC meeting or by sending an email to them. RAC chairmen will share the input they receive with members of the Utah Wildlife Board.  The board will meet in Salt Lake City on Nov. 1 to approve fishing rules in Utah for 2013.

Dates, times and locations for the RAC meetings are as follows:

Central Region                                Southeastern Region
Sept. 11                                            Sept. 19
6:30 p.m.                                          6:30 p.m.
Springville Public Library                     Emery County Building
45 S. Main St.                                   75 E. Main St.
Springville                                         Castle Dale

Northern Region                              Northeastern Region
Sept. 12                                            Sept. 20
6 p.m.                                               6:30 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center         Division of Wildlife Resources
24 N. 300 W.                                     318 N. Vernal Ave.
Brigham City                                     Vernal
Southern Region
Sept. 18
7 p.m.
Richfield High School
510 W. 100 S.


You can also provide your comments to your RAC via email.  Email addresses for your RAC members are available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.

The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person’s email address.  You should direct your email to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.

Published in News
Friday, 31 August 2012 03:39

Catching White Bass At Utah Lake

(Note: This fishing report was submitted by Loren Brooks)


The White Bass, (Morone Chrysops), aka, the "Golden Eye" fish, is found in Utah Lake. The white bass or sand bass is a freshwater fish of the temperate bass family Moronidae. It is the state fish of Oklahoma. Adults resemble young striped bass. Adults are usually found in schools. Feeding occurs near the surface where fish, crustaceans, and emerging insects are found in abundance. Gizzard and threadfin shad are the preferred food items. White bass more than four years of age are rare. White bass are excellent fighters, and are considered superb table fare.


On Wedesday, August 29, 2012, outfitter, Lee Rasmussen, with side kick, Earl Latimer, and Loren, caught 39 White Bass. Most of the fish were in shallow water about 3 to 4 feet deep. The weather was perfect and the timing was right. By 11:05 am we were on our way back to the marina. They are small fish, most of which were about ten or twelve inches in length. We had the fish fileted and bagged on ice by 11:45. We had lunch at a local restaurant.


We used artificial bait on 1/4 oz jig heads, casting with light spinning tackle. Lots of fun. Since I am currently with out a boat, I appreciatge the invitation Lee. On the way home I stopped in and visited with Scott Fortuna,of A Rock Propeller. He said the used 19 foot SeaSwirl would not be compatable with the 115 hp Johnson. He estimated the value of that boat in it's present condition at about $800.00. The owner of the SeaSwirl was hoping to get $1600.00 for the boat. He said the V-4 Johnson, which I own, would not handle the 19 foot SeaSwirl. It would be so underpowered it would ride like a tug boat. He offered me $200.00 for the Overton inboard motor, whichg I salvaged from the boat graveyard in Overton. He offered me $50.00 for the 35 hp Johnson which is missing the lower end. The first two pictures, show the fish in the live well.


"Keep your lure in the water, the waters of life", (Randy Travis)



Published in Utah Fishing Report

Utah's DWR reports a new state record brook trout was caught on July 15. The information below is from DWR:

Trent Syme of Payson, Utah caught the new state record brook trout from an undisclosed lake on the Boulder Mountains. The brook trout officially weighed in at 7 pounds 9 ounces, surpassing the old state record brook trout by a single ounce, which was caught in 1971 by Milton Taft.

Syme caught the brook trout on July 15 by using a marabou jig. Like many of the Boulder Mountain anglers that have had success catching large brook trout, Syme was hesitant to disclose the particular lake on the mountain where the trophy was caught.

(This is a news release provided by Utah's Division of Wildlife Resources.)


Fishing Adventures Abound in the Uinta Mountains


Lakes offer a variety of fish, including tiger trout


Kamas – A mix of fishing experiences, ranging from simple day trips to extended wilderness adventures, are waiting for you in the Uinta Mountains in northern Utah.

Phil Douglass, regional conservation outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says you can spend a lifetime exploring the mountain’s lakes and the fishing opportunities they offer. “The lakes really do offer something for everyone,” he says.


Brook trout, tiger trout, rainbow trout, Colorado River cutthroat trout, Bonneville cutthroat trout, golden trout and Arctic grayling are among the fish you can catch in the Uintas.


Lakes along the Mirror Lake Highway


If you’re new to fishing the Uintas, lakes along state Route 150, also known as the Mirror Lake Highway, are a great place to start exploring.

Some of these lakes are next to the road. Others are only a short hike away.


Casting a worm and a bobber, and then letting the worm dangle two or three feet under the bobber, is often all you need to do to catch fish at these lakes.

But, as Douglass mentioned, the lakes offer something for everyone.


“For my family, caching tiger trout on a fly rod was their first fly fishing experience,” says Paul Thompson, a regional DWR fisheries biologist. “They had a blast.”


Tiger trout


Tiger trout are a hybrid cross between a brown trout and a brook trout. These feisty fish have quickly become popular among those who fish the Uintas.


“Two years ago,” says Craig Schaugaard, aquatics manager for the DWR’s Northern Region, “we tried stocking catchable-sized tiger trout in some of the lakes in the Uintas on an experimental basis. The experimental stocking was so popular among anglers that we’ve decided to stock catchable tiger trout in the Uintas permanently.”

The following are the lakes in the Uintas that have tiger trout: Butterfly, Lily, Mirror, Moosehorn, Pass, Teapot, Trial and Washington.


Douglass says tiger trout are fairly aggressive predators. He says they’ll readily take spinners in gold or copper colors. “Small CountDown Rapalas in brown trout colors also work well,” he says. “Traditional baits such as worms can also be effective.”

For fly anglers, Douglass recommends using big streamers and tiny nymph patterns. Scud patterns on a number 18 hook can also be effective.


Learn more


Reading the DWR’s weekly fishing report is one of the best ways to stay current on fishing in the Uintas. The report is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots.

Another great source is Wade Jacklin, manager of Angler's Den in Roy. “Wade fishes most of the river drainages in the Uintas,” Douglass says. “He’s an excellent source of information.”


You can reach Jacklin at (801) 773-1166.


You can also learn more about fishing the Uintas by calling or visiting the DWR’s offices in Ogden and Vernal.

The telephone number for the Ogden office is (801) 476-2740. You can reach the Vernal office at (435) 781-9453.

Published in Utah Fishing Report
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north state fishing map