UTAH (ABC4) – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has announced emergency changes to the 2022 Utah Fishing Guide, allowing anglers to catch and keep more fish in six bodies of water in Utah.
The changes are believed to be due to low water levels due to drought conditions and repair work.
DWR says drought impacts fish by reducing the amount of water available in lakes, reservoirs and streams, causing water to heat up faster and warm to higher temperatures. high.
Higher temperatures are problematic for fish species because warm water contains less oxygen than cooler water, according to DWR.
Officials say the combination of high temperatures and low oxygen levels can stress fish, causing “poor growth and disease”, and sometimes, can be fatal to fish.
The regulatory changes would be made as part of a DWR strategy that allows anglers to keep more fish in specific water bodies (usually lakes and reservoirs with a high probability of fish kills due to low predicted water levels).
The DWR says that, as in 2021, they are “strategically determining where fish will be stocked this year”, with the aim of reducing or eliminating fish stocking in water bodies where severe drought effects are anticipated. .
“The best management action we can take in these water bodies is to reduce the number of fish in these waters. This is because when water levels are low we are more likely to sustain a fishery that has fewer fish than one that has a lot,” said Randy Oplinger, DWR Sportfish Coordinator. “We are trying, as much as possible, to continue to provide a good fishing experience for anglers, until we believe that water levels will reach a critical level.
DWR has announced that the following changes are effective immediately and will remain in effect until September 30, 2022:
- Otter Creek Reservoir in Piute County: Increased daily limit to eight trout and six wipers.
- Minersville Reservoir in Beaver County: Increased daily limit to four trout (no size restriction) and three wipers. The restriction on the use of legal bait has also been temporarily removed until September 30.
- Vernon Reservoir in Tooele County: Increased daily limit to eight trout.
- Yuba Reservoir in Juab County: Increased daily limit to a combined total of 20 walleye, broom, trout (all species), tiger muskellunge, northern pike and channel catfish (no size restriction).
- Fairview Lakes in Sanpete County: Increased daily limit to eight trout.
In addition to the fishing changes, DWR says Spring Lake is being drained so Payson town officials can “make necessary repairs to infrastructure.” Officials say the daily limit at the lake was originally increased on January 13 with a targeted end date of March 18, however, because the lake has not yet been drained and there are still catchable fish, the new daily limit has been extended until July 11 and is now extended until December 31.
The pond would be replenished with rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and windshield wipers once city workers complete repairs and fill the pond with water. Spring Lake Community Pond in Utah County will have an increased daily limit for sport fish to eight fish (common carp does not count towards the daily limit).
All other Utah Fishing Guide rules remain in effect.