All winter I’ve been looking forward to the ice coming off at two reservoirs where I’ll have a good chance of doing both—catching lots of big fish. This spring you’ll find me at Scofield and Joes Valley reservoirs.
Now that these ponds are being stocked weekly, it’s the perfect time to start getting out there with family and friends. Whether it’s for the family interaction, some quality time with a spouse or just to reacquaint with nature, community fisheries offer ideal outdoor settings.
Patchy snow dusted fifteen inches of solid, clear ice. By 1:00 p.m., the arm was dotted with ice fishing shelters, snow machines and both vacant and active fishing camps. Our friends new to ice fishing tentatively stood at ice edge and watched as some of us strode confidently onto the lake.
Fall is a transitional time for a biologist. It’s also one of my favorite times of year. The season begins amid a frenzy of fieldwork and ends with days behind the desk. The transition between these two modes of work is anything but gradual and naturally anything but boring.
Having the right tool for the job is important in any profession or trade. Chefs need sharp knives, house painters need high-volume sprayers and plumbers need adjustable wrenches. The same rule applies to fisheries biologists. We often use electrofishing to do our jobs, and it’s just what it sounds like: fishing with electricity.
A few weeks ago, I convinced a coworker (who has a reputation as a top-notch tiger muskie fisherman) to show me and my friend, Melissa, how to catch Utah’s most coveted sportfish. We headed out super-early to Newton Reservoir in Cache Valley (north and east of Logan) and fished all day.
My first introduction to drift fishing actually happened by accident. I laid down on the bottom of the canoe, secured my fishing pole in the rod holder and enjoyed the gentle rocking of the waves. The clouds floated overhead, my eyelids began to close, and then…WHAM!
Scofield Reservoir is one of the most popular and heavily used fisheries in Utah. Recently, however, the reservoir has experienced some challenges that have reduced the number of anglers who fish there. The biggest challenge was the discovery of Utah chubs in the reservoir in 2005.
The DWR has been working to identify a pure population of Colorado River cutthroat trout and to develop a broodstock that can be used to repopulate areas in southeastern Utah. Those obstacles have finally been overcome, and we are ready to begin restoration efforts.