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.
Today’s tackle options are almost limitless when you consider all the different lures and their variations in size, weight and color. If you want to stock your tackle box with some productive fishing gear, consider the following choices for this upcoming fishing season.
When the ice thaws in the spring, a whole winter’s worth of shad carcasses are released. Wind and wave action push the shad to shore, and that’s where you can find catfish doing their “spring cleaning.”
Dozens of samples have been taken from Electric Lake and Red Fleet since the initial finding of invasive mussel larvae in 2008. All of the samples from both reservoirs have been negative for both the microscopic examination and follow-up DNA testing.