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Utah DWR video

Beavers in Utah

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So you want to be a wildlife biologist?

So you want to be a wildlife biologist?

Many DWR biologists (including me!) started off as university students working on projects funded by the DWR, and that led them to a career with the agency. It’s a great path if you are truly serious about becoming a professional biologist.


Getting back to the basics

Getting back to the basics

I instinctively pulled up my shotgun and fired a very quick shot, almost like I would on a flying grouse. The recoil on turkey guns it quite powerful and it took me off the turkey for just a split second. Then more than 30 turkeys erupted from the junipers. Chaos and beauty at the same time.


National Bison Day means more in Utah

National Bison Day means more in Utah

It was a cool November morning, and the mountain peaks pierced the low-hanging clouds, like pillars supporting a gray ceiling over the floor of the San Rafael Desert. The bison were there, and we approached in quiet excitement. We watched and listened as five bulls left their pinyon juniper loft and crashed their way through a pocket of quaking aspens below.


Practiced in the art of deception

Practiced in the art of deception

A wide variety of wildlife species, as well as humans, are drawn to the rich and dynamic wildlife habitats created by beavers. Unfortunately, people who earn their living by applying water to the land, or maintaining roads around beaver habitat, are not as likely to consider beavers their friends.


Bear cubs head back to the wild

Bear cubs head back to the wild

The shy cubs responded by hugging the walls and cautiously moving around. The bold cubs began exploring immediately with little signs of fear.


Ptarmigan genetics in the Uintas and beyond

Ptarmigan genetics in the Uintas and beyond

Although ptarmigan were not confirmed to be present in the Uintas prior to the 1976 release, additional reports of ptarmigan in the Uintas from before they were released has called into question whether or not Utah’s ptarmigan population is entirely introduced.


Connections between habitats

Connections between habitats

We put together a web map that shows where some of these wildlife crossing structures are located within Utah.


Middle Fork Sheep Creek: a success story in the making

Middle Fork Sheep Creek: a success story in the making

Jessen and Tamarack lakes have numerous tiger trout larger than our 18-inch measuring board, yet these fish have two or three summers of lifespan left! The fat content on these fish is outstanding. These fish are flat-out impressive!


Grabbing geese from airboats

Grabbing geese from airboats

Instead, I’ll simply say that the procedure is a lot of fun – a lot. Much like birdwatching in the wetlands, you can detect a capture operation by attentive observation. A long train of DWR trucks with trailers in tow can be spotted slowly driving along dikes in the wetlands.


What’s with the wipers?

What’s with the wipers?

Wipers were introduced to Newcastle Reservoir in 2005, and by 2009 golden shiners had almost completely disappeared. Rainbow trout and smallmouth bass immediately started showing improvements and now they provide outstanding fishing opportunities.


Nest boxes boost duck population

Nest boxes boost duck population

Artificial nesting boxes have been used by people all across the county to provide nesting habitat for wood ducks. Nesting boxes have also proven to be very successful in Utah.


Stocking sterile fish

Stocking sterile fish

We then place the eggs into a specially designed sieve that goes into a hydraulic pressure chamber. This chamber subjects the eggs to 9,500 PSI of pressure for ten minutes. This pressurization step is what makes the fish sterile.