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A chance to help researchers in Wyoming

A chance to help researchers in Wyoming

In late April, my regional supervisor, Bill Bates, forwarded me an email asking for help retrieving a transmitter from the study. The osprey carrying it had died, then been covered by snow over the winter. The transmitter sent out a signal in October of 2012, but went silent after being covered in snow.


Bear denning in the south Book Cliffs

Bear denning in the south Book Cliffs

Crompton found mama bear awake, watching him as he entered. As she saw the biologist pull himself inside, she retreated toward the rear wall. With only one chance to shoot, Crompton took careful aim and fired the dart into her haunch.


Utah’s most-viewed fishing spots

Utah’s most-viewed fishing spots

One of the perks of working in the Communications section at DWR is that I have quick access to things like web statistics. (If you’re nerdy like me, those sorts of things excite you.) We recently checked the traffic on the fishing portion of the DWR website. In order from least to most page views, here are the 15 Utah waterbodies you were most curious about.


Deer: to feed, or not to feed.

Deer: to feed, or not to feed.

My primary concern is for the overall health and growth of a species. Rather than focusing on individual animals, I ask myself how management actions will affect the species as a whole in an area, and then I weigh the costs against the benefits. Given these considerations, most of the time my advice is that people avoid feeding deer in the winter.


Heaps of healthy fish

Heaps of healthy fish

Many of the larger rainbow trout were shaped like Spalding footballs, especially those in the 15- to 17-inch size class. Brown trout have also taken on a new look, and the night’s “big fish” was a 20-inch brown trout weighing in at 3.5 pounds.


Meet the bats

Meet the bats

Participants were extremely satisfied with the experience—especially the opportunity to see these mysterious creatures in the flesh. There was also talk of how therapeutic it was to sit in the darkness and watch the stars from lawn chairs.


Large, colorful cutthroat trout at Strawberry

Large, colorful cutthroat trout at Strawberry

Bear Lake cutthroat trout follow the same tributaries during their early-June spawning run. The tributaries to the reservoir are currently closed to fishing. Though the water is a little murky in June, you can still watch them in the river as they work their way upstream to spawn.


A year in the life of a fisheries biologist

A year in the life of a fisheries biologist

Fish activity and feeding really heats up along reservoir shorelines in the spring. The sun warms the shallow areas of water first, and fish naturally move into this water to bask and feed. The resulting activity attracts anglers and fishery biologists, both with the same goal: to catch a lot of fish.


Clouds of midges and lots of fat fish

Clouds of midges and lots of fat fish

Our total catch was 681 fish, including 443 rainbows, 236 browns and a couple whitefish. Our PIT tag recapture rate was around 19 percent, which is similar to what we normally see. The big fish of the night was a rainbow trout that stretched the measuring stick to nearly 22 inches, while the longest brown was just less than 19 inches.


A habitat remodel for wintering mule deer

A habitat remodel for wintering mule deer

The chaining removed pinyon and juniper trees in order to establish grasses, forbs and shrubs. These trees provide hiding spots and thermal cover for deer and elk, which is like a bedroom. By removing islands of trees and aerial seeding the area with quality plant species, we create a kitchen, and they still have a bedroom too. It’s a habitat remodel of sorts.


Shocking the fish

Shocking the fish

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 strategy for Scofield

A strategy for Scofield

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.