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Trout vs. chub

Trout vs. chub

The main questions for fisheries managers are whether or not the growing population of chub will compete with sport fish for food and/or space, as has been observed elsewhere, or whether chub can be effectively controlled by trout populations.


Stay Low. Stay Still. Survive.

Stay Low. Stay Still. Survive.

The mulie bounded across the road in front of us. Powerful leg muscles flexed under her summer coat, propelling her through effortless 20-foot arcs. Five heads swiveled to watch the deer, some of them lurching from reclined positions of slumber.


Tagging toads at night

Tagging toads at night

Boreal toads are more active at night, so we’ll be surveying breeding sites after dark using headlamps. Food and sleeping arrangements at one of our remote cabins in west Box Elder County will be provided! The work typically does not end until after midnight.


A very unexpected ending

A very unexpected ending

As the buck charged, I realized there were five little spears headed right for me. I was standing right between those antlers and the door! I made some timely comments at the top of my lungs as I quickly jumped from the trailer.


The thrill of harvesting a bird with “jewelry”

The thrill of harvesting a bird with “jewelry”

To me, the most satisfying thing about the Waterfowl Slam is that every dollar raised from this program is going towards creating or enhancing waterfowl habitat in Utah. So far we have raised over $10,000 that will go directly back into habitat projects around the state!


Picking up pelicans on Gunnison Island

Picking up pelicans on Gunnison Island

When the mob of chicks came back to my edge of the fence, I just reached in and picked one up. That, of course, left its beak free to protest by pecking the top of my head. I got the little guy under my arm quickly and was able to hold a hand over his eyes, which calmed him down.


Respect for Utah’s bears

Respect for Utah’s bears

Bears have a remarkable sense of smell, and they love to follow their noses. They have amazing memories and will return to a site repeatedly if they found a meal there in the past. Often times, this routine causes the bear to become aggressive, and that’s when things get dangerous (for you and the bear).


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.


Nesting habitat for wood ducks

Nesting habitat for wood ducks

Because these ducks are cavity nesters, nesting habitat was mostly unavailable at the pond. Cavities are most commonly found in stumps and dead trees, which are almost always removed from city parks. It was obvious that lack of nesting habitat limited population growth for wood ducks.


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.


Ice fishing with a biologist and a news reporter

Ice fishing with a biologist and a news reporter

For about a half hour, Phil and I were treated to a non-stop photo opp as Calvin yanked trout through the ice. Most of these trout ranged from 14­­–16 inches. Except for one Bear Lake cutthroat, all of the fish were splake. All of the fish were well proportioned. Not fat, not skinny. Just right.


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.