The growing number of pelicans caught the attention of managers and anglers. “They’re eating all the trout,” was the concern. In response, we teamed up with and Utah State University and began tracking the eating habits of the birds.
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!
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.
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.
As a biologist and angler who spends a lot of time on the reservoir, I have received reports and witnessed kokanee mortalities on the surface of the reservoir during the summer months. Sometimes there are so many dead fish, they look like bread crumbs trailing behind trolling boats.
The over-arching goal of the research is to restore native fish species, including Bonneville cutthroat trout, to fire-affected streams in the Tushar Mountains. However, the watersheds of these remote 12,000+ foot peaks do not provide data easily.
When I first visited the burned area it looked like a bulldozer had gone down the middle of the stream. It was completely full of gravel. There were no fish. There were no pools. This was my first taste of what we were dealing with.
DWR stocks 12,000 rainbow trout and 5,000 tiger trout every year into Red Creek Reservoir. The rainbows are stocked in mid-June and the tigers in early July. Red Creek Reservoir can actually yield some pretty impressive growth, and the condition of the fish has been good.
Newer research has shown an additional factor: water and air temperatures play a big part in fish survival. Fish, especially cold-water fish like trout, are more likely to die when they are caught and brought up into warm summer waters.
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.
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.