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Pelicans at Strawberry Reservoir: what do they eat?

Pelicans at Strawberry Reservoir: what do they eat?

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.

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.

The low-speed stampede

The low-speed stampede

Holders are charged with the toughest part. They are tasked with securing the birds so the banders can install a leg band on the left leg and patagial markers on each wing. Not as easy as it sounds, when you consider that they have to hold the 15-pound bird securely. They also have to hold the pelican’s bill so it can’t bite anyone.

Water for wildlife

Water for wildlife

The use of guzzlers provides water to all types of wildlife in areas where water sources are few and far between. One of the great benefits of this is the ability to attract animals to areas with abundant forage and little natural water…

Kokanee: to release or to keep?

Kokanee: to release or to keep?

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.

Building nurseries for big-eared bats

Building nurseries for big-eared bats

The crew put up screen troughs on the tree trunks below the bark, which they refer to as poop-catchers.

Chasing owls in Utah’s west desert

Chasing owls in Utah’s west desert

Last week, I had a delightful experience that made me giddier than my wedding day. I was invited to join biologists and researchers as they banded burrowing owlets. Tiny, downy, newly hatched baby owls? Count me in!

A little owl makes a big journey

A little owl makes a big journey

One of our PTT-equipped owls managed to evade prairie falcons, badgers and weasels and began her fall journey southward from Cisco, Utah on October 3. On October 8, she was on the edge of Grand Gulch in San Juan County, and by October 14, she’d found her way to…