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Wildlife blog

DWR Wildlife Blog: Every few days we post new blog entries. It gives us a chance to talk about our jobs, our thoughts and our experiences with wildlife.

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Perks of the Walk-In Access Program

Perks of the Walk-In Access Program

Many hunters harvested their first deer and elk on WIA areas. Since the program began seven years ago, we’ve received many comments from proud fathers, avid anglers and enthusiastic hunters.


Fishing for crawdads at Strawberry

Fishing for crawdads at Strawberry

On page 13, the Utah Fishing Guidebook states, “Fishing for crayfish (also called crawdads) is a fun activity for the whole family.” But I’m here to tell you that crawdaddin’ is not just “fun,” it’s crazy-awesome and you have got to give it a try.


Fishing is the best alibi

Fishing is the best alibi

Seeing a striper boil in person was awesome—it’s louder and more frenzied than I imagined. The final fish count included three respectable stripers, one obscenely large bluegill, a couple largemouth bass and a few smallies.


A close encounter

A close encounter

As my eyes took in the side hill to the south, I noticed the white mustache and pointed ears of a mountain lion lying on a large boulder about 100 yards from where I sat. I didn’t see it move, and it was looking right at me so assumed that it had been watching me from the moment I arrived.


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.


Unsightly scavengers worth seeing

Unsightly scavengers worth seeing

My charges include over 200 species of birds and dozens of mammals. Many of the latter (such as pygmy rabbits, American pika and northern flying squirrels) are poster children for cuteness. Most of our sensitive species can fit in your hand. One of these “sensitive” critters—and by far the largest of them—requires at least two people to handle: the California condor.


A day at the ranch

A day at the ranch

Each summer, more than 60 employees from the DWR’s northern region spend a day together, improving wildlife habitat and a local DWR facility. In June of 2012, we held our annual workday at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area (WMA).


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.


A peek at the fishing forecast for this year

A peek at the fishing forecast for this year

All winter I’ve been looking forward to the ice coming off at two reservoirs where I’ll have a good chance of doing both—catching lots of big fish. This spring you’ll find me at Scofield and Joes Valley reservoirs.