Friday, 09 September 2011 10:16
The first shot in a war to fight illegal fish stocking in Utah has been fired by the state's wildlife agency.
Starting with the 2012 fishing season, Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are recommending no limit and catch-and-kill regulations at several waters in Utah.
Smallmouth bass are fun fish to catch. Put when they're placed in waters where they don't belong, they can do a lot of damage.
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources photo
Drew Cushing, sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR, says the agency will no longer manage fish that are placed illegally in a body of water. "Two tools we have to fight illegal fish stocking are no limit and catch-and-kill regulations," he says. "We want illegally introduced fish removed as quick as possible."
Cushing says illegal fish stocking hurts anglers, including you, several ways:
Cushing says when people imagine what a poacher looks like, they usually picture someone standing over a dead deer or elk with a rifle in their hands. "But," he says, "in terms of money and the number of people illegal fish stocking affects, those who move fish from one body of water to another do a lot more damage."
Cushing says the no limit and catch-and-kill regulations are just the first of many ideas DWR biologists are discussing to fight illegal fish stocking in Utah. "We have more ideas in mind," he says.
No limit and catch-and-kill regulations
All of the fishing changes the DWR is recommending for 2012 are available at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.
Among the DWR's ideas are to place catch-and-kill or no limit regulations on the following waters:
Smallmouth bass in Quail Creek, Sand Hollow and Gunlock reservoirs, and the
Virgin and Santa Clara rivers
Black bullhead catfish in Deer Creek Reservoir
Northern pike in Utah Lake
Learn more, share your ideas
After you've reviewed the ideas at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings, you can let your Regional Advisory Council members know your thoughts by attending your upcoming RAC meeting or by sending an email to them.
RAC chairmen will share the input they receive with members of the Utah Wildlife Board. The board will meet in Salt Lake City on Nov. 3 to approve rules for Utah's 2012 fishing season.
Dates, times and locations for the RAC meetings are as follows:
You can also provide your comments to your RAC via email. Email addresses for your RAC members are available at wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings.
The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person's email address. You should direct your email to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.
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