Blue Ribbon Fisheries

Pelican Lake

Nationally known for trophy bluegill, this small reservoir, also has largemouth bass (one to four pounds) and an underutilized bullhead fishery. A developed boat ramp and a primitive campground, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, are available on the southwest side. Anglers with smaller boats also use primitive ramps on the north and east sides when water levels permit. Limited shore access is available near the BLM boat ramp and along the highway dike on its eastern shore. It gets very hot here in summer and the biting flies can be bad at times. Come prepared. Do not get in the water during the summer due to swimmers itch.

Waterbody type

Large warmwater lake > 200 acres


Pelican Lake is located at an elevation of 4,800 feet. The lake is approximately 25 miles from Roosevelt, Utah. The UTM coordinates for this waterbody are 613,661.005 meters east and 4,450,075.549 meters north. Decimal degree coordinates for this water are -109.664693 longitude and 40.193378 latitude.


Limit 20 bluegill and green sunfish in the aggregate. Limit 6 bass. Limit 24 bullhead. Limit 8 channel catfish. Consult your fishing guidebook for more information.

Bait restrictions

The use or possession of live baitfish and tiger salamanders while fishing is unlawful. Use or possession of corn or hominy while fishing is unlawful. For additional information consult Section R657-13-12 of the Administrative Rules.

Nearest town

Roosevelt, UT

Distance to Roosevelt, UT


More information

View details about Pelican Lake
View Pelican Lake access points

Pelican Lake

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From Salt Lake City, travel east on I-80 for 23.9 miles. Take exit 146 onto US-40 E toward Vernal, Utah. Travel 115 miles on US-40 and turn right at US-191 N. Travel 15.9 miles on US-191 North and turn right onto UT-88. Travel 9.2 miles. Pelican Lake will be on your right. Directions for specific access points will be provided on access point pages listed below.


1,680 acres


Pelican Lake has a maximum depth of 18 feet. The average depth of the lake is 9 feet.


Pelican Lake is located at 4,800 feet elevation.

Fishing information

Sport Species

Black bullhead
Channel catfish
Common carp
Largemouth bass

Non-Sport Species

Green sunfish

Angling Methods

Float Tube
Motorized boat
Non-motorized boat

Suggested Tackle

Spincast, spinning, baitcast, or fly tackle can be used successfully on this water; providing angling opportunities for the novice and the specialized angler alike. Ultralight to light weight tackle is suitable for panfish species; however, medium to medium-heavy tackle is recommended for bass. Floating line is recommended when fly fishing for panfish and bass. For more information on fishing tackle visit the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation Take Me Fishing website. Note that bass fly sizes listed as 6 can also be fished in size 4.

Suggested Bait

Cut bait from legal species, live crawfish (from Pelican Lake only), night crawlers, waxworms, or mealworms will provide bait anglers with great action. For tips in the use of bait go to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation Take Me Fishing website.

Suggested Lures

Small jigs tipped with live bait or a simple bobber and worm combination will provide good action for panfish species. Bass should be targeted by utilizing plastic worms, swimbaits, tube jigs, crawfish or baitfish imitating crankbaits, spinnerbaits, or topwater lures, such as buzzbaits or poppers. Fly fishers targeting panfish or bass, should use foam-bodied flies (spiders), cork poppers, woolly buggers, or damselfly nymphs. For more information on lures go to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation Take Me Fishing website.

Fly Matrix

Click here to view the Fly Matrix

Current Water or Flow Conditions

Due to irrigation demands, water levels at Pelican Lake tend to fluctuate throughout the year.

Moon Phase and Fish Conditions

For a glimpse at how moon phase, pressure, and other environmental variables may affect the bite at Pelican Lake, visit

Seasonal Environmental Conditions

Ice typically begins forming on Pelican Lake in late December. Ice off varies, but usually occurs in mid-March. Water temperatures (oF) range from the low 50s in spring, to the high 70s in mid-summer, and back down to the low 50s in the fall.

Fishing License Information

Buy a fishing or combination license


Fish Preparation

Read more about preparing fish on the Take Me Fishing Web site

AIS Transportation Prevention

Learn more about preventing the spread of invasive species

Catch and Release Information

Learn proper catch and release technique

Biological Report

Pelican Reservoir report

Consumption Advisories

See current fish consumption advisories

Disease Transport

Learn how to help prevent the spread of whirling disease in Utah.visit the Protect Your Waters website.

Services Description

Bait, fuel, restaurants, and grocery stores can all be found in the nearby towns of Vernal and Roosevelt.

Access Points

Two main access points are available at Pelican Reservoir. Improved pull-offs, a fishing piers, boat ramp, and parking areas will afford anglers varied opportunities at or near these access points. Information for specific access points is provided below.

Access pointCamping servicesAmenities for the disabledBoat servicesVisitor servicesOther recreation
BLM RampPrimitive (tent) sitesFishing piersTrails/shoreline paths
RampRestroomsPicnic areas
HikingWildlife watching
Mountain bikingOHV or 4WD trails
UDWR Sportsman AccessPrimitive (tent) sitesTrails/shoreline pathsHand launch
HikingWildlife watching
Mountain bikingOHV or 4WD trails

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