Otter Creek Reservoir & State Park
- Rating: Fair
- Conditions: The state park reports seven inches of ice on the south end, but the edges are getting soft. Use caution, especially around cracks and pressure ridges. One ATV was lost recently to a pressure ridge. Anglers report slow to fair fishing, but many of the fish are large and in great condition. Heavy fishing pressure can really affect fish activity, so don't hesitate to get away from popular spots and try different depths, techniques and baits. Believe it or not, but tipping jigs with pieces of minnow or cut bait can produce well at Otter Creek when other baits aren't working.
- Location: Piute County
- Directions: South on Hwy 89 from Richfield. East 11 miles on U-62 from the junction US 89 and U-62. Where U-62 turns north, continue east for 0.5 miles on U-22.
- Type: Fishing
- Size: 2500 acres
- Elevation: 6,400 feet
- Likely catch: Rainbow Trout
- Possible catch: Brown Trout, Cutthroat Trout, Smallmouth Bass, Tiger Trout
- Regulations: To see what statewide or special regulations apply to this waterbody, please read the current Fishing Guidebook.
- Site amenities: State park: Campground, boating, RV facilities, showers, restrooms
- Handicap access:
- Site description: Otter Creek Reservoir has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best trout producers in southern Utah. When conditions are right, the reservoir is one of the most popular fisheries in the state and literally pumps out thousands of pounds of rainbow trout a year. Located about 50 miles south of Richfield, it is one of the oldest dam projects in Utah. At full pool it covers over 2,500 acres and is one of the primary irrigation storage reservoirs in the Sevier River basin. Although there is no conservation pool, water users generally leave enough water in the reservoir to maintain the fishery except in years of extreme drought. It is one of the most productive lakes in Utah, with stocked rainbow trout gaining over an inch a month at times. A State Park and private marina are located at the south end of the lake, providing camping, food, launch ramps, boat rentals and gas. Fishing regulations include state-wide limits of four trout and six bass without any special restrictions.
Water conditions and reservoir levels have been good since spring 2005. The stocked trout, primarily rainbow trout with a limited number of Bear Lake cutthroat, have grown rapidly. Otter Creek is a good spot for both shore and boat anglers, depending on the time of year.
Shore fishing is good in spring and fall when trout move into shallow water to feed. Try fishing off any of the points on the west side or near the dam and campground. Popular baits like PowerBait and worm and marshmallow combinations produce well. Hardware anglers will find success with flashy lures, spinners, crankbaits and Rapalas.
Shore fly anglers should try streamer patterns or nymphs and midge patterns drifted below a strike indicator. When the water warms in the summer, trout move deeper and into the middle of the lake, so fishing from a boat your best bet. Trolling popgear and a worm or any popular lure or spinner is effective. Some folks do well trolling any of the larger wet flies also. Spring winds can make fishing tough so plan on fishing early before the winds start.
Otter Creek is a popular ice fishing spot and produces some of the best action in the state. Try any standard ice fishing technique.
Smallmouth bass are a recent Otter Creek addition. Bass were introduced in 2005 as a biological Utah chub population control. Although the smallmouth habitat is somewhat limited, a few good water years have helped the population. Anglers should look for rocky shorelines that provide cover and shouldn't pass up the riprap on the face of the dam.
Otter Creek State Park offers a boat ramp, tent and RV camping, day-use area, restrooms, showers, fish cleaning station, and sewage disposal. Reservations may be made online at stateparks.utah.gov or by calling (801) 322-3770 within the Salt Lake City area or toll-free at (800) 322-3770.