Mill Meadow Reservoir
- Rating: Fair
- Conditions: The water level has come up again and the reservoir is nearly full. The fish are deep, but fishing is still good. The Quiet Fly Fisher fly shop reports good success with double renegades, brown woolly buggers and zug bugs. Call the Quiet Fly Fisher fly shop at 435-616-2319 for up-to-date conditions and fishing reports.
- Location: South-Central Utah, SE of Richfield, N of Loa
- Directions: 47 mi SE of Richfield via SR 24, then turning north at Loa on SR 72 and west on Forest Road for the last 8 miles, OR 17 mi SE from Fish Lake on paved Forest Road
- Type: Fishing
- Size: 156 acres
- Elevation: 7681 ft
- Hours: No restrictions
- Likely catch: Brown Trout, Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout, Splake, Tiger Trout
- Possible catch: Tiger Muskellunge
- Regulations: To see what statewide or special regulations apply to this waterbody, please read the current Fishing Guidebook.
- Site amenities: Primitive camping on Forest Service lands
- Handicap access:
- Site description: Mill Meadow Reservoir often produces excellent fishing but it has its peculiarities and can change from year to year. There is no conservation pool and the reservoir can be drained to very low levels, but enough water is generally retained to allow fish to carry over from year to year.
Fish Lake and Johnson Reservoir are upstream from Mill Meadow on the Fremont River drainage. Forsyth Reservoir is upstream on the UM Creek drainage. Water levels at Mill Meadow can drop as water is released during the irrigation season, but then rise again during mid-summer when water is released from Fish Lake, Johnson Reservoir, and Forsyth Reservoir. Water levels can then drop a second time later in the year. Maximum depth is 66 ft.
Utah suckers, Utah chubs, and yellow perch move downstream from Fish Lake and Johnson Reservoir and can become a problem in Mill Meadow Reservoir. As a result chemical treatments have been conducted in the past to restore the trout fishing. Treatments were conducted in 1966, 1978, 1986, 1992, and 1995. The 1992 and 1995 treatments were conducted as part of efforts to protect downstream state and private fish hatcheries from whirling disease. Trout were kept out of the reservoir during the early 1990s to allow time for fish hatcheries to take corrective measures to help prevent contamination from diseased trout. Other treatments were conducted on an opportunistic basis when water levels were low. Good trout fishing can last for over 12 years between treatments.
Brown trout, hybrid tiger trout, and hybrid splake were stocked after the 1995 treatment because these fish are less susceptible to whirling disease than rainbow trout. Brown trout reproduce in the reservoir's tributaries and have become the most abundant trout in Mill Meadow. Wild brown trout dominated reservoirs are very rare.
Tiger trout, splake and rainbow trout are stocked annually. Other hybrids, including brown-bows (brown trout crossbred with rainbow trout) and brake trout (brown trout crossbred with lake trout) were experimentally produced and stocked in Mill Meadow Reservoir in the late 1990s, but did too poorly to justify continued production.
Yellow perch are abundant and can provide excellent fishing, especially through the ice in winter. Anglers are encouraged to take home their limit of 50 perch to help the population stay in balance with its food sources and to improve growth and average size. Tiger muskies are stocked upstream in Johnson Reservoir and a liberal limit of 8 muskies is in place at Mill Meadow Reservoir because these predatory fish do not fit into the management plan. However, there is little evidence that any muskies have traveled all the way down the Fremont River to Mill Meadow. Reports of anglers catching muskie are extremely rare, so don't plan on targeting these fish.
Small boats can be launched at Mill Meadow on a gravel boat ramp. Other launching sites change with fluctuating water levels. Care needs to be taken because it is easy to get a vehicle stuck in the shoreline mud while launching a boat. Lodging and camping is available at Fish Lake and other facilities are available in the nearby towns of Loa and Bicknell.
Other nearby fisheries include small lakes on the Thousand Lake Mountain, Forsyth Reservoir, Johnson Reservoir, Fish Lake, UM Creek, Sevenmile Creek and the Fremont River.