Washington County Community Fisheries
- Rating: Good
- Conditions: Trout fishing will slow down as the weather gets warmer, while bass and bluegill will become more active.
- Location: St. George, Hurricane and Washington City
- Directions: Four locations, see details below
- Type: Community Fishing
- Size: Between 0.5 and 7 acres
- Elevation: 2,800 to 3,100 feet
- Hours: No restrictions
- Likely catch: Rainbow Trout
- Possible catch: Bluegill, Green Sunfish, Largemouth Bass
- Regulations: To see what statewide or special regulations apply to this waterbody, please read the current Fishing Guidebook.
- Site amenities: See the site description below for details
- Handicap access: Good to excellent; see the site description below for details
- Site description: The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has teamed up with three cities in Washington County to manage five community fisheries. These waters are managed somewhat differently than other community fisheries because the peak fishing period occurs during the colder months.
From November to March, the Division stocks catchable-sized rainbow trout to provide great fishing throughout the mild Dixie winters. Large brood trout, whose eggs are used in the state's fish hatcheries, are also occasionally stocked in the ponds. These fish can be up to 20 inches in length—quite the exciting catch for a lucky angler. Beginning in 2009, highly-visible albino rainbow trout have been included in the yearly stocking. Kids love to see the yellow fish flash through the water.
Anglers can catch trout with any popular bait, but adult anglers are encouraged to use artificial flies and lures. Flashy spinners, small plastic jigs and fly-and-bubble combos can all be very effective. Trout are usually harvested by the time summer hits, and those left generally don't survive well in the hot weather.
Self-sustaining populations of largemouth bass and bluegill are also present in most ponds. These warmwater fish are well adapted to the warm climate and provide some variety to anglers during warmer months. If you're fishing for bluegill and small bass, try suspending a small curly-tail jig tipped with a piece of night crawler one to two feet below a bobber. Trout will also hit this set-up. For larger bass, try larger plastics, spinnerbaits or crankbaits. Fly anglers like to target bass with streamers and poppers.
Individual pond descriptions (including directions and amenities):
Tawa Ponds: The Tawa Ponds are located near the Canyons Softball Complex in St. George, in the area known as the "Dixie Downs." The upper pond is located at about 2200 W Snow Canyon Parkway. You can access the lower pond by turning south off Snow Canyon Parkway; the lower pond is on the lefeet side of acre. There are no amenities located at the ponds, but there are pavilions and restrooms in the Softball Complex. The lower pond has a sidewalk around most of the water for disabled anglers, while the upper pond has a dirt walkway.
The Southern Utah Anglers fishing club normally hosts an annual kids fishing event at the Tawa Ponds in April or May. Fishing tackle and bait are supplied for any kids that show up, and volunteers are on hand to help them catch fish. There are always a lot of prizes awarded and a lot of fish caught. For more information and specific dates, contact the Division's Southern Region Office at 435-865-6100.
Skyline Pond: Located at about 600 E Skyline Drive, Skyline Pond has an excellent view of downtown St. George. To reach the pond, turn north at the sign near the city work facilities. The pond is almost one acre in size, and has restrooms, benches and a fishing pier.
Stratton Pond (a.k.a. Hurricane Pond, Grandpa's Fishing Pond): This 7-acre pond is known by several names. The pond is used to warm water released from Quail Lake before it enters the Virgin River. To reach the pond, take Highway 9, turn north at 3700 W (near the bowling alley) and drive several blocks to the pond. The pond has restrooms and a fishing pier. Regulations: There is a population of the endangered Virgin River chub in this pond. If you catch a Virgin River chub, it must be released immediately. There is an onsite sign with photos that will help you identify and release the chub.
Razor Ridge Pond: Opened spring 2007, this pond in Washington is the area's newest community fishery. The one-acre pond is located on Telegraph Street, just south of Highway 9. There are restrooms, benches and a small pavilion onsite, along with a sidewalk along most of the pond's shore for disabled anglers.