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Fish Lake

Fishing report

  • Rating: Good
  • Conditions: Ice is safest on the south end, where it's four to six inches thick. It's only about three inches thick from just north of Lakeside to Mackinaw. There is also six inches of ice in the narrow neck on the north end, but snow makes access difficult. There is open water between Bowery Haven and Joe Bush. The north end also has some large cracks that you should avoid. It's easy to be overconfident with snow on the ice, so you should check thickness before venturing out too far. Fishing is good to excellent for perch and small trout near the weedline in depths of 15–25 feet. Larger rainbows and splake can be caught at 25–35 feet down (on the bottom or suspended over deeper water). Lake trout can be caught on the bottom in 70–100 feet of water, but it requires a lot of patience. Sonar can be very helpful in deep water, whether you're fishing on the bottom or suspended. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife are hosting a free perch fishing tournament on January 24. Call the Fish Lake Lodge at 435-638-1000 for up-to-date conditions and fishing reports.

Details

  • Location: Sevier County, southeast of Richfield
  • Directions: 40 miles southeast of Richfield via SR-24 and SR-25
  • Type: Fishing
  • Size: 2,500 acres
  • Elevation: 8,845 feet
  • Hours: No restrictions
  • Likely catch: Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout, Splake
  • Possible catch: Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Tiger Muskellunge
  • Regulations: To see what statewide or special regulations apply to this waterbody, please read the current Fishing Guidebook.
  • Site amenities: Forest Service campgrounds, three marinas with stores, gas, lodging, boat rentals, launching ramps and fish cleaning stations
  • Handicap access: A few points along the shoreline trail
  • Site description: Fish Lake is a natural lake where the water level can be regulated, to a small extent, by a control structure at the outlet. The lake covers approximately 2,500 acres, has an average depth of 55 feet, and has a maximum depth of 117 feet.

    The lake is one of the most popular fisheries in the state, consistently providing 80,000 to 100,000 angler hours of recreation each year and supporting three marinas. The fishery has changed significantly over the years, originally containing only native cutthroat trout and sculpin.

    Numerous introductions, both legal and illegal have taken place over the years. The sport fishery currently consists primarily of rainbow trout, splake, mackinaw or lake trout and yellow perch. A recent addition to the fishery is the tiger musky, the hybrid cross between northern pike and muskellunge. Tiger muskies made their way to Fish Lake via the intentional stocking by the Division of Wildlife into Johnson Reservoir which is located about seven miles downstream from Fish Lake.

    Sport fishing opportunities and success varies seasonally at Fish Lake. The lake is very popular with ice-fishers and receives heavy ice-fishing pressure as soon as it freezes over and the ice is safe, usually around the 1st of January. Following ice-out, there is great fishing for splake, most commonly taken by jigging near the weedline. Fishing at night with a dead minnow in early spring can also be effective for splake. By the end of June, splake fishing gets more difficult, and fishing for rainbow trout picks up. Powerbait and worms will work for rainbow trout.

    If you have a boat, trolling with popgear and a worm is effective. Best fishing is from a boat but some shore fishing is available in the Joe Bush area, near Lakeside Marina and at the mouth of Twin Creek. Twin Creeks (the stream) is closed to fishing. If nothing else is biting, cast a small piece of worms below a float to catch some small but tasty perch.

    There are many other fishing and recreational opportunities in the area. Other fishing spots nearby include Mill Meadow and Forsyth reservoirs for a chance at some nice hybrid trout. Koosharem Reservoir has produced some outstanding rainbows and cutthroat the past two years. The area also offers an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities. Osprey, deer, elk and moose are commonly seen in the Fish Lake basin.

Image of Fish Lake

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