Rules and regulations
KEY: fish, fishing, wildlife, wildlife law
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: January 10, 2012
Notice of Continuation: January 15, 2013
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-14-18; 23-14-19; 23-19-1; 23-22-3
(1) Under authority of Sections 23-14-18 and 23-14-19 of the Utah Code, the Wildlife Board has established this rule to provide the standards and procedures for fishing contests and events including:
(a) Type I fishing contests
(b) Type II fishing contests
(c) tagged fish contests, and
(d) fishing clinics
(2) Any violation of, or failure to comply with, any provision of this rule or any specific requirements in a Certificate of Registration issued pursuant to this rule may be grounds for revocation or suspension of the Certificate of Registration, as determined by the division.
(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Section 23-13-2 and R657-13-2.
(2) In addition:
(a) "Certificate of Registration (COR)" means a license or permit issued by the division that authorizes a contest organizer to conduct a contest and spells out any special provisions and conditions that must be followed.
(b) "cold water fish species" means: mountain whitefish, Bonneville whitefish, Bear Lake whitefish, Bonneville cisco, Bear Lake cutthroat, Bonneville cutthroat, Colorado River cutthroat, Yellowstone cutthroat, rainbow trout, lake trout, brook trout, arctic grayling, brown trout, and kokanee salmon.
(c) "cull" or "high-grade" means to release alive and in good condition, a fish that has been held as part of a possession limit for the purpose of including larger fish in the possession limit.
(d) "fishing clinic" means an organized gathering of anglers for non-competitive, educational purposes that does not offer cash, awards or prizes for their individual or team catches.
(e ) "live weigh" or "live weigh-in" means that fish are held in possession by contest participants and transported live to a specified location to be weighed.
(f) "possession" means active or constructive possession.
(g) "tagged fish contest" means any fishing contest where prizes are awarded for the capture of fish previously tagged or marked specifically for that contest
(h) "Type I fishing contest" means a competitive event for warm or cold water fish species, other than a tagged fish contest, that meets any of the following criteria:
(i) involves 50 or more participants or 25 or more boats;
(ii) includes cash and/or prizes awarded individually or cumulatively per year at $2,000 or more for a contest or a series of contests; or
(iii) utilizes a live weigh-in.
(i) "Type II fishing contest" means a competitive event for warm or cold water fish species, other than a tagged fish contest, that meets all of the following criteria:
(a) involves fewer than 50 contestants or fewer than 25 boats;
(b) includes cash and/or prizes awarded individually or cumulatively per year at less than $2,000 for a contest or a series of contests; and
(c) does not utilize a live weigh-in
(j) "warmwater fish species" means: walleye, yellow perch, striped bass, largemouth bass, white bass, smallmouth bass, bullhead, channel catfish, black crappie, northern pike, green sunfish, wipers, bluegill, tiger muskellunge, common carp, and burbot.
(1) Regardless of the size or type of contest, all boat operators must complete the Mussel Aware Boater Program online training provided at https://dwrapps.utah.gov/wex/dbconnection.jsp?examnbr=504688, and display the completed "decontamination certification form" on the dashboard of the boat transport vehicle for the duration of the fishing contest.
(2) Regardless of the size or type of contest, the contest sponsor shall verify and confirm that all boat operators participating in the fishing contest possess a completed Mussel Aware Boater Program "decontamination certification form".
(3) A COR is required for all Type I fishing contests and all tagged fish contests. The requirements are listed in sections R657-58-4 through R657-58-6.
(4) A COR is not required for Type II fishing contests and fishing clinics.
(5) A COR is valid for only one fishing tournament/tagged fish contest on one water.
(6) The division may request public comment before issuing a COR if, in the opinion of the division, the proposed contest has potential impacts to the public or could substantially impact a public fishery.
(7)(a) A COR may be denied for;
(i) failure to comply with the fishing proclamation and rule;
(ii) potential for resource damage;
(iv) occurrence on a legal holiday or Free Fishing Day;
(v) public safety issues;
(vi) conflicts with the public;
(vii) failure to adequately protect state waters from invasive species;
(viii) problems with the applicants prior performance record; and
(ix) failure to comply with other state laws, including those applying to raffles and lotteries in Utah.
(b) The reason for denial will be identified and reported to the applicant in a timely manner. The division may impose conditions on the issuance of the Certification of Registration in order to achieve a management objective or adequately protect a fishery. Any conditions will be listed on the COR.
(8) All COR applications submitted for Type I fishing contests must include a written protocol for participants to disinfect boats and equipment to prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species. The protocol must be consistent with division policy and rule.
(9)(a) COR applications are available at all division offices and online at the division's website.
(b) Applications must be received by the division at least 45 days prior to the contest. In some cases a public comment process [subsection R657-58-3 (4)] may alter the 45-day COR review period.
(c) Variances to the COR review period may only be granted by the director.
(10) A COR application must include:
(a) a copy of proposed rules for the contest, and
(b) a complete schedule of entry fees, cash awards and prize values.
(11) Anyone conducting a Type I fishing contest or tagged fish contest must complete a post-contest report and that report must be received by the division within 30 days after the event is completed.
(12) Anyone conducting a Type I fishing contest or tagged fish contest who fails to obtain a COR or to follow the rules set by the division may be prohibited from conducting any fishing contests, and may be subject to other penalties.
(1) A COR from the Division of Wildlife Resources is required for any Type I fishing contest for any warm water fish species.
(2) All participants' boats must be readily identifiable as such at a distance of 100 yards.
(3) Contestants may not possess fish species, numbers of fish, or sizes of fish that are in violation of the proclamation approved by the Utah Wildlife Board.
(1) A COR from the division is required for all Type I fishing contests for cold water fish species.
(2) Type I fishing contests for cold water fish may not:
(a) involve more than 200 participants
(b) offer more than $2,000 in total prizes
(c ) utilize live weigh-ins
(3) Type I fishing contests for cold water fish species are prohibited on waters where the Wildlife Board has imposed more restrictive special harvest rules for targeted cold water fish species including tackle restrictions, size restrictions, and other exceptions to the general fishing regulations, except at Scofield Reservoir where Type 1 fishing contests are allowed for rainbow trout only.
(4) There is no limit to the number of participants or total prizes at Flaming Gorge and Echo Reservoirs.
(5) Type I fishing contests for cold water fish species may not be held
(a) on Free Fishing Day except at Echo Reservoir.
(6) Fish taken in Type I cold water fishing contests may not be culled.
(1) A COR from the Division of Wildlife Resources is required to conduct any tagged fish contest, regardless of number of contestants or value of prizes or awards.
(2) If more than one application is received for a water in a year then a drawing will be held to select the applicant to receive the COR.
(3) Only one tagged fish contest per year may be held on any water.
(4) Tagged fish contests must have the start date and end date identified on the COR Application.
(5) Tagging of fish for tagged fish contests must be conducted only by division personnel, or by designated representatives working under the direct supervision of the division.
(6)Without prior authorization from the division, it is prohibited to:
(a) tag, fin-clip or mark fish in any way or
(b) introduce tagged, fin-clipped or marked fish into a water.
(7) The organizer of a tagged fish contest will assume all responsibility for the contest and the purchase of tags and tagging equipment.
Links to more Utah hunting-related information