Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Strawberry Reservoir

Current fishing regulations

Please refer to the current Utah Fishing Proclamation before fishing Strawberry. The following Special Fishing Regulations are currently in place in Strawberry Valley as of 2003:

Strawberry Reservoir

Creel limits:

  • Limit 4 trout or kokanee salmon in the aggregate.
  • No more than two may be cutthroat trout under 15 inches, and no more than one may be a cutthroat trout 22 inches or larger.
  • All cutthroat trout between 15 and 22 inches must be immediately released.
  • Anglers are encouraged to voluntarily release all cutthroat trout.
  • Any trout with cutthroat markings is considered to be a cutthroat trout.

It is illegal to fillet fish or to remove heads or tails from fish taken in waters such as Strawberry where size limits apply.

Strawberry tributaries

Closed to fishing all year:

  • Indian Creek and all tributaries to Indian Creek
  • Squaw Creek
  • Strawberry River from Strawberry Reservoir upstream to USFS Road,124 (Bull Springs Road; Note: This road begins about two miles west of the Forest Service Visitor Center on US-40 heading south.
  • Co-op Creek from confluence with Strawberry River upstream to US-40
  • The Central Utah Project Canal (commonly known as the "Steps" or "Ladders") from US-40 to Strawberry Reservoir as posted.

Closed to fishing May 15 through 6:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of July, and Sept. 1 through 6:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of Oct.:

and

CATCH AND RELEASE ONLY (all fish must be immediately released, fishing with fish in possession is illegal):

and

ARTIFICIAL FLIES AND LURES ONLY (use or possession of bait while fishing is illegal):

  • Strawberry River and its tributaries upstream from USFS Road 124 (Bull Springs Road) to its headwaters
  • Coop Creek and its tributaries upstream from US-40 to its headwaters
  • Soldier Creek
  • Coal Canyon Creek
  • Cow Hollow Creek
  • Trout Creek
  • Sage Creek
  • Chicken Creek
  • Little Co-op Creek
  • Clyde Creek
  • Mud Creek
  • Bryants Fork
  • Horse Creek
  • Chipman Creek
  • Trail Hollow Creek
  • Broad Hollow Creek
  • Badger Hollow Creek
  • Road Hollow Creek

Why did the Wildlife Board make these changes?

  • Utah chubs are becoming more prominent in the fishery.
     
  • Bear Lake cutthroat co-evolved with Utah chubs in their native habitat, and will thrive and effectively utilize chubs for food, once they have grown large enough to prey on them.
     
  • Strawberry sustains nearly 1.5 million hours of angling pressure, and Utah's anglers harvested 380,000 trout (274 tons of fish) from Strawberry Reservoir during 2001. This level of harvest is not sustainable.
     
  • Intensive angler harvest is currently cropping off most of the cutthroats before they reach a size where they can effectively prey on other fish and spawn in tributary streams.
     
  • Good populations of large cutthroat trout (greater than 20 inches) are critical to maintaining a productive sport fishery at Strawberry well into the future.

In order to achieve management goals for Strawberry, the short-term harvest of cutthroat trout had to be significantly reduced. However, in an attempt to make more fish available for anglers to keep, the Division of Wildlife Resources is increasing future rainbow stocking. Catch rates should continue to be excellent. In future years, as rainbow numbers increase and large numbers of cutthroat grow beyond 22 inches, more fish should be available for harvest. It will take several years to determine if increased numbers of larger cutthroat trout will stabilize the chub population at appropriate levels. However, cutthroat predation will never completely eliminate chubs from the fishery.

Catch and release fishing

To give the new regulations a chance to work, anglers must practice proper catch and release techniques. When catch and release is done properly, and with the right equipment, there is a 90 percent chance that released fish will survive. The catch and release program gives you the opportunity to protect, develop and enhance this world class cutthroat fishery.

How to release fish properly

Know your fish species; come to Strawberry properly equipped to release fish with such items as a landing net, forceps, clippers, un-plated hooks, and most importantly, a tape measure. Some anglers find it convenient to attach a measuring stick directly to their boat or mark their rods to allow easy measurement and quick release. With experience, anglers should be able to judge fish size at a glance, and release many fish without a measurement.

Illustration

Fish with artificial flies and lures. Although there are no reservoir specific bait restrictions in place at Strawberry, anglers are encouraged to use artificials whenever possible. Artificials are very effective during all seasons at Strawberry, and survival rates for released fish are much better.

If fishing with bait, fish with a tight line and active angling techniques (i.e., drift fishing, trolling with pop gear and worm, tipping jigs and lures, etc.) to reduce deeply swallowed hooks.If the fish is deeply hooked, cut the line as close to the hook as possible and release the fish. Don't try to remove the hook. Avoid using stainless steel, chrome, or brass plated hooks as these will not readily dissolve in the fish's digestive system.

Bring the fish in as quickly as possible. Don't tire it out. This is particularly important during the summer months when fish are already stressed by high water temperatures.

Keep the fish in the water. Studies have shown that exposure of the fish to the air after exhaustive exercise may significantly reduce survival rates.

Use nets whenever possible to avoid unnecessary contact with the fish, but never grasp the fish through the net.If you must handle the fish, be sure to moisten hands beforehand. Never squeeze the body or eve sockets touch the gills. or lay the fish on the ground.

Gently release the fish directly into quiet water, moving it slowly back and forth to pass water over the gills. Never toss the fish over the side of the boat or handle roughly in any manner.

Release the fish immediately. Don't hold fish on stringers for later release. This is illegal. Fish held and stressed in such a manner will seldom survive.

If your techniques are killing fish, change your techniques or call it a day. Remember, the regulation requires that you release all cutthroat trout from 15 to 22 inches regardless of their condition.

Do your part to ensure a quality future fishery by releasing more fish than the law requires.

Remember, the legal limit applies to each angler. You are not allowed to take fish on another anglers limit. Also remember that it is illegal to fillet fish or to remove heads or tails from fish taken in waters such as Strawberry where size limits apply.


Notes:

If you observe fishing violations at Strawberry, please call the DWR Poaching Hotline at 1-800-662-DEER (3337) (*DEER for cell phone users] or call the Wasatch County Sheriff's office at 1-435-654-1411.

Most fish will swim away even if they are mishandled. This may be rewarding to the angler, but a fish that dies a day or week later is of little value to the fishery.

Additional general regulations as specified in the Utah Fishing Proclamation are also applicable to Strawberry Reservoir and tributaries.

If you observe fishing violations at Strawberry, please call the "DWR Poaching Hotline" at 1-800-662-DEER (3337), or call the Wasatch County Sheriff's office at 1-435-654-1411.

Bookmark and Share