Improve fishing through catch & release
The future of quality cutthroat trout fishing at Strawberry depends largely on YOU complying with fishing regulations and properly releasing cutthroat trout. Although cutthroat harvest is allowed at Strawberry, anglers are encouraged to voluntary release ALL cutthroat trout.
Strawberry tributary streams are capable of producing millions of young-of-the-year cutthroat trout annually. However, Bear Lake cutthroat must live up to 4- or 5-years before they will effectively reproduce. Cutthroat are relatively easy to catch. If cutthroat trout are not released in sufficient numbers, few will live long enough to reproduce or become effective predators upon nongame fish.
The voluntary catch and release program gives YOU the opportunity to help develop wild cutthroat trout in Strawberry Valley. Please do your part by properly releasing cutthroat trout.
What is "catch & release" fishing
"Catch and release" fishing is where an angler returns (recycles) the fish back into the water to be caught another day. When done properly, and with the right equipment, there is a 90 percent chance that released fish will survive. Catch and release fishing is becoming a common and popular practice for many high quality trout fisheries in the United States.
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 a tape measure.
- If fishing with bait, fish with a tight line using active techniques (i.e. trolling, casting jigs tipped with bait, etc.) to reduce deeply swallowed hooks. If the fish is deeply hooked, cut the line as close to the hook as possible. DON'T TRY TO REMOVE THE HOOK. Avoid using stainless steel, chrome, or brass plated hooks as these will not readily dissolve in the digestive system.
- Although there are no bait restrictions currently in place on the reservoir, FISH WITH ARTIFICIAL FLIES AND LURES to improve survival. Artificials are very effective at Strawberry.
- 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 surface water temperatures.
- KEEP THE FISH IN THE WATER. Studies have shown that exposure to the air after exhaustive exercise may significantly reduce survival rates of released fish.
- Use nets whenever possible to AVOID UNNECESSARY CONTACT WITH THE FISH, but don't grasp the fish through the net. If you must handle the fish, be sure to moisten hands beforehand. Never squeeze the body or eye 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 FISH IMMEDIATELY. Don't hold fish on stringers for long periods awaiting larger fish. This is illegal. Fish stressed in this manner will seldom survive. If you plan to keep a fish, take active possession and place the fish in the cooler.
- If you must keep fish, take only the fish you intend to consume that day. Fish which are frozen for long periods of time loose moisture and flavor. If you plan to fish with baits, take your legal limit and quit fishing. Do not continue to fish and release injured fish. Remember THE LEGAL LIMIT APPLIES TO EACH ANGLER, and you are not allowed to take fish on another angler's limit.
If your techniques are killing fish, change your techniques or call it a day. Remember, the regulation requires that you release all cutthroat from 15 to 22 inches regardless of their condition.
Note: If you observe fishing violations at Strawberry, please call the "UDWR Poaching Hotline" at 1-800-662-DEER (3337), or call the Wasatch County Sheriff's office at 1-435-654-1411.
Special Note: 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 resource.
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