Wildlife News

Walleye, Utah's tastiest fish

Scott Root has talked to hundreds of anglers during the 20 years he's compiled fishing reports for the Division of Wildlife Resources. Without hesitation, he says most of them list walleye as Utah's "tastiest" fish.

A large male rainbow trout
The "Sandy Beach" area on the south end of Utah Lake is a great place to catch walleye

Photo courtesy of Scott Root, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Other great-tasting fish include perch, catfish and bass.

"Personally, walleye are my favorite because the fillets don't taste fishy or oily," Root says. "They're light, mild and flakey. I've never had anyone tell me they didn't enjoy them.

"Fish are an important part of a healthy diet, and more and more people are including fish in their meals," he says. "There's a lot of interest right now in trying new types of fish."

Spring: a popular time to catch walleye

Roots says Utah Lake, Lake Powell, and Willard Bay, Deer Creek, Yuba and Starvation reservoirs are Utah's major walleye waters.

Walleye spawn in the spring, so spring is a great time to catch them. They'll be heading to tributaries and spawning areas within the main body of water.

April is a popular month to target walleye. Lake Powell is among the exceptions, though. The lake tends to produce its best walleye fishing in May and June.

Fall fishing can be excellent at all of these waters too.

Try these techniques

If you're ready to catch some of these tasty fish, Root provides tips and techniques to try:

  • The most effective technique is to cast a lure that imitates a minnow. Then retrieve (or troll) the lure very slowly along the bottom of the water you're fishing.

    Unlike most fish species, walleye often strike lures softly. When a walleye strikes, you might think you just ran your lure through some vegetation. Actually, you may have a walleye on the end of your line!
  • Another effective technique is to cast dead minnows or worms, and then let them settle on or near the bottom of the water you're fishing. Make sure you watch the tip of your fishing rod closely to detect any movement.
  • Walleye are predators. They usually feed at dawn and dusk, and throughout the night. Those are the best times to catch them.

Fishing at Utah Lake

Root reminds you that the tributaries to Utah Lake are closed to fishing until May 1 to protect walleye that are spawning in them.

Popular walleye fishing spots at Utah Lake include both jetties at Utah Lake State Park, the "bubble up" area near Lindon Harbor, Lincoln Beach at the south end of the lake, lake areas where tributaries feed into the lake, and along the edges of shallow areas that provide the fish with structure and vegetation.

Fishing reports for Utah Lake and all of Utah's major fishing waters are available online.

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