Wildlife News

DWR changes record fish rules

Six fish removed from the list

Have you ever wondered what you'd do if you caught a fish that was a new Utah state record? How would you get it certified?

A former record holding tiger muskie
Marc Anderson of Pleasant Grove shows the huge tiger muskie he caught at Pineview Reservoir in 2006. Anderson’s muskie held the state record for about five weeks, then another angler caught an even bigger tiger muskie.

Photo by Ben Nadolski

In the past, the procedure to get a record fish certified was a little vague. But not anymore. To help anglers, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources have spelled out the requirements on new record fish application forms. The forms became available on Jan. 1.

You can see the forms and learn the requirements at wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/record-fish.html.

"In addition to explaining the rules better, we also dropped six fish from the list," says Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR.

Three nongame fish—Utah chub, Utah sucker and white sucker—are among the six fish that have been dropped from the list. Two hybrid trout species that the DWR hasn't produced in its hatcheries for years—brownbow and brake—have also been dropped. And albino rainbow trout, which now fall under the general rainbow trout category, have also been dropped from the list.

"Most states don't keep records for nongame fish," Cushing says. "We decided to drop nongame fish from Utah's list too."

Endangered June suckers were another reason to drop suckers from the list.

"Many anglers have a difficult time telling the different sucker species apart," Cushing says. "Removing suckers from the list should reduce the chance that an angler catches an endangered June sucker and then keep the fish, not realizing he or she has a fish that's listed on the federal Endangered Species list."

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