The growing number of pelicans caught the attention of managers and anglers. “They’re eating all the trout,” was the concern. In response, we teamed up with and Utah State University and began tracking the eating habits of the birds.
One of the best things about Utah is that about 70 percent of it is public land. It’s not difficult to get away from other hunters during archery season. I like to do research, look at maps and hike the mountains within my hunting unit before the season. I also use trail cameras and a block of salt (which are both legal to use).
Jessen and Tamarack lakes have numerous tiger trout larger than our 18-inch measuring board, yet these fish have two or three summers of lifespan left! The fat content on these fish is outstanding. These fish are flat-out impressive!
Instead, I’ll simply say that the procedure is a lot of fun – a lot. Much like birdwatching in the wetlands, you can detect a capture operation by attentive observation. A long train of DWR trucks with trailers in tow can be spotted slowly driving along dikes in the wetlands.
Wipers were introduced to Newcastle Reservoir in 2005, and by 2009 golden shiners had almost completely disappeared. Rainbow trout and smallmouth bass immediately started showing improvements and now they provide outstanding fishing opportunities.
Artificial nesting boxes have been used by people all across the county to provide nesting habitat for wood ducks. Nesting boxes have also proven to be very successful in Utah.
Dropping a fluffy dry fly onto the surface of a small pool and watching a trout burst from its hiding place to quickly devour the fake bug was a thrill. It’s amazing what a memory can do — I just relived those heart-pounding moments!
In Utah, many ponds and lakes are home to panfish. You won’t have to look too hard or drive very far to find one of these fisheries. Panfish aren’t picky. You can catch them in the hottest conditions and through the ice. They respond to almost every bait but are easiest to catch with a simple hook and nightcrawler.
We then place the eggs into a specially designed sieve that goes into a hydraulic pressure chamber. This chamber subjects the eggs to 9,500 PSI of pressure for ten minutes. This pressurization step is what makes the fish sterile.
Another part of the work (the part that I’ve been working on) involves catching adult pelicans and attaching GPS transmitters to track daily and seasonal movement patterns.
MANY PEOPLE ENJOY birding activities during the fall migration period in Utah. Songbirds, hawks, waterbirds and waterfowl travel through the state, especially the areas near the Great Salt Lake and its wetlands. Whether you drop everything to find a rare bird that’s been sighted, wake up early to sit in a duck blind or simply […]
Holders are charged with the toughest part. They are tasked with securing the birds so the banders can install a leg band on the left leg and patagial markers on each wing. Not as easy as it sounds, when you consider that they have to hold the 15-pound bird securely. They also have to hold the pelican’s bill so it can’t bite anyone.