Bear Lake is the second largest natural freshwater lake in Utah; Utah Lake being the largest. Bear Lake is often called the "Caribbean of the Rockies" for its intense turquoise blue water, which is caused by suspended calcium carbonate (limestone) particles and other suspended minerals. Bear Lake is managed as a trophy fishery for Bear Lake cutthroat trout. Besides trophy Bear Lake cutthroat trout, anglers who fish Bear Lake also have the opportunity to catch trophy sized Lake trout. Bear Lake is also home to four endemic species of fish: Bonneville Cisco, Bonneville Whitefish, Bear Lake Whitefish, and Bear Lake Sculpin. These species are truly unique to Bear Lake and occur nowhere else in the world!
Large coldwater lake > 200 acres
Elevation of this lake is 5,900 feet. Located in Rich County. Bear Lake can be accessed from Logan by travelling northeast on US-89 through Logan Canyon. The UTM coordinates for this waterbody are 472,312.500 meters east and 4,649,247.083 meters north. Decimal degree coordinates for this water are -111.334291 longitude and 41.994747 latitude.
For current regulations, check the Utah Fishing Guidebook.
The use or possession of live baitfish and tiger salamanders while fishing is unlawful. Use or possession of corn or hominy while fishing is unlawful. Dead Bonneville cisco may be used as bait only in Bear Lake. For additional information consult Section R657-13-12 of the Administrative Rules.
From Salt Lake City, travel north on I-15 to exit 362. Keep right, following signs for Brigham City. Turn right on US-89 to Garden City, Utah. Directions to access points are provided on the access point pages for this waterbody.
Bear Lake is 70,000 acres in area.
Bear Lake has a maximum depth of 208 feet. The average depth of the lake is 94 feet.
Elevation of this lake is 5,900 feet.
Spincast, spinning, baitcast, or fly tackle can be used successfully on this water; providing angling opportunities for the novice and the specialized angler alike. Light to medium-light tackle is suitable for the rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and whitefish that you will encounter at Bear Lake; however, medium to heavy weight tackle is recommended for Lake Trout. Sinking line is recommended when fly fishing from a tube. For more information on fishing tackle visit the Recreational Boating and Fishing FoundationTake Me Fishing website.
Cut bait from legal species, salmon eggs, night crawlers, waxworms, or mealworms will provide bait anglers with great action. For tips in the use of bait go to the Recreational Boating and Fishing FoundationTake Me Fishing website.
Anglers targeting rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, or whitefish should utilize small spoons, spinners, or crankbaits. Soft plastics (tubes, curly-tail grubs) tipped with cut bait (shiner, chub, sucker, cisco) or a piece of worm also provides good action. When trolling, try popgear and a worm or traditional lures like wedding rings or needlefish. Successful lake trout anglers often troll larger lures, such as Flatfish or Rapalas, either by using downriggers or leaded line. Jigging tube jigs tipped with cut bait (shiner, chub, sucker, cisco) is another productive method utilized by lake trout anglers. For more information on lures go to the Recreational Boating and Fishing FoundationTake Me Fishing website.
Water levels tend to fluctuate throughout the year at Bear Lake. Check the Natural Resources Conservation Service website for information on water levels at this lake.
For a glimpse at how moon phase, pressure, and other environmental variables may affect the bite at Bear Lake, visit Weather.com
Ice begins forming on Bear Lake in mid-January. Ice off varies, but usually occurs in mid-April. Water temperatures (°F) range from the lower 40s in spring, to the high 60s in mid-summer, and back down to the 40s in the fall.
To learn more on how you can help prevent the spread of whirling disease and other pathogens visit the Protect Your Waters website.
Lodging, bait, fuel, restaurants, and grocery stores can all be found in the town of Garden City. For more information go to the Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau website.
Numerous access points are available at Bear Lake. The majority of access points are "day use" areas, which require a fee; however, non-fee areas do exist. Developed campsites, boat ramps, and day-use areas will afford anglers varied opportunities. We have provided information on a selection of access points at this water. Although the list is by no means complete, it is designed to provide anglers with information that may help them or their families enjoy the angling experience. Access point descriptions can be found by using the links at the bottom of the page.
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