Big Sandwash Reservoir

Image of Big Sandwash Reservoir

Big Sandwash Reservoir is a mid-elevation, two-story fishery located near Upalco and Bluebell, Utah. The reservoir was recently enlarged, but the construction eliminated the old camping and angler access areas. There are restrooms and angler access points at the main boatramp on the dam and off of the Bluebell highway. The access turnoff is at 1000 N, but you should see the signs. Fishing should be excellent fishing for yellow perch, smallmouth bass and rainbow trout through 2018.

Latest fishing report

This week's high winds have opened up a large portion of the lake and ice is deteriorating fast. Last Friday, the ice was 10 inches in some places, then on Saturday the ice in the same spot was only 6 to eight inches. With the warmer weather, we urge all anglers to respect the ice and use extreme caution. The ice that can be accessed is being reported to be 8 to 10 inches thick. The edges were good a few days ago, but with warmer daytime temperatures, anglers may find that they need planks to access the ice from the open sections of shoreline, especially near the Sportsman's Access. Drill test holes and check the thickness of ice before venturing long distances. Anglers report excellent perch fishing on the north end of the lake from about 30 to 50 feet deep, using Hali ice-fishing jigs tipped with mealworms, nightcrawlers and wax worms. If you sit in an area and don't get any bites, keep moving until you find a school of fish. (Last update 02-07-18)


  • Location: Upalco in Duchesne County
  • Directions: Take SR-87 west from Highway 40 near Roosevelt. Drive approximately 10 miles to the town of Upalco, turn onto 12000 W and then turn right onto the dirt road heading towards the dam.
  • Type: Fishing
  • Size: 649 acres
  • Elevation: 5,920 feet
  • Hours: No restrictions
  • Likely catch: Rainbow Trout, Yellow Perch, Smallmouth Bass
  • Possible catch: Brown Trout, Walleye, Largemouth Bass
  • Regulations: To see what statewide or special regulations apply to this waterbody, please read the current Fishing Guidebook.
  • Site amenities: There is a boat ramp and restrooms on the dam, and restrooms at the northern access.
  • Handicap access: Yes, at the dam access