Fish Lake

Image of Fish Lake

Fish Lake is a natural lake where the water level can be regulated, to a small extent, by a control structure at the outlet. The lake covers approximately 2,500 acres, has an average depth of 55 feet, and has a maximum depth of 117 feet.

The lake is one of the most popular fisheries in the state, consistently providing 80,000 to 100,000 angler hours of recreation each year and supporting three marinas. The fishery has changed significantly over the years, originally containing only native cutthroat trout and sculpin.

Numerous introductions, both legal and illegal have taken place over the years. The sport fishery currently consists primarily of rainbow trout, splake, mackinaw or lake trout and yellow perch. A recent addition to the fishery is the tiger musky, the hybrid cross between northern pike and muskellunge. Tiger muskies made their way to Fish Lake via the intentional stocking by the Division of Wildlife into Johnson Reservoir which is located about seven miles downstream from Fish Lake.

Sport fishing opportunities and success varies seasonally at Fish Lake. The lake is very popular with ice-fishers and receives heavy ice-fishing pressure as soon as it freezes over and the ice is safe, usually around the 1st of January. Following ice-out, there is great fishing for splake, most commonly taken by jigging near the weedline. Fishing at night with a dead minnow in early spring can also be effective for splake. By the end of June, splake fishing gets more difficult, and fishing for rainbow trout picks up. Powerbait and worms will work for rainbow trout.

If you have a boat, trolling with popgear and a worm is effective. Best fishing is from a boat but some shore fishing is available in the Joe Bush area, near Lakeside Marina and at the mouth of Twin Creek. Twin Creeks (the stream) is closed to fishing. If nothing else is biting, cast a small piece of worms below a float to catch some small but tasty perch.

There are many other fishing and recreational opportunities in the area. Other fishing spots nearby include Mill Meadow and Forsyth reservoirs for a chance at some nice hybrid trout. Koosharem Reservoir has produced some outstanding rainbows and cutthroat the past two years. The area also offers an abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities. Osprey, deer, elk and moose are commonly seen in the Fish Lake basin.

Latest fishing report

The Fish Lake Perch Tournament will be held on Jan. 21, though weather and slush will make for some challenges. Please read the latest update on the Facebook event. Keep in mind that if you decide to avoid the weather frustrations on Saturday, many prizes will still be available for tagged perch caught throughout the winter and into the summer. Ice thickness varies across the lake. The south end and extreme north end have the thickest ice at eight to ten inches. From the Fish Lake Lodge to Joe Bush, you'll find six inches of ice. The last open water at Joe Bush has finally frozen and is currently three inches thick. Use caution if you head out to deeper water. ATVs and snowmobiles are not recommended at this time, and will not be allowed at the tournament. Slush conditions are bad in some areas. Fishing is good to excellent for perch and small trout outside the weedline in 10 to 25 feet of water. If you're targeting perch, 15 feet is the most consistent depth. Don't hesitate to move around until you find an active school. Use small ice flies, jigs and jigging spoons tipped with mealworms, wax worms, nightcrawler or perch meat. Artificial imitations like Berkley Gulp maggots are also working well. Larger rainbow and splake trout can be found at 25 to 50 feet and are often caught suspended at those depths over deeper water. For splake, use a little bit larger jigs and tip with perch, sucker or chub meat. Corn is now legal to use as bait at Fish Lake. Remember, however, that chumming is illegal and that corn cannot be used at other nearby waters. Corn is considered effective bait for kokanee salmon, so try tipping a small jig or ice fly with a single kernel and fish it suspended over deep water. Corn is also turning out to be effective for rainbow trout and perch. Call the Fish Lake Lodge at 435-638-1000 for current conditions. (Last update 01-19-17)


  • Location: Sevier County, southeast of Richfield
  • Directions: 40 miles southeast of Richfield via SR-24 and SR-25
  • Type: Fishing
  • Size: 2,500 acres
  • Elevation: 8,845 feet
  • Hours: No restrictions
  • Likely catch: Yellow Perch, Rainbow Trout, Splake
  • Possible catch: Brown Trout, Lake Trout, Tiger Muskellunge
  • Regulations: To see what statewide or special regulations apply to this waterbody, please read the current Fishing Guidebook.
  • Site amenities: Forest Service campgrounds, three marinas with stores, gas, lodging, boat rentals, launching ramps and fish cleaning stations
  • Handicap access: A few points along the shoreline trail

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