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 Feb. 23, 2019. The contest is free, but we request that you register online ahead of time. The ice is currently 15 to 18 inches thick. Fishing pressure is heavy on the weekends. Fishing is fast for perch and small trout just outside the weeds in 12 to 20 feet of water. Use small jigs, ice flies or jigging spoons and tip them with mealworms, nightcrawlers or perch meat. Perch stay within a couple feet of the bottom, trout can be found on the bottom or suspended. If you want to catch a lot of perch, focus on the north and south ends of the lake. The sections through the middle have fewer perch due to a more narrow weedline. Trout fishing has also been slower lately between Lakeside and Bowery. To increase your trout catch and average size, move out to depths of 20 to 40 feet and increase your jig size. You can also catch rainbows and splake suspended about 20 to 40 feet down over deeper water. Anglers are also catching the occasional kokanee salmon. For lake trout, head out to deeper water (50 to 100 feet) and fish large tube jigs tipped with cut bait (chub, sucker or perch) on the bottom. A good fish finder is essential to spot lake trout and react to their behavior. A heavy dose of patience is also required. It's typical to catch several pups and hook an occasional large lake trout. It's also common to see a lot of fish swim by and look without biting. Before you head to the lake, call the Fish Lake Lodge at 435-638-1000 to check on current conditions and get up-to-date fishing reports. (Last update 02-13-19)


  • 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, Kokanee Salmon
  • 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