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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 2018 Fish Lake Perch Tournament has been canceled due to insufficient ice. You still have a chance to win a prize, however. If you catch a tagged perch, take it to the Lakeside Marina Store, and you will be entered into a drawing that will take place at the end of the summer. Ice conditions are changing daily due to variable weather. Before you go out, we recommend calling Fish Lake Resorts at 435-638-1000 to check on current ice conditions. The open water near Joe Bush on the north end has grown significantly. The ice is seven to eight inches thick north of there to the Narrows. Ice from the Bowery Haven to the Lodge is safe close to shore, but unknown beyond a large pressure ridge. The ice is eight inches thick from the Lodge to Lakeside Marina, and then 10 to 12 inches thick, south of Lakeside. Uneven ice conditions can be found anywhere, so use caution and drill test holes as you go out. ATVs and snowmobiles are not recommended due to the uneven conditions. Fishing for perch is good to excellent on the bottom in 12 to 30 feet of water. Use small jigs and ice flies tipped with nightcrawler, mealworm or perch meat. Small trout can be picked up in the same area with the same technique. Use larger jigs or fish a few feet off the bottom to target trout and avoid perch. For larger trout, fish on the bottom in 20 to 30 feet of water or suspended at 15 to 20 feet over deeper water. Ice fishing is one of the best ways to target lake trout in deep water, but only go out where you know the ice is safe. Fish on the bottom in depths of 70 to 95 feet with large jigs or spoons tipped with chub, sucker or perch meat. A fish finder is key to finding lake trout, reacting to their activity and enticing a strike. (Last update 02-07-18)

Details

  • 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