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
Fall brings great fishing to Fish Lake, while the summer crowds start to thin out. There is an added wildlife watching opportunity this year as red kokanee salmon are showing up along the shoreline looking for a place to spawn. Remember that kokanee may not be harvested from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30. Bait fishing from boats and trolling with pop gear and worm is effective for catching rainbow trout. One angler also reports good success fishing nightcrawlers from shore near Twin Creeks. Anglers are catching splake on the east shore with tube jigs tipped with cut bait. Anglers are catching lake trout by trolling Rapalas and minnows. Look for lake trout to bite for another week or two before they start spawning. The bite will pick up again in November. Perch action can be fast while jigging just outside the weedline. Call the Fish Lake Lodge at 435-638-1000 for up-to-date conditions and fishing reports. (Last updated 10-27-2016)
- 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