Visit a nearby community pond for close-to-home, hot fishing in May
Salt Lake City — If you're more than ready to get out and enjoy some fishing this spring but just haven't had time to travel to distant reservoirs or mountain streams, your local community fishing pond is the solution to satisfying that fishing itch, despite your busy schedule.
Community fishing ponds are located all around Utah and — depending on where you live — odds are good that one is located within a 20–30 minute drive of your home. The community fishing program is celebrating 20 years of providing Utahns close access to great fishing, and May is a great time to fish at these local ponds.
"The nice weather we typically have in May makes this a great time of year to get out with your family to go fishing," Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. "If you live in an urban area, you likely have a pond close to your house, and we stock these community ponds regularly with lots of rainbow trout during the spring, so there should be plenty of fish for your next visit. Most of these ponds are located in parks, so there is good access with parking areas and trails. Many also have fishing piers and benches, making it an easy place to go fishing with kids."
While you may not be the only angler at the pond when you visit, the ponds are stocked regularly from April to September, so there should be plenty of opportunities to catch a fish. DWR personnel stock the community ponds bi-weekly during the spring and fall months, using rainbow trout that are raised in local hatcheries. Channel catfish are stocked into the ponds several times during the summer, starting in June. And some of the community ponds are also stocked once a year with wipers, a sterile hybrid of a white bass and a striped bass.
"Some of the community ponds also have bluegill, largemouth bass and black bullhead, as well, so there really is quite a bit of diversity in these close-to-home community ponds," Oplinger said. "Rainbow trout and bluegill are both fairly easy species to catch, so they are great options for beginners. Anglers who want a little more of a challenge will have a fun time targeting largemouth bass. These community ponds really do offer something for everyone, and they're ideal if you just want a quick, after-work fishing trip but don't have a lot of free time in your day."
Tips for fishing for these species
- Rainbow trout: This species is best to target in the spring or fall months when the weather and water aren't too hot. You can have success using PowerBait or a worm on a hook suspended about 18 inches below a bobber.
- Bluegill, catfish and wiper: These species are best to target during the summer months when it is hot. However, May can be a good month to target these fish as well, since the weather is starting to warm up.
- Largemouth bass: Spring can be a good time to target this species. They are a little more difficult to catch, and it is easiest to target them using a lure, rather than bait.
There are currently 57 community fishing ponds across Utah, and you can find the one closest to you on the DWR website. Find the fishing regulations for community ponds in the 2021 Utah Fishing Guidebook.