Fishing limits increased at more Utah waterbodies due to low water levels
Salt Lake City — In anticipation of continued low water levels due to extreme drought conditions across the state, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources issued more emergency changes to Utah's fishing regulations Wednesday. Those changes will allow anglers to catch and keep more fish at some additional waterbodies around the state.
Drought impacts fish by reducing the amount of water available in lakes, reservoirs and streams. Smaller amounts of water heat up more quickly and reach higher temperatures, which is problematic for fish because warm water holds less oxygen than colder water. The combination of high temperatures and low oxygen can stress fish, causing poor growth and disease, and can sometimes be fatal to fish.
To reduce the likelihood of fish die-offs in some waterbodies with anticipated low water levels, the DWR is increasing the daily fish limits at those lakes and reservoirs to allow anglers to catch and keep more fish. This is the DWR's third round of emergency fishing changes this summer, with the previous regulation changes taking place earlier this month and in May at various drought-impacted waterbodies around the state.
The following changes are effective immediately and will remain in place until Oct. 31, 2021. Here are the waterbodies with increased daily fish limits:
- Fairview Lakes, Sanpete County: Increasing the daily limit to eight trout
- McClellan Reservoir, Utah County: Increasing the daily limit to eight trout
- Mona Reservoir, Juab County: Increasing the daily limit to a combined total of 20 for wiper, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass
- Palisade Reservoir, Sanpete County: Increasing the daily limit to a combined total of 20 for wiper, trout (any species) and black crappie
- Payson Lake (Big East), Utah County: Increasing the daily limit to eight trout
- Towne (Town) Reservoir, Sanpete County: Increasing the daily limit to eight trout
- Newton Reservoir, Cache County: Increasing the daily limit to 100 bluegill, 100 yellow perch and 100 black crappie
- Pineview Reservoir, Weber County: Increasing the daily limit to 100 bluegill, 100 yellow perch, 40 black crappie and 48 black bullhead
- Monticello Lake, San Juan County: Increasing the daily limit to eight trout
- Navajo Lake, Kane County: Increasing the daily limit to 16 trout, any size. The DWR is considering a rotenone treatment at Navajo Lake later this fall to remove an overabundant population of Utah chub. The trout in the lake are currently struggling, due to competition for food and oxygen, so this regulation increase will give anglers the opportunity to catch and keep more of the trout.
- Otter Creek Reservoir, Piute County: Increasing the daily limit to 16 trout, 12 wipers and 24 smallmouth bass. The daily fish limit was previously increased in May and is being raised again due to the ongoing decline in water levels at the reservoir.
All the other rules in the 2021 Utah Fishing Guidebook regarding Utah waterbodies have not changed and remain in effect.
With drought impacting water levels at many lakes and reservoirs around the state, anglers who plan to use boats during their fishing trips should be sure to check for updates on each waterbody to see if the boat ramps are open. Visit the Utah State Parks website for updates on the status of the boat ramps at each of their parks.
Visit the DWR website for additional things that anglers should be aware of while fishing this year.