The day had finally arrived. After several years of listening to stories from co-workers who had made the trip, it was my turn to accompany the Great Salt Lake Ecosystem Program biologists on their annual trip to Gunnison Island for the pelican roundup. Biologists capture the flightless, young pelicans and outfit them with a leg band and wing markers to aid field identification of pelicans after they reach maturity and go their separate ways.
There's no need to persuade the thousands of Utahns who know the heart-stopping thrill of flushing game birds that it's time to start making upland game hunt plans. But if for some reason you do need a little convincing, let me share my list of top five reasons I love to hunt upland game in Utah.
Living in one of the driest states in the nation has its challenges for Utah residents, wildlife included. For many years now, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) — along with other agencies and groups — have been developing water sources for wildlife across the Western states.
During the summer months, kokanee salmon are the "bread and butter" fishery on Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Kokanee preference is as high as 60-percent and many anglers travel from all over the country to fish for these highly prized sportfish.
The Allen's big-eared bat is an uncommon bat found in the southern third of Utah. This pair of ears with a small bat behind it maneuvers its way through forests and riparian thickets, capturing insects from high in the mountains to deep in desert canyons.
You know how everyone has a thing they're into? For example, my dad's thing: Coca-Cola. He has Coke ornaments, cups, sweaters, pens and even an old-fashioned Coke diner booth installed at his house. My coworker's thing is dolphins. My mom's thing is unicorns.
Fly fishing. Just saying it aloud is scary. For a gal from Mississippi, fly fishing isn't something I learned while growing up. I've seen it in movies, magazines and heard folks talk about it around the office, but never did I dare try to tackle this daunting form of fishing.
You know the frogs that keep you up at night when your windows are open or you're out camping? With the help of Utah's Hogle Zoo, we've created a smart phone app that'll allow you to finally identify those noisy, secretive critters!
Can the impact of wildfire on fish habitat be measured? Why are certain stream locations more heavily impacted by wildfire? Can fish habitat and populations be managed to increase the resilience of native fishes, including sport fish and endangered species, to wildfire disturbance?
Burrowing owls are a bit unique as far as Utah owls are concerned. Prairie dog burrows are their favorite nesting sites in southeastern Utah. Scorpions, beetles and pocket mice are typical fare, but after the young are raised and cold weather makes food scarce, they head south. But where?