Administrative rule R657-58
Fishing contests and clinics
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KEY: fish, fishing, wildlife, wildlife law
Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: March 11, 2021
Notice of Continuation: January 1, 2023
Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted law: 23-14-18; 23-14-19; 23-19-1; 23-22-3
R657-58-1. Purpose and Authority.
(1) Under authority of Sections 23-14-18 and 23-14-19, the Wildlife Board has established this rule to provide the standards and procedures for fishing contests and events including:
(a) Certified fishing contests;
(b) tagged fish contests; and
(c) fishing clinics.
(2) Any violation of, or failure to comply with, any provision of this rule or any specific requirements in a Certificate of Registration issued pursuant to this rule may be grounds for revocation or suspension of the Certificate of Registration, as determined by the division.
(1) Terms used in this rule are defined in Sections 23-13-2 and R657-13-2.
(2) In addition:
(a) "Certificate of Registration (COR)" means a license or permit issued by the division that authorizes a contest organizer to conduct a contest and outlines any special provisions and conditions that must be followed.
(b) "Cold water fish species" means: any fish in the family Salmonidae, salmon, trout, whitefish, char, grayling, and associated hybrids.
(c) "Cull" or "high-grade" means to release alive and in good condition, a fish that has been held as part of a possession limit for the purpose of including larger fish in the possession limit.
(d) "Fishing clinic" means an organized gathering of anglers for non-competitive, educational purposes that does not offer cash, awards or prizes for their individual or team catches.
(e) "Live weigh" or "live weigh-in" means that fish are held in possession by contest participants and transported live to a specified location to be weighed.
(f) "Possession" means active or constructive possession.
(g) "Tagged fish contest" means any certified fishing contest where prizes are awarded for the capture of fish previously tagged or marked specifically for that contest.
(h) "Certified fishing contest" means a competitive event that meets any of the following criteria:
(i) involves 85 or more participants per water per day;
(ii) includes cash and/or prizes awarded individually or cumulatively per year at $2,000 or more for a contest or a series of contests;
(iii) utilizes a live weigh-in; or
(iv) any tagged fish contest.
(v) Certified fishing contest does not include any event where fish are not legally possessed by participants.
(i) "Warmwater fish species" means any species not considered to be included in the definition of coldwater fish species.
R657-58-3. Certificate of Registration (COR) and General Requirements.
(1) Regardless of the size or type of contest, each boat operator must complete the Mussel Aware Boater Program online training provided at https://wildlife.utah.gov/quaggacourse, and display the completed "decontamination certification form" on the dashboard of the boat transport vehicle for the duration of the fishing contest.
(2) Regardless of the size or type of contest, the contest sponsor shall verify and confirm that each boat operator participating in the fishing contest possess a completed Mussel Aware Boater Program "decontamination certification form."
(3) A COR is required for each certified fishing contest. The requirements are listed in Sections R657-58-4 through R657-58-5.
(4) A COR is valid for only one fishing tournament on one water.
(5) The division may request public comment before issuing a COR if, in the opinion of the division, the proposed contest has potential impacts to the public or could substantially impact a public fishery.
(6)(a) A COR may be denied for:
(i) failure to comply with the fishing guidebook and rule;
(ii) potential for resource damage;
(iv) occurrence on a legal holiday or Free Fishing Day;
(v) public safety issues;
(vi) conflicts with the public;
(vii) failure to adequately protect state waters from invasive species;
(viii) problems with the applicant's prior performance record; and
(ix) failure to comply with other state laws, including those applying to raffles and lotteries in Utah.
(b) The reason for denial will be identified and reported to the applicant in a timely manner. The division may impose conditions on the issuance of the Certification of Registration in order to achieve a management objective or adequately protect a fishery. Any conditions will be listed on the COR.
(8)(a) COR applications are available online at the division's website.
(b) Applications must be received by the division at least 45 days prior to the contest. In some cases a public comment process may alter the 45-day COR review period.
(c) Variances to the COR review period may only be granted by the director.
(9) A COR application must include:
(a) a complete schedule of entry fees, cash awards and prize values;
(b) documentation of the number of participants; and
(c) information regarding the use of live weigh-in.
(10) Anyone conducting a certified fishing contest who fails to obtain a COR or to follow the rules set by the division may be prohibited from conducting any fishing contests, and may be subject to other penalties.
R657-58-4. Requirements for Certified Fishing Contests for Warm Water Fish Species.
(1) A COR from the Division of Wildlife Resources is required for any certified fishing contest.
(2) Each participant must be readily identifiable as such at a distance of 100 yards.
(3) Contestants may not possess fish species, numbers of fish, or sizes of fish that are in violation of the proclamation approved by the Utah Wildlife Board.
(4) Coldwater fish taken in certified fishing contests may not be culled or otherwise released alive after possession.
(5) Tagged fish contests must have the start date and end date identified on the COR application.
(6) Tagging of fish for tagged fish contests must be conducted only by division personnel, or by designated representatives working under the direct supervision of the division.
(7) Without prior authorization from the division, it is prohibited to:
(a) tag, fin-clip or mark fish in any way; or
(b) introduce tagged, fin-clipped or marked fish into a water.
(8) The organizer of a tagged fish contest will assume responsibility for the contest and the purchase of tags and tagging equipment unless otherwise provided by the division.