SEVIER COUNTY — Unsafe ice conditions have forced the Division of Wildlife Resources to cancel one of Utah's most popular fishing events.

Even though the tournament has been canceled, anglers can still win a prize by catching a tagged yellow perch between Feb. 3 and Aug. 31, 2018.

The Fish Lake Perch Tournament, scheduled to begin on Feb. 24, will not be held this year.

"Safety is our top priority," says Richard Hepworth, Southern Region aquatic manager for the DWR. "Unfortunately, the ice isn't safe enough to hold a large event at Fish Lake this year. And, based on the long-term weather forecast, we don't think the ice conditions will improve much between now and Feb. 24."

You can still win a prize

Even though the tournament has been canceled, you still have a chance to win a prize. DWR biologists have placed tags on 1,000 yellow perch in the lake. If you catch a tagged fish between Feb. 3 and Aug. 31, take it to the Fish Lake Resort Store, or the Bowery Haven Resort, for a chance to win a firearm donated by Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. The prize drawing will be held Sept. 1.

"The more tagged fish you catch," Hepworth says, "the more chances you have to win."

Ice fishing still possible

Even though the ice at Fish Lake can't support a large tournament event — almost 2,000 people have attended the event every year it's been held — there are still spots that are safe for individual anglers and small groups.

"We encourage people to take advantage of these conditions and go fishing," Hepworth says. "Just be safe, and check ice conditions before venturing too far from shore."

See an infographic that shows the amount of ice needed before you should venture onto it.

You can get the latest ice conditions for Fish Lake by calling Fish Lake Resort at 435-638-1000. Weekly updates are available on our website.