40,000 extra rainbow trout headed for community fishing ponds

March 03, 2006 - 40,000 extra rainbow trout headed for community fishing ponds

The best fishing in Utah this spring might be just 15 minutes from your home.

Beginning the week of March 20, the Division of Wildlife Resources will begin stocking rainbow trout into fishing ponds in communities across Utah. Sixteen of those ponds will receive 40,000 extra rainbows this year.

Usually the DWR has to wait until the end of April to stock the ponds, but the extra fish means the division needs to get an early start. The extra fish will mean more fish for anglers to catch, and they'll be able to catch those fish a month earlier than normal.

"We'll also be able to stock the 16 ponds every week instead of every two weeks," says Drew Cushing, community fisheries biologist for the DWR. "That means there will be more fish for anglers to catch more often."

The DWR normally stocks about 100,000 rainbow trout into 42 community waters each year. A total of 100,000 rainbow trout will be stocked into all of the waters again this year, but 16 of those ponds will also receive an extra 40,000 trout. That brings the total number of trout stocked into the community waters this year to 140,000.

The extra 40,000 fish will be placed into the following ponds:

Northern Utah

Salt Lake Valley

Utah County

Washington County

"We decided to place the extra fish we had in these 16 waters because they're very popular with anglers and because each of these communities has worked hard to make their community fishery a great place to go fishing," Cushing says.

And the fun at the community fishing waters won't end once the stocking of rainbow trout slows down. The DWR will begin stocking channel catfish in early May, which is a month earlier than normal. Seven communities have provided funding that will allow the ponds in those communities to receive 15,000 extra catfish this year.

"If there's ever been a year to fish at a community fishing water, this is it," Cushing says. "Grab your pole and your kids, and get ready for the week of March 20."

Making it easy to fish

Finding time to have fun and relax can be challenging and the price of gasoline could get even higher this summer. Cushing says those are the major reasons the DWR decided to place extra fish in 16 of the community fishing ponds this year.

"We want to make it easy for people to have fun and relax," he says. "We know that people have 'cabin fever' in the spring, and they want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. These community fishing ponds provide an opportunity to do that within just a few minutes of where many people in Utah live."

When fish will be stocked

The DWR will begin placing rainbow trout in the community fishing ponds during the week of March 20 and will stock the 16 waters that receive extra fish every week through April. The remaining 26 waters will be stocked every two weeks.

At the beginning of May, the DWR will also stock channel catfish in all of the ponds. Through May, rainbow trout will be stocked one week and catfish the next. The rainbow stocking will end at the beginning of June, but the stocking of catfish will continue through the summer.

Seven communities have provided the DWR with funding that will allow at least 15,000 extra catfish to be stocked in the ponds in those communities this summer. Brigham City, Roy, Clearfield, Bountiful, Murray, South Jordan and Salem are the seven communities where the extra catfish will be placed.

The DWR normally stocks a total of 75,000 catfish in Utah's community fishing ponds each year. The extra 15,000 will bring that number to 90,000 this year.

Beginning Labor Day weekend, the catfish stocking will end and the stocking of rainbow trout will resume. Rainbows will be stocked through the fall.

Community waters in Utah

Utah's 42 community fishing ponds are located in communities across the state. You can learn more about the ponds by clicking here, or obtaining a copy of the DWR's "Community Fishing" brochure, which is available at the DWR's Web site at wildlife.utah.gov/cf.