Share Your Fishing Ideas with the DWR

Please share your ideas no later than June 1

trout
Fly fishing

Is there a fishing regulation in Utah that you’d like to see change? Or do you have an idea for a new rule?

If so, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources want to hear from you.

The biologists are already working on possible fishing changes for 2010. They need your ideas no later than June 1 to consider them for next year.

“2010 is still months away, but our biologists need time to consider your idea and determine how practical and biologically sound it is,” says Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR.

“Please get your ideas to us by June 1.”

After examining the ideas they receive, biologists will present their final recommendations to the public in September.

“We don’t hear from as many individual anglers as we’d like to,” Cushing says. “We hope those who don’t belong to a fishing group will share their ideas with us too.”

Three ways

You can share your ideas with the DWR three different ways:

- e-mail your ideas to DWRComment@utah.gov

- mail your ideas to:

Sport Fisheries Coordinator
Division of Wildlife Resources
Box 146301
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6301

- attend your upcoming Regional Advisory Council meeting. You can share your ideas at any of the following meetings:

Meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:

Southern Region
May 12
7 p.m.
Millard High School
200 W. Eagle Ave.
Fillmore

Southeastern Region
May 13
6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
Green River

Northeastern Region
May 14
6:30 p.m.
Western Park, Room #1
302 E. 200 S.
Vernal

Central Region
May 19
6:30 p.m.
Central Region Conference Center
1115 N. Main St.
Springville

Northern Region
May 20
6 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
Brigham City

Ideas

You can see the ideas the biologists are considering at www.wildlife.utah.gov/public_meetings/info/may07.pdf. The following are two highlights:

Community fishing waters

Improve fishing at Utah’s 39 community fishing waters by reducing the number of fish anglers can keep.

Currently, anglers can keep up to four fish at these waters. To improve fishing, community parks and recreation directors and individual anglers have asked the DWR to lower the limit.

“These waters receive a lot of fishing pressure,” Cushing says. “Most of the fish we stock are caught two or three days after we stock them. Then fishing usually slows down until we can stock the water again.”

Cushing says lowering the limit would keep fish in these waters for a longer period of time. And that would improve fishing for everyone. “Each time you went out, you’d have a better chance at catching a fish because many of the fish we stocked would still be in the water,” he says.

Based on suggestions from the directors and from anglers, biologists recommend lowering the daily limit at the community waters to two fish a day. They’re also recommending that largemouth bass be protected under a catch-and-release only regulation.

“Largemouth bass don’t spawn until they’re at least eight inches long,” Cushing says. “Very few of the bass in these waters ever make it to that length without being caught.

“The community waters that have bass also have bluegill. We need the bass to keep the bluegill populations under control. If the bluegill populations get too large, the bluegill won’t reach a size that most anglers want to catch.”

Changes at Kolob Reservoir

Some anglers who fish at Kolob Reservoir in southwestern Utah have asked the DWR to consider changing the trout limit at the reservoir.

They hope the change will bring more families and children to the reservoir to fish.

Under the current rules, anglers may fish at Kolob with artificial flies and lures only. They can keep only one trout, and that trout must be at least 18 inches long.

After a cabin owner near the reservoir circulated a petition last fall, the Wildlife Advisory Council in southwestern Utah asked the DWR to assemble an advisory committee to suggest various options.

“This committee worked really hard, and we appreciate their efforts,” says Roger Wilson, cold water sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR.

“The committee has come up with a compromise. Their goal is to maintain quality fishing at the reservoir while giving kids a better chance to catch and keep fish.”

Starting in 2010, the committee recommends that the trout limit be increased to two trout. Any trout kept would have to be less than 15 inches or over 22 inches in length. All trout between 15 and 22 inches would have to be released.

Anglers would also be required to use artificial flies or lures from early September through late May of the following year.

From late May until early September, anglers would be allowed to use bait.

Wilson says the committee is recommending the new rules on a three-year trial basis.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.