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Kokanee Salmon Fishing Change


Kokanee Salmon
Kokanee Salmon

Wildlife Board approves rules for 2016 season

Salt Lake City -- If you enjoy fishing for kokanee salmon in Utah, a change in 2016 will make it easier to know when you can and can't keep salmon, no matter which water you're fishing in the state. The change will also protect salmon that spawn early in the fall and those that spawn later.

The Utah Wildlife Board approved the change when it approved the 2016 Utah Fishing Guidebook on Oct. 1. The free guidebook, which contains all of the fishing rules for Utah for 2016, should be available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks by late November.

All of the rules in the guidebook go into effect on Jan. 1.

Kokanee salmon

Starting in 2016, you can't keep any kokanee in Utah from Sept. 10 Nov. 30. This closure will be in effect at all of the salmon waters in the state.

Starting Dec. 1, you can keep kokanee up to the legal limit.

Paul Birdsey, cold water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, explains how the Sept. 10 Nov. 30 closure will protect the strain of salmon that spawn early in the fall and those that spawn later.

"Sept. 10 is the peak of the spawn for the strain that spawns early in the fall," he says. "Starting the closure on Sept. 10 will allow anglers to keep some fish before the spawn peaks while still protecting the kokanee at the peak of their spawn."

Birdsey says the peak of the spawn for the later spawning strain occurs around Nov. 10. "So the Sept. 10 - Nov. 30 closure dates will protect the later spawning strain too," he says.

In addition to protecting the fish, having the closure happen at the same time, on all of Utah's kokanee waters, will make it easier to know when the closure period is, no matter which water you're fishing.

There are three exceptions, though. Tributaries to Strawberry Reservoir, Causey Reservoir and Sheep Creek, a tributary to Flaming Gorge Reservoir, will be closed to the possession of kokanee during some additional periods too. And some of the tributaries to Strawberry Reservoir are closed to fishing throughout the year.

When it's available, please consult the 2016 Utah Fishing Guidebook for more details.