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Utah Travel Headlines

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Please Catch the Lake Trout in Flaming Gorge

There are so many lake trout in Flaming Gorge Reservoir, wildlife biologists want anglers to come on up and catch a few. And spring is a great time to do that, while the lake’s water is cool and the fish can range freely. Later in the year most of the fish will move into deep water where they will be more difficult to catch.

“So many lake trout are in the reservoir that the lake trout limit for 2006 has been raised to eight fish (not more than one can be longer than 28 inches, however)”, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said in a recent news release.

“Biologists from Utah and Wyoming feel there is an overabundance of lake trout less than 28 inches in the reservoir. In the future, that could mean trouble for the fishery when these small lake trout mature and switch from their current diet of crayfish and aquatic insects to a diet of fish. The kokanee salmon population at the reservoir is currently in a down cycle, and additional predation by lake trout could keep kokanee numbers from rebounding.”

The big reservoir straddles the Utah/Wyoming border. The Utah side is now pretty much ice-free and Utah boat ramps are open. The best way to catch the fish is to troll small lures from boats or fish with heavy plastic or marabou jigs. The DWR news release includes practical tips for anglers. The small fish taste great.

Flaming Gorge is one of the premier trophy lake trout fisheries in North America. Fish up to 40 pounds are caught every year and the Utah record went a whopping 51 lb 8 oz. The new regulation change is designed to protect the trophy fish while improving the overall predator-prey balance at the reservoir.


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