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Utah Travel Headlines

Friday, October 03, 2014

Fishermen In Utah Asked To Harvest, Eat More Fish

Trout fishing at Scofield Reservoir © Dave Webb
Utah offers some mighty good fishing, from trout in our mountain lakes and streams to walleye, bass and catfish in our reservoirs. And, Utah anglers are good sports; most of us gamely release virtually all of the fish we catch.

Perhaps we release too many fish...

The Utah Wildlife Board has voted to relax some fishing regulations to encourage anglers to keep more fish from specific waters. This article has details. Below are excerpts.

"A chance to catch a larger fish is the number one thing active Utah anglers have told us they want," says Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources. "Unfortunately, at many of the state's waters, anglers are releasing too many fish. If they'll start keeping fish, up to their legal limit, the growth rate of the remaining fish should improve."

To encourage anglers to keep more fish, the Wildlife Board recently approved several rule changes for the 2015 season. The changes take effect Jan. 1, 2015.

You can see all of the changes the board approved in the 2015 Utah Fishing Guidebook. The free guidebook should be available online by early November.

Members of the board hope eliminating the 'home' possession limit—the number of fish an angler can have in his or her freezer at home—will help anglers develop a new 'mindset' that encourages them to keep more fish.

DWR biologists originally recommended that the possession limit be eliminated for every fish in Utah except salmonoids—trout, kokanee salmon, whitefish and grayling. The board, however, eliminated the home possession limit for every fish species in the state.

The new rules totally remove the limit on yellow perch at Fish Lake, and increase the brook trout limit on some lakes on Boulder Mountain.

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