Utah DWR issues emergency fishing order due to drought and low water

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As Utah continues to experience low water levels – despite recent rains and associated flash floods – wildlife officials are concerned about the state’s fish population.

In May, the Utah Wildlife Division increase in fishing limits in 10 different water bodies. Then again in July, DWR has increased fish limits and changed some regulations.

Now, two months later, wildlife officials anticipate continued low water levels due to drought conditions, causing additional emergency changes to state fishing regulations.

DWR explains drought causes water levels to drop, which can heat up more quickly. Warmer water contains less oxygen than colder water.

Fish need this oxygen and without it they can suffer from poor growth, disease and even death.

The changes are intended to allow anglers to catch and keep more than Utah fish on additional water bodies in the hope of reducing the likelihood of fish kills.

As of now, the following changes are in place. They will remain in place until October 31, 2021.

Central Utah

  • Fairview Lakes, Sanpete County: Increased daily limit to eight trout
  • McClellan Reservoir, Utah County: Increased daily limit to eight trout
  • Mona Reservoir, Juab County: Increased daily limit to a combined total of 20 for Wiper, Largemouth Bass, and Smallmouth Bass
  • Palisade Reservoir, Sanpete County: Increased daily limit to a combined total of 20 for windshield wiper, trout (any species) and black crappie
  • Payson Lake (Grand Est), Utah County: Increased daily limit to eight trout
  • Towne Reservoir (Town), Sanpete County: Increased daily limit to eight trout

Northern Utah

  • Newton Reservoir, Cache County: Increased daily limit to 100 bluegill, 100 yellow perch and 100 black crappie
  • Pineview Reservoir, Weber County: Increased daily limit to 100 bluegill, 100 yellow perch, 40 black crappie and 48 black bullhead

Southeastern Utah

  • Lake Monticello, San Juan County: Increased daily limit to eight trout

Southern Utah

  • Lake Navajo, Kane County: Increased daily limit to 16 trout of any size. The DWR is considering a rotenone treatment at Lake Navajo later this fall to eliminate an overabundant population of Utah chub. The lake trout are currently in trouble, due to competition for food and oxygen, so this increase in regulation will give anglers the ability to catch and keep more trout.
  • Otter Creek Reservoir, Piute County: Increased daily limit to 16 trout, 12 windshield wipers and 24 smallmouth bass. The daily fish limit had already been increased in May and is being raised again due to the continued drop in water levels in the reservoir.

All other rules, found in the Utah Fish Guide 2021, have not changed and remain in force.

If you plan to use boats on your fishing trip, be sure to check for updates on each body of water to see if the boat ramps are open. You can get updates on the status of boat ramps here.


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