Division of Wildlife Resources Proposes Changes to 2021-22 Fishing Regulations
The Utah Department of Wildlife Resources has announced proposed changes to the 2021-2022 fishing regulations that affect some popular fisheries in Wasatch County. KPCW’s Sean Higgins has the details:
The Utah DWR conducted an angler survey this spring to gauge interest in several changes to next year’s fishing regulations. The proposed changes are to both the statewide regulations as well as several that are for specific water bodies around the state.
Anglers hoping to harvest Kokanee salmon at the popular Strawberry Reservoir in Wasatch County will see some clarifications to statewide limits on how many fish each angler can keep.
The DWR hopes to clarify the statewide kokanee salmon limit to four total fish, which includes any trout that are caught. This change would mean kokanee salmon are included in the statewide four trout limit that includes salmon, grayling and hybrids. The DWR says previously, anglers were confused by the regulation and many thought the limit meant four trout and four kokanee salmon, when in fact it means four total fish.
This change will also clarify that anglers may not possess kokanee salmon at any waterbody statewide from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30.
Additional proposed changes to statewide fishing regulations include decreasing thedaily limit of wiper from six fish to three. The DWR says wipers are a sterile hybrid fish and can’t reproduce, so their populations are solely dependent on stocking. Decreasing harvest numbers would allow for more consistent populations at all of Utah’s water bodies containing wipers.
The DWR is also proposing increasing the statewide daily limit for northern pike from six fish to 20 fish, with one fish allowed to be over 36 inches. Northern pike are notorious predators and this change would help protect native fish species and sportfish.
The last statewide change would allow anglers to use bait without a hook to fish for crayfish in water bodies where bait is prohibited. This change is being proposed due to the difficulty of catching crayfish without the use of bait.
Specific to Wasatch County, the DWR is looking to adjust the closure dates at Wolf Creek in the Eastern part of the county to allow four more months of fishing. The new season on Wolf Creek would run from May 15 through the second Saturday of July.
The DWR is also considering waiving combination and hunting license fees for Utah residents who are also actively serving in the military.
The DWR is looking for public feedback on these proposed changes. The public comment period for the Utah Wildlife Board is open now and closes on Sept. 27. To make a comment and view the full proposal, visit the DWR's website here.