MANTUA RESERVOIR, Utah – A lot of Utahns are spending their Memorial Day weekend fishing in Utah’s lakes and reservoirs, and Division of Natural Resources officials are teaching anglers about pan fish.
Jordan Gilbert is an aquatic invasive species technician with the Division of Natural Resources, and he said people have been catching pan fish lately.
“Right now we are at Mantua Reservoir,” he said. “It's a nice sunny day. We are fishing for pan fish today. People have been catching a lot of blue gill. There's some perch and sunfish as well.”
Fisherman Kirk Verhaal said the fish are plentiful at present, but that wasn’t the case a short while ago.
“You can actually see them swimming around down there,” he said. “Sometimes they just sit there and look at you. You can put your bait right in front of them, and they don't care… I was up here a couple weeks ago and wasn't catching anything.”
Conservation Outreach Manager Phil Douglas, Utah DNR, said the area is great for pan fish.
“We are here at Mantua Reservoir,” he said. “We are after pan fish especially… I really like to introduce people to pan fish because there's a lot of them, and they are not only fun to catch but they're great to eat.”
A pan fish isn’t a species of fish—it’s any fish that tastes good and conveniently fits in a frying pain. The four main species of pan fish in Utah are yellow perch, bluegill, crappie and white bass.
Douglas recommends people looking to catch pan fish try their angling skills at the Mantua and Pineview reservoirs.