NewsLocal News


Flying fish! State re-stocks southern Utah lakes from the air

Posted at 6:12 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 20:42:01-04

BICKNELL, Utah — To keep fish stocked in some remote Utah lakes, the state's Division of Wildlife Resources takes an interesting approach.

They drop the fish into the lakes from an airplane.

Video shared with FOX 13 by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources on Tuesday showed a series of aerial drops of "fingerlings," young fish that are about one to three-inches long. DWR crews were working out of Bicknell, in south-central Utah, re-stocking lakes all over southern Utah.

The video shows crews filling a tank inside a single-engine plane with the fingerlings. When it's time to reach the high-altitude lakes? The pilot flies above the tree line and bomb's away!

"The air slows their drop and they fall a bit like leaves. The slower fall allows the fish to survive. If the fish were larger, the survival rate would not be as high. We make sure to only aerially stock fish that range from 1–3 inches long. Fish are more stressed when transported by ground because it is difficult to maintain their required oxygen levels in small, packable tanks for such long distances. (Our high-mountain lakes are often many miles from any road)," the DWR said in an FAQ it posted about the aerial fish restocking.