SALT LAKE CITY — One of the very few positives about Utah's current drought is that residents are now being asked to catch even more fish in areas around the state.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced emergency changes to policy Thursday, increasing daily fish limits at 57 community fishing ponds. The move was made to reduce the chances of potential fish die-offs because of low water levels.
Effective immediately through Aug. 31, limits have been increased to allow anglers to be able to keep four fish, as long as two of those fish are trout.
“Community fisheries are small ponds, and we anticipate that temperatures in these ponds this summer will exceed the maximum temperature tolerated by trout,” said DWR Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. “The intent of this regulation change is to provide anglers the opportunity to harvest and use additional fish before any potential fish loss.”
The following locations have increased the daily limit to eight trout:
- Vernon Reservoir, Tooele County
- Lower Bowns Reservoir, Garfield County
- Middle Kents Lake, Beaver County
- Puffer Lake, Beaver County
Officials have also removed the restriction on the use of bait and the size of trout anglers can keep at Minersville Reservoir in Beaver County.
The drought reduces the amount of water available, according to the DWR. Smaller amounts of water then heat up more quickly, which leads to higher temperatures that causes water to hold less oxygen for fish. These conditions stress the fish, which can be fatal.