DWR News Release
If you want to add an extra challenge to your ice fishing this winter, a tournament may be just the thing. Plus, you can help many of Utah’s fisheries by harvesting overabundant fish and also have the opportunity to win prizes!
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks will be sponsoring or hosting several ice fishing tournaments from January to March around the state. A valid Utah fishing license is required for anyone over 12 years old to fish in any of the events. The entrance fee will apply for any tournaments or events held within a state park.
Anyone participating should be familiar with the ice safety recommendations on the Utah State Parks website and should take all the necessary safety precautions. Anglers can find more helpful ice fishing tips and ways to avoid common violations on the DWR website.
Important: If warm temperatures continue, some of these events may be canceled or postponed, so watch the websites and your registration emails for updates.
Here are some exciting ice fishing tournaments to check out across the state this winter:
Hosted by the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the DWR, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and the U.S. Forest Service, the Burbot Bash will be held Jan. 26-28, 2024 at Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This annual ice fishing tournament helps to control the reservoir’s population of burbot, a cod-like fish that rapidly reproduces and preys on other sportfish species in the reservoir.
Thousands of dollars in cash and prizes will be awarded to anglers who catch the most burbot, the largest and smallest burbot, and tagged burbot. New this year, there is also a lake trout category, aimed at helping decrease the number of small lake trout that compete with other fish for resources. Anglers can win a prize for catching the most lake trout under 25 inches; although anglers will still need to adhere to the daily limit for lake trout, they will receive additional drawing entries for each lake trout they catch so they increase their chances of a prize.
Registration opens Jan. 1. For more contest details or to register, visit the Burbot Bash website.
Disabled Outdoorsmen Utah Ice Fishing event
Hosted by Disabled Outdoorsmen Utah and partnering with the DWR and Steinaker State Park, this fifth annual ice fishing event will be held at Steinaker Reservoir on Jan. 6, 2024 from 8 a.m. to noon. This event is designed to allow any participant with or without disabilities the opportunity to try ice fishing for the first time, as well as the opportunity to learn from fishing experts. Some fishing equipment will be available for use throughout the event. While the event is free, the state park entrance fee will still be in effect. Reserve your spot on the Disabled Outdoorsmen Utah website.
East Canyon Ice Fishing Derby with Fins & Fur
Fins & Fur Guide Service is partnering with East Canyon State Park to host their 10th annual ice fishing contest on Jan. 6, 2024 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cash prizes will be paid out to those who catch the top four fish, with additional hourly prizes awarded for the biggest fish caught that hour. Registration is $50 per participant, and does not include the state park entrance fee, which will still be in effect. You can find more information and register on Eventbrite.
Ice Addiction Tournament at Steinaker State Park
Hosted by Tightline Outdoors and Utah State Parks, the 10th annual Ice Addiction Tournament will take place at Steinaker Reservoir on Jan. 20, 2024 from 8 a.m. to noon. Anglers can also compete at three other waterbodies in Colorado as part of the tournament series. Registration opened Nov. 15. Details about the tournament rules and registration are available at the Tightline Outdoors website.
Mac Attack Derby
Hosted by Buckboard Marina at Flaming Gorge Reservoir and sponsored by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, this third annual fishing contest is geared toward helping control the population of small lake trout (under 25 inches) at Flaming Gorge. This contest will be held on Jan. 13-14, 2024, and registration is $50.
Anglers who catch a tagged lake trout and turn in the tag automatically win a cash prize. Other drawings for prizes are also available for registered participants, including the heaviest average team weight for lake trout under 25 inches, the heaviest weight for an individual lake trout under 19 inches, the lightest weight for an individual lake trout under 11 inches and for catching the biggest burbot.
Learn the rules of the contest and register at the Buckboard Marina website.
Millsite On Ice Fishing Tournament
The ninth annual Millsite on Ice Fishing Tournament will be held on Jan. 12-13, 2024 at Millsite State Park. This event is sponsored by Emery County. The first day of the tournament (Jan. 12) will be a two-person team tournament. The second day (Jan. 13) will be a single-person event and will include categories for youth, women and men. The registration fee is $50 for one day or $95 for both days for adults. Learn more and register on the Millsite on Ice website.
Monster Cisco Disco & Tournament
While this is not technically “ice fishing” because Bear Lake doesn’t typically freeze over, this annual winter fishing event is worth attending. The Monster Cisco Disco tournament is part of the three-day Bear Lake Monster Winterfest and will take Jan. 27, 2024 from 6 a.m. to noon at Bear Lake State Park. Participants will have the chance to dip net for Bonneville cisco, a fish species only found at Bear Lake. Prizes for the biggest cisco will be awarded for both adult and youth categories. While the event is free, the state park entrance fee will still be in effect. For more details and tournament rules, visit the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest website.
Perch Party Ice Fishing Tournament at Echo State Park
This ice fishing tournament will be held on Jan. 27, 2024 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Echo State Park. Teams of four will compete to catch the most combined perch (up to the limit of 200 perch per team — 50 per person). The registration fee is $80 per team, and there is a state park entrance fee of $20 per vehicle. Find more information and register on the ParksPass website.
Utah State Parks is holding an ice fishing tournament that spans four different state parks: Echo, Lost Creek, Rockport and East Canyon. You can compete in one tournament for $50 per location or register for all four tournaments for $150. The state park entrance fee will be included in the registration fee. The tournaments will happen on the following days:
- Jan. 13: Lost Creek State Park
- Jan. 20: Rockport State Park
- Feb. 10: Echo State Park
- Feb. 17: East Canyon State Park
Learn more and register on the Utah State Parks website.
Steinaker Youth Ice Fishing Derby
Steinaker State Park and the DWR are partnering to host an ice fishing tournament specifically for youth. The event will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024 from 8 a.m. to noon at Steinaker State Park. Prizes will be awarded for the heaviest fish overall, the heaviest fish for each age bracket, the smallest fish for each age bracket and the first fish turned in. The event is free and Uintah County Tourism will pay the state park entrance fee for one vehicle per participant. All participants must register on Eventbrite by Jan. 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Most fishing tournaments require organizers to obtain a certificate of registration from the DWR. Find more information about how to apply and learn what is required by visiting the DWR website.