DWR News Release
Anyone who goes fishing knows how thrilling it is to catch a fish, especially if it is a large, potentially record-breaking one. And in 2023, anglers set a few new fishing records in Utah.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources began tracking records for harvested fish in the early 1900s. Since then, the record fish program has expanded to also include catch-and-release records and records for fish caught using alternate tackle, like spearfishing, archery and setline.
There are currently 34 state catch-and-keep angling records, 38 state catch-and-release records, 22 state spearfishing records, six state setline records and three state archery records in Utah. You can view all the state fishing records on the DWR website.
“The primary reason that the DWR tracks record fish is to provide anglers with recognition of their achievements,” DWR Sportfish Coordinator Trina Hedrick said. “The public records are also a fun way to encourage anglers to get out on the water and hopefully encounter some of the large fish Utah has to offer. Fishing is a great way to explore Utah’s beautiful outdoors, and the excitement of setting a record can make it even more fun.”
While this isn’t a comprehensive list of all the records set in 2023, here is a look at four of the new state fishing records set last year:
Bonneville cutthroat trout: Set by Clint Thurgood on June 21, 2023 at Lost Creek State Park. The fish was 25 ⅝ inches long.
Black bullhead: Set by Trevor Houston on June 30, 2023 at Gunlock Reservoir. The fish was 16.5 inches long.
Striped bass: Set by Shelby Peterson on May 19, 2023 at Lake Powell. It was 41 ⅛ inches long, weighed 24 pounds and six ounces and had a 22 ¾-inch girth.
Yellow perch: Set by Steven Gottfredson on Nov. 1, 2023 at Deer Creek State Park. The fish was 12 inches long, weighed 15 ounces and had an eight-inch girth.
While these records were set at various waterbodies around Utah, these areas are not the only waters that offer large fish in the state. Here are some other waterbodies around Utah that offer trophy fishing for various species (although anglers should note that catch rates are lower when targeting large fish):
- Fish Lake for splake
- Scofield Reservoir and Currant Creek Reservoir for tiger trout
- Flaming Gorge Reservoir for lake trout
- Strawberry Reservoir and Bear Lake for cutthroat trout
- Huntington Reservoir for both tiger trout and splake
If you think you may have caught a record catch-and-release fish, you can submit the record application form on the DWR website. Your submission must include a photo that shows the fish next to a measuring device such as a yardstick or tape measure, and your release of the fish must be witnessed and certified in writing.
To submit a catch-and-keep record, you must submit a photo of the fish, as well as its total length, girth and weight. The fish must be weighed using a certified commercial scale, and the weighing must be witnessed and certified in writing by two independent witnesses who are not members of the individual’s fishing party or family. A Utah Division of Wildlife Resources employee must witness and certify in writing the species, total fish length and girth verification.
Here are the records that have been set over the past few years: