DWR proposing changes to fishing regulations

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Gene Lessar discusses the proposed changes to the fishing regulations with DWR Fishing manager Justin Hart

The Division of Wildlife Resources office in Price held an open house and public information meeting on Tuesday.

Proposed changes for the 2014 fishing season were available and public comment was being solicited on those and all fishing regulations.

Southeast Utah Fisheries Manager Justin Hart said 20,000 fingerling kokanee salmon were just stocked in Electric Lake. To protect these fish as they mature and to increase their population in the waterway, the division is proposing regulations that will restrict the taking of any red colored kokanee in the lake and tributaries from mid August through September beginning in 2014. Kokanee turn red when ready to spawn.

A brief synopsis of other proposed changes to next year’s fishing regulations and how they affect our region are listed below.

Adding lakes for spearfishing opportunities is also up for comment. The division proposes adding Electric Lake in Huntington Canyon and Recapture Reservoir by Blanding to the areas where spearfishing is allowed. Currently Ken’s Lake in Moab is one of several open to spearfishing.  All fishing rules, regulations and limits apply to spearfishing. For a complete listing of current spear fishing regulations go to: https://wildlife.utah.gov/dwr/fishing/guidebooks/401-2011-fishing-guidebook.html and download the fishing guide book.

To improve the survival of native endangered fish, a proposal for catch and kill was proposed for implementation in 2014 for the Colorado, Green River and San Juan rivers and some select tributaries including the Price River and the San Rafael. The catch and kill proposal would include no limits for the following fish: burbot, smallmouth bass and walleye. Anglers who catch these in the waters listed will not be able to release them and must kill them immediately.

To give your input on the proposed changes go to https://wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots/.

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