Survey will be open until Nov. 1
Price — The Division of Wildlife Resources is seeking input from the public about the fishery at Scofield Reservoir and the opportunities anglers would like to see there. You can provide your feedback through an online survey that will be available until Nov. 1. The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/r/TSSQ26P.
Through the survey, DWR biologists hope to learn what you’d like to catch at Scofield Reservoir, as well as your views on various management options for reducing the number of Utah chub in and around the lake. Utah chub are a species of fish native to Utah but not to the reservoir. Having too many chubs in the water isn’t good for sportfish, including trout.
“We’re hoping to get feedback from the public on what direction we’d like to take Scofield in the future,” says Justin Hart, aquatics manager for the DWR’s Southeastern Region.
Historically, Scofield Reservoir has been a place families have gone to catch rainbow trout. Chub were first observed in the lake in 2005. After being observed, their population grew exponentially, peaking in 2009.
When chub were found in Scofield, biologists altered their management approach for the lake, steering it from a family fishery to a trophy fishery. Large predators, such as cutthroat and tiger trout, were stocked to try to control the chub population. As a result, biologists have observed a steady decline in the population of younger, smaller chub.
“We have no indication that what we’re doing right now is failing. As a matter of fact, it looks promising; it’s exactly what we expected to see,” Hart says. “The problem is it’s going to take a while for the larger chub to die, and people don’t want to wait.”
Fisheries managers will consider angler responses from the survey as they decide whether to continue using predators to manage the fishery or to treat it with rotenone instead. Rotenone is a tool used to remove fish from lakes and rivers that are not meeting the goals of fisheries managers or the public.
Maintaining a quality fishery at Scofield Reservoir has been and will continue to be a priority for the agency, Hart says.
“We need to get rid of the chubs,” he says. “That could potentially be through a rotenone treatment. It could also be through using different species of predators that we’ve never used before in Scofield, such as sterile walleye or wiper.”