DWR Press Release
Try a community pond this summer
Did you know that some of the best fishing in Utah might be just a few minutes from your home?
Utah is home to more than 50 community fishing ponds. While most of the ponds are in cities along the Wasatch Front, cities as far from the front as Helper and St. George also have ponds in them. You can see which ponds are closest to you at www.wildlife.utah.gov/cf.
You can also watch a video about the ponds at www.youtube.com/UDWR. After you log onto the website, click on the “Overview of Utah’s Community Fishing Ponds” selection to watch the video.
The community ponds provide anglers of all ages, from young children to senior citizens, a convenient, inexpensive and fun place to fish.
And the fishing can be really good.
Drew Cushing, Aquatic Section chief for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the DWR stocks catfish into most of the ponds once every two weeks until July. (The DWR gets its catfish from a catfish grower in Arkansas. In July, the water and air temperature reaches a point that transporting catfish from Arkansas, and stocking them successfully in the ponds, isn’t possible.)
When they’re stocked, the catfish are between 10 to 18 inches long. Most of the fish weigh about one pound each.
In addition to the catfish, most of the ponds have bluegill and largemouth bass in them. The bluegill can provide fast fishing that lasts all day. Fishing for bass isn’t as fast, but when you catch one, get ready for a fun fight.
(Because largemouth bass aren’t plentiful in the ponds, Cushing encourages you to release any largemouth bass you catch.)
Cushing says it doesn’t matter whether it’s spring, summer or fall, the ponds almost always produce good fishing. “Agreements we have with each city allow us to keep a stable amount of water in each pond,” he says. “Having stable water levels, and placing lots of fish in the ponds on a regular basis, means fishing at the ponds is almost always good.”
And you don’t need to be an advanced angler or have fancy, expensive equipment to catch the fish—a fishing rod and reel, some nightcrawlers, a hook, some sinkers and maybe a bobber or two, are about all you need.
It’s also easy to remember the fish limit at the ponds: you can keep a total of two fish per day.
To catch fish at the ponds, try one of these simple techniques:
Method 1 – Place a worm on a hook, crimp some split shot about 12 inches above the hook, and then cast the hook out and let the worm rest on the bottom of the pond.
Method 2 – Place a bobber two or three feet above a hook, crimp some split shot about 12 inches above the hook and then place a worm on the hook. Cast the hook, split shot and the bobber out, and let the worm dangle under the bobber.
“Fishing with a bobber is fun,” Cushing says, “especially if you’re fishing with kids. Kids love to watch the bobber move as a fish takes the bait.”
Method 3 – Fill a clear plastic bubble partially with water, attach the bubble about five feet from the end of your line, and then tie a wet or dry fly to the end of the line. Cast the fly and bubble out, and slowly retrieve it back.
Using these simple methods can easily put a catfish, bluegill or largemouth bass on the end of your line. The techniques will also put plenty of wipers and rainbow trout on the end of your line too.
Starting in July, the DWR will place wipers into most of the ponds. The wipers—a hard-fighting cross between a striped bass and a white bass—will be eight inches long when they’re stocked. They’ll grow to 11 to 12 inches by the end of August.
Wipers will be stocked in July and August. Then, just before Labor Day, the DWR will start placing catfish in the ponds again. Catfish stocking will continue until October, when rainbow trout will be stocked in the ponds.
Cushing says placing a variety of fish in the ponds helps anglers two ways: it provides good fishing through the year, and it allows anglers to catch several different fish. “Many anglers have told us they want to catch a variety of fish at the ponds,” he says. “The variety of fish we’re stocking should meet that need and provide anglers with some fun fishing.”
Save money, make memories
Cushing says taking your kids fishing at a community pond will not only build great memories, it might save you some money compared to taking your kids to a movie or participating in other activities:
– Children under the age of 12 do not need a fishing license. They can fish for free.
– Those who are 12 to 13 years old can buy a license for $5. The 365-day license allows them to fish for 365 days from the day the license is bought.
– Those who are 14 to 17 years of age can buy a 365-day fishing license for $16.
“With a license and some basic fishing gear,” Cushing says, “you and your kids can have a great time. And you’ll build memories that will last a lifetime.”
For more information about the community ponds in your area, visit www.wildlife.utah.gov/cf or call your nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office.