What is the impact of drought on fishing? Limits increase in 5 Utah lakes

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The daily limit of fish an angler can catch is increased in five different lakes or reservoirs across Utah as low water levels caused by the ongoing drought across the state begin to impact fish stocks again. fish species.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced on Friday that it is temporarily increasing the limits to:

  • Fairview Lakes (Sanpete County): The new daily limit is eight trout.
  • Minersville Reservoir (Beaver County): The new daily limit is four trout, with no size restriction, and three wipers. A legal bait regulation has also been temporarily removed until the end of September.
  • Otter Creek Reservoir (Piute County): The new daily limit is eight trout and six wipers.
  • Vernon Reservoir (Tooele County): The new daily limit is eight trout.
  • Yuba Reservoir (Juab County): The new daily limit is a combined total of 20 fish. It can be a mix of channel catfish, northern pike, tiger muskellunge, all species of trout and walleye, wiper.

All changes took effect immediately on Thursday and will remain in place until September 30.

Utah wildlife biologists make this change when water levels drop because of the impact it has on water quality for fish. The water in the body of water heats up more quickly during the summer, reducing the oxygen levels needed by fish species. The combination of hot water and low oxygen levels can stress fish, cause poor growth or disease, and can also be fatal.

“The best management action we can take in these water bodies is to reduce the number of fish in these waters. This is because when water levels are low, we are more likely to maintain a fishery that has fewer fish than a fishery that has a lot. fish,” said Randy Oplinger, coordinator of the sport fishing division, in a statement Friday. “We try, as much as possible, to continue to provide a good fishing experience for anglers, until we believe that the water levels will reach a critical level.

The US Drought Monitor continues to list about 83% of Utah in at least extreme drought conditions, including 7.7% of the state in exceptional drought. More than 99% of the state has been experiencing at least one severe drought for months.

Utah’s reservoirs are currently at 59% capacity statewide, according to the Utah Department of Natural Resources. But the reservoirs selected by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are far below that. For example, the Yuba Reservoir is currently listed at 12% capacity, while the Otter Creek Reservoir is only about a quarter of its total capacity.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources made a similar adjustment for several of its lakes and reservoirs due to last year’s drought. It even temporarily increased the daily limits of its 57 community ponds across the state. Oplinger said earlier this year that the drought will influence where his team stores fish across the state.

“We hope that fishermen will catch and harvest most, if not all, of the stocked fish by the time water levels get so low that fish survival will be affected,” he told AFP. era.

Meanwhile, Utah wildlife officials also announced on Friday that they have extended their daily limit of fish that can be caught in the Spring Lake community pond in Utah County due to a project. pond repair that has not yet started. The division first increased its pond fishing limits in January, then extended the temporary limit again in April. With the pond draining project delayed, he extended the order until the end of the year.

Anglers can catch up to eight game fish in the pond each day until December 31. Common carp do not count towards the daily limit.

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