Anglers not clear on new fishing limits
|Ice fishermen at Cleaveland Reservoir battled cold temperatures last weekend to partake in an afternoon of fishing fun. Although several area lakes are not yet completly thawed, the fishing limit remains in force. Many anglers are not aware of the new state law which limits the fishing limit to four. Some lakes and reservoirs have limits which are below this limit. Anglers must consult the current fishing proclamation for specific limits.|
Wildlife officers are concerned about a trend that has been noticed among many of Utah's trout anglers this spring. Many of the anglers contacted don't realize Utah has a statewide four trout limit and these anglers are keeping too many fish. The new limit went into effect January 1, 2002.
"About 50 percent of the anglers I've contacted this spring are not aware that Utah has a statewide four trout limit," says Mike Roach, a Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer from Salt Lake County.
"Many of them haven't read the 2002 fishing proclamation. It's very important that anglers read it so they know the rules and can avoid getting into trouble. We are citing anglers who do not comply with the new four trout limit," Roach explained.
"The four trout limit helps lower the number of trout taken during certain times of the year," explains Tom Pettengill, sport fisheries coordinator for DWR. "This helps spread them out over a longer period of time and should provide anglers with more consistent fishing through the year."
Pettengill says that in 2000, Utah's 500,000 licensed and 700,000 unlicensed juvenile anglers spent almost 5.9 million days fishing. "That's the highest number of angler days ever recorded in Utah," he explained.
"Our hatchery system is stocking 10 million fish each year, but we're not capable of stocking more. To provide anglers with consistent fishing, we need to spread the fish we have out over a longer period of time. The four trout limit will help us do that, but anglers need to obey the regulation for it to work."
Having the four trout limit should also make it easier for anglers to know what the limit is. "In the past, there have been different trout limits at different waters and anglers who didn't consult the proclamation were confused about what the limits were," Pettengill said.
Pettengill cautions anglers that a few waters in the state have a trout limit that's lower than four fish, and he encourages them to consult the 2002 Utah fishing proclamation to learn which waters do. The proclamation is available from fishing and hunting license agents statewide, the Division of Wildlife Resources' internet website at (www.wildlife.utah.gov) and at division offices.
Anglers may call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office, for a proclamation or more information.