|Anglers take advantage of a warm summer day to enjoy fishing. The outddor sport attracts anglers of all ages, however certain rules apply. Before heading to Utah waterways, anglers must obtain a fishing license and also review state regulations. By participating in these regulations, anglers will ensure that fishing will continue to be enjoyed by many.|
Fishing is a favorite pastime for many Utah residents. Currently, fishing has been a success at many southeastern lakes, reservoirs, and streams. In order to enjoy a successful outing, anglers are reminded to obey all rules and regulations while enjoying the adventures of the great outdoors.
The most obvious regulation is a fishing permit. Anglers 14 years and older are required to possess a valid fishing license before heading to Utah waterways.
Permits can be obtained at various locations across Carbon County. Some locations include local retail stores and the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Anglers are also urged to pick up a proclamation which outlines guidelines to fishing in Utah. The contents will instruct anglers as to what limits apply at specific waterways and other valuable information which may aid in fishing success.
While enjoying fishing activities, anglers are encouraged to participate in the catch and release program. By participating in this program, fish will be able to be caught by other anglers in the future.
If an angler plans to participate in the catch and release program, bait should not be used. Bait caught fish typically suffer a much higher hooking mortality than fish caught on flies and lures. At least one out of three fish caught with bait will die after release.
Over 60% of deep hooked fish die. Cutting the line on deep hooked fish and not trying to remove the hook increases survival significantly. The major cause of hooking mortality is hooking injury itself. Most fish that are bleeding from being hooked will not survive.
Generally nine out of 10 fish caught on flies or lures will survive after release. Studies have shown that there is only a one to two percent difference in the survival of fish caught on flies compared to those caught on lures.
When fishing deep water (deeper than 30 feet) most fish caught cannot be released with any assurance that they will survive. Bringing fish up quickly causes blood chemistry changes as well as an expansion of the air bladder to many times it's normal size, often causing it to protrude out of the fish's mouth. Keeping the fish in the water and quickly releasing it so it can get back down to deeper water helps some. Puncturing the swim bladder with a needle does not improve survival.
Some fish like lake trout can burp off the gases from the swim bladder when pulled up slowly. Most fish do not have this capability.
Fish that are already stressed by warm water temperatures or low dissolved oxygen conditions cannot handle the added stress of being caught and most likely will not survive after being released.
Some of Utah's low to mid elevation reservoirs get warm during the summer. Some trout waters will have surface temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees.
If catching fish in August when water temperatures are already marginal, don't plan on catching and releasing a lot of fish. Most released fish are probably not going to live to be caught another day.
Some simple precautions can be made to ensure the survival of fish which are caught and released.
If planning to release fish, fish with flies or lures. Bending down the barbs on the hooks will make the release even easier. Replacing treble hooks with single hooks also makes the release easier.
Land the fish as quickly as possible. This is less tiring for the fish. If possible, keep the fish in the water and use a pair of forceps or needle nosed pliers to remove the hook.
Handle the fish as little as possible. This helps maintain the protective slime coating on the fish.
Anglers must also be aware of state laws which prohibit trespassing during fishing adventures. Proclamations will explain the restrictions to anglers.
Private crop land and irrigated pastures are protected by trespassing laws. A law requiring people to obtain written permission to access private property, that is properly posted, has been in place in Utah for several years.
Written permission also must be obtained to access private property if the following apply.
The soil has been loosened or broken up, for the raising of crops.
There are crops on the land.
The land is a pasture that is irrigated by a sprinkling system or irrigation ditches.
Mike Fowlks, Salt Lake City DWR sergeant said that the state legislators in northern Utah who proposed and supported this law felt it was common sense not to trespass on these lands, and landowners shouldn't be required to post them.
"The law should help protect agricultural lands and crops from damage by trespassers, while requiring written permission to access irrigated pastures should help landowners better protect sprinkling equipment," Fowlks explained.
Those seeking written permission won't be the only ones impacted by the law, as landowners who haven't required written permission to access these lands in the past will start receiving visits from people seeking permission.
Although this law applies to anglers, it mostly effects upland game hunters, and waterfowl hunters hunting in farm fields.
Anglers who cross cultivated fields to access fishing streams will be required to obtain this written permission also.
Utah law also makes it more costly to take wildlife and fish while trespassing. It allows officers to charge those who take wildlife while trespassing with an additional class B misdemeanor for illegally taking wildlife, and to seize the wildlife taken.
The law was passed to decrease the number of people who habitually trespass on private property to take game, knowing that they'll only be charged with one class B misdemeanor for trespassing while being allowed to keep what they take.
Fowlks hopes this law will lessen the number of people illegally accessing private property to hunt or fish.
By accessing information contained in the Utah fishing proclamation, anglers should be able to determine whether an area is open to public fishing or if the waterway requires written permission.
For more information regarding fishing regulations, anglers should contact the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources before heading for the lakes and streams.
With the fish biting strong, anglers are encouraged to take advantage of the current fishing season. These anglers must remember however, that certain rules apply and these rules must be obeyed whenever enjoying the outdoor sport of fishing.