The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducted a gill net survey at Otter Creek Reservoir on April 10, 2012, in order to monitor the condition of the trout fishery. As always, we found plenty of fat, healthy rainbow trout. The two predominant size groups are ten to twelve inches and sixteen to eighteen inches in length. As a bonus, we caught--and were able to release--a 29-inch, 11-pound brown trout. Browns are not very abundant in Otter Creek Reservoir, but they can grow to impressive size when they start feeding on Utah chubs.
There is a fair amount of fishing pressure at Otter Creek Reservoir right now because spring is one of the best times of year to fish there. Shore anglers are finding more success than trollers because most of the hungry, active trout are cruising along the shoreline. However, the reservoir is full, so finding a spot to fish from shore can be a little tough with all the flooded brush. A float tube can help you access some of those brushy areas. Look for trolling to get better as the water warms and fish move to deeper water in May.
|Division of Wildlife Resources fish biologist Mike Hadley shows off a 29-inch, 11-pound brown trout caught and released during a gill net survey at Otter Creek Reservoir on April 10, 2012.|
Right now is a great time to visit Otter Creek Reservoir, before the heat of the summer sets in. Spring fishing is usually always good, but summer can slow as the water levels drop due to irrigation demands, and the hot summer temperatures in this open valley bottom heat up. One caution with spring fishing at Otter Creek, sudden gusty spring winds are known to hit the lake quite regularly, as the valley sits in a perfect north/south alignment to funnel those springtime south winds. Be careful on this open lake, there have been a lot of accidents in the past to boaters.
So, what will you catch in Otter Creek? Most likely rainbow trout, possibly a cutthroat, obviously an occasional brown trout (photo above), and the DWR has also recently stocked tiger trout, smallmouth bass, and wipers. The DWR has high hopes that these predator fish will help control the population of Utah chubs, which have began to reappear in the lake in recent years.
You will also find great ATV trails in the area, on both the Boulder and Dutton mountain ranges (Dixie National Forest). Be sure to visit the Otter Creek/Antimony, Utah area this summer! And bring your appetite for the outdoors, and good food!