The Utah DWR treated the reservoir to remove the chubs, which killed all fish species in the lake. The following year trout were re-introduced, but this time not only rainbow trout as previous to the treatment, but also tiger trout (a hybrid cross between a brook trout and a brown trout) and cutthroat trout. These two species are known to be more of a predator fish, and grow to impressive sizes as well. In fact, in 2009 the Utah state record tiger trout was pulled from Panguitch Lake, although this record has since been bested by 2 other tigers caught in other Utah waters.
Fears were again raised that Panguitch Lake was again in trouble as a malfunctioning head-gate on the dam caused all the stored water in the lake to release over the summer of 2011, dropping the lake to it's low, natural lake level. Many feared that most of the population would winter kill due to the low lake levels. Ice fishing was very tough this winter on the lake, which is not normal for the past few year.
Now, the head-gate has been repaired, and the lake is again storing water. With the ice off, Mike Hadley, Southern Region Aquatics Biologist for the Utah DWR was able to get out on the lake this past week and gives us this very promising report of Panguitch Lake:
|Division of Wildlife Resources fish biologist Mike Hadley shows off a 23-inch, 4.5-lb cutthroat trout caught and released at Panguitch Lake during the annual gill net survey on May 8, 2012.|
|Division of Wildlife Resources personnel measure the length and weight of trout collected at Panguitch Lake during the annual gill net survey on May 8, 2012.|
Tiger numbers at an all-time high, good size ranges on the other fish, and no Utah chubs found...I can't wait to hit Panguitch Lake this year! If you find yourself there please let us know how you do!
Panguitch Lake is just a short 20 minute drive south of the town of Panguitch, on Utah highway 143. Near the lake you will find public boat ramps, a few lodges/resorts, restaurants, the Panguitch Lake General Store, Forest Service Campgrounds, ATV trails, boat rentals, and much more! This is a great area to spend a weekend with your family, or maybe just your fishing buddies! Either way, there's something for everyone in the Panguitch Lake area. If you find yourself in Garfield County for any of the many festivals and events this summer, be sure to put Panguitch Lake on your list.
Again, a big thanks to Mike Hadley for another great report. I want to thank him and the Utah DWR for contributing information to our site.
Be sure to check out our "Bragging Board" for a look at some trophy fish posted there that have been pulled from Panguitch Lake.