Saturday, April 13, 2013

2013 Otter Creek Gill Netting

Otter Creek is no doubt a favorite to many in southern Utah, irregardless if you are an ice fisherman, fly fisherman, or if you are hitting the water from shore or from a boat.  This lake has long been known for growing some monster rainbow and brown trout!  Just this week Mike Hadley (fisheries biologist with the Utah DWR) ventured out on the lake to take a look at how the fishery is fairing for this spring.  As has been the trend for the past few years, the news is good!  Take a look at what Mike has to say:



Otter Creek Reservoir Trend Net Survey – April 11, 2013

During the annual trend net survey at Otter Creek Reservoir on April 11, 2013, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources found an exciting variety of fish species. As always, lots of fat and healthy rainbow trout between 12 and 20 inches were observed. Although Utah chubs were abundant in the catch, the rainbows still appear to be doing great thanks to good water levels in recent years. We also caught several cutthroat trout, a few small wipers, and two nice smallmouth bass. But the highlight of the day were three large brown trout, measuring 21 to 27 inches and weighing 5 to 8 pounds. Although browns are not regularly stocked in the reservoir, they are stocked in the tributaries and it appears that a few are making into the reservoir and are growing to large size by eating Utah chubs. An 11-pound brown trout was caught during the 2012 trend net survey. Based on these results, we plan to stock more brown trout in the reservoir in the future when excess fish are available from the state hatcheries. Shore fishing is good to excellent right now at Otter Creek Reservoir. This could be a great year of fishing, as long as the water level doesn’t get too low in the summer. Look for trout to move back out to open water and trolling success to pick up during May. Smallmouth bass should start getting active and aggressive at about the same time.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fish biologist Mike Hadley shows off a 27-inch, 8-pound brown trout caught during the trend net survey at Otter Creek Reservoir on April 11, 2013.

Otter Creek State Park manager Lance Eliason with a nice rainbow trout caught and released during the trend net survey at Otter Creek Reservoir on April 11, 2013.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources aquatic invasive species biologist Nic Braithewaite shows off a couple of two- and three-pound smallmouth bass caught and released during the trend net survey at Otter Creek Reservoir on April 11, 2013.

Otter Creek State Park manager Lance Eliason with a 10-inch wiper caught during the trend net survey at Otter Creek Reservoir on April 11, 2013.

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