Thursday, May 9, 2013

Panguitch Lake Survey: Great Fishing Awaits!

Panguitch Lake has been a hot spot for anglers from all over the state and region over the past 5 years or so, receiving a lot of attention from the new bounty of large fish with the removal of Utah chubs a few years ago.  The introduction of cutthroat and tiger trout has helped boost that popularity, along with excellent opportunities to catch larger rainbows!

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries technician 
Josh Verde holds a 25-inch, 5.6-pound cutthroat trout caught 
and released during the trend net survey 
at Panguitch Lake on May 7, 2013.
The first few years after the lake was treated to eliminate the Utah cubs, a slot limit was enforced in order to help grow and retain larger fish in the lake.  At the time, all fish between 14" and 22" had to be released.  Today, that slot limit is still enforced for cutthroat and tiger trout, but the slot has been removed on rainbow trout to allow more opportunity for anglers to keep fish.  The slot limit did the job; now it is very common to catch several fish over 18" during an outing!

Mike Hadley with the Utah DWR shares with us his report of the recent gill net survey of Panguitch Lake.  The report is good news to anglers, and looks like good news for years to come!  Here's Mike's report:

During the annual trend net survey at Panguitch Lake on May 7, 2013, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources found good numbers of rainbow and cutthroat trout, as well as a few tiger trout. 13- to 18-inch trout were abundant in the catch, while a number of larger fish were also observed. Big fish for the day included a 25-inch, 5.6-pound cutthroat trout and a 28-inch, 7.7-pound tiger trout. This whopper was the largest fish seen in the netting surveys since the fishery restoration project of 2006. The other good news from the survey was that no Utah chubs were caught. Fishing from shore and boats is fair to good right now and this should continue through Memorial Day. 

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources hatchery technician Ryan Josie (left) and aquatic invasive species technician Breann Clark (right) show off a couple of fish caught and released during the trend net survey at Panguitch Lake on May 7, 2013: a 28-inch, 7.7-pound tiger trout and a 20-inch, 3.4-pound rainbow trout.
I know many have been eager to see this report this year, and your wait will not disappoint you!  It looks like another great year to catch a lot of fish, with the possibility of catching some very large fish!  When you do, send those photos into us, let's see how you did!
Thanks again Mike for sharing your report with us all here at SUH&F!