Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Otter Creek Gill Net Survery 2014

We had a great response to the Newcastle and Minersville reservoirs gill netting studies in our last post!  It sounds like this is the kind of information that our viewers really want to see.

So to keep with our promise, here is the gill net survey report for Otter Creek Reservoir.  This is no doubt one of the hottest fishing destinations in southern Utah.  Ice fishing and even spring fishing has been tough, and I have heard several people pose the question of "where did the fish in Otter Creek go"?  Several folks have theorized that there are few fish, as the fishing has been so poor.  I recently spoke with DWR southern region aquatics program manager Mike Hadley about this theory.  Mike felt that the real issue probably had more to do with abundant food and high fishing pressure more than anything else.  The survey would be the real evidence to the issue.  I think this report will surprise many with the few fish theory:

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducted a trend net survey on April 8, 2014, to monitor fish populations in Otter Creek Reservoir. We caught fat, healthy rainbow trout in the 10- to 13-inch and 16- to 20-inch ranges. The growth rate of these fish remains among the highest for rainbow trout in any reservoir in Utah. The largest trout observed weighed four pounds. Spring is a great time to fish Otter Creek. Anglers were having fair to good success this week from shore, float tubes, and boats.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries technicians Josh Verde (left) and Weston Cleveland (right) show off a couple of fat rainbow trout caught and released during a trend net survey at Otter Creek Reservoir on April 8, 2014.
 Recently I have heard a few reports that fishing in Otter Creek has been picking up.  Mike assured me that there are no issues with populations of fish in Otter Creek, but that due to the feed and pressure these fish are simply being very stubborn to catch.  It's good news for such a high quality fishery, and I guess to my fellow anglers I would say keep trying, keep switching it up until you find what works.  

And if you happen to get a good catch be sure to send a picture our way!

Look for a report on Navajo Lake here Friday evening.

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