Monday, May 12, 2014

Minersville and Newcastle Reservoirs Netting Reports

Hey friends, this information is a little late getting out to you and I apologize if you have already had a chance to see it!  The last month has been a blur of work training, coaching baseball, and hunting turkeys with my 10 year old (no success yet).  It's time to get back to it like I should be. 

Mike Hadley with the Utah DWR has sent me a few gill netting reports taken this spring.  This week we are shooting for 3 posts that will highlight 4 lakes and the gill netting surveys that Mike and fellow Utah DWR employees have performed.  We start off this week with reports on Minersville and Newcastle Reservoirs.  Here's Mike's report first on Minersville:



The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducted a trend net survey on March 27, 2014, to monitor fish populations in Minersville Reservoir, west of Beaver. We found a variety of fish, including rainbow trout up to four pounds in size and wipers up to three pounds. We even caught and released several smallmouth bass, with the largest weighing four pounds. Trout numbers were similar to what has been observed in recent years and we saw many in the 17- to 20-inch range. Trout fishing has been a little spotty lately, but may pick up as the water warms throughout the spring. Wipers have been stocked since 2011 in the hope that they will feed on the reservoir’s dense population of Utah chubs and help reduce competition with trout. Wipers seem to be growing well and should provide some exciting fishing this summer.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries technician Weston Cleveland (left) and fisheries biologist Stan Beckstrom (right) show off some large smallmouth bass caught and released during a trend net survey at Minersville Reservoir on March 27, 2014.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources office technician Mindi Cox shows off a four-pound rainbow trout caught and released during a trend net survey at Minersville Reservoir on March 27, 2014.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries technicians Josh Verde (left) and Weston Cleveland (middle), and conservation officer Brent Farnsworth (right) display some of the wipers caught during a trend net survey at Minersville Reservoir on March 27, 2014.
  
Now Here's Mike's report of Newcastle:

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducted a trend net survey on March 26, 2014, to monitor fish populations in Newcastle Reservoir, west of Cedar City. The survey yielded some exciting results. We caught a lot of wipers – most were in the three- to five-pound range, but a few weighed six and seven pounds. We also saw good numbers of rainbow trout, with quite a few in the 16- to 18-inch range. These larger rainbows were fairly rare in the past, so this increase attests to how well wipers were able to reduce the population of illegally introduced golden shiners. Trout fishing should be good throughout the spring as the water remains clear and the reservoir level is high. Look for wiper fishing to pick up with warming water temperature, possibly in May.

Ben Brown of the Utah Division of Water Quality holds a couple of nice wipers caught during a trend net survey at Newcastle Reservoir on March 26, 2014.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries technician Weston Cleveland shows off a six-pound wiper caught and released during a trend net survey at Newcastle Reservoir on March 26, 2014.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries technicians Josh Verde (left) and Weston Cleveland (right), with a couple of 16- to 17-inch rainbow trout caught and released during a trend net survey at Newcastle Reservoir on March 26, 2014.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fisheries biologist Mike Hadley shows off a seven-pound wiper caught and released during a trend net survey at Newcastle Reservoir on March 26, 2014.

A big thanks to Mike Hadley and the folks at the DWR for sharing this information with us.  Stay tuned this week for information on Otter Creek Reservoir and Navajo Lake.  Mike will also be conducting other gill net studies throughout May and June, we will post them just as soon as they come in.