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40,000 additional trout swimming in Deer Creek

40,000 additional trout swimming in Deer Creek

May 4, 2006 - 40,000 additional trout swimming in Deer Creek

HEBER CITY - A total of 40,000 extra rainbow trout were stocked into Deer Creek Reservoir last fall.

Couple those extra catchable rainbows with the usual number that were stocked there last fall, throw in a growing smallmouth bass population and a good walleye population, and Deer Creek Reservoir has all the ingredients needed to make it one of the best fishing waters in Utah this year.

And May will be one of the best months of the year to fish at the reservoir. Located about four miles southwest of Heber City, Deer Creek Reservoir is only about a 20-minute drive from Provo and less than one hour from Salt Lake City.

Mike Slater, aquatics biologist in the Division of Wildlife Resources' Central Region, provides the following tips and advice to help you catch fish at Deer Creek this year:

The month of May is a great time to catch a variety of fish at Deer Creek. Hungry rainbows, spawning walleye and active bass will be working the shoreline areas of the lake, and these fish should provide great fishing opportunities for anglers across the lake.

The best places to access the reservoir include the entrances to Deer Creek State Park and some additional sites along US 189 in the Wallsburg Bay and Island areas of the reservoir.

May is a great time for both shore and boat anglers to fish at Deer Creek. The water temperatures are cool enough that the fish will be feeding along the shorelines, making them easily accessible to shore anglers. Boat anglers who come to the reservoir in May can also get in on some great fishing and beat the influx of water skiers and personal watercraft operators who visit the reservoir starting in June.

The best fishing in May usually occurs during the morning and evening hours.

Rainbow trout

Anglers seeking rainbow trout this spring and summer can expect some of the best trout fishing at Deer Creek in years.

In addition to the rainbows that are normally stocked in the fall, in fall 2005, the DWR stocked an additional 40,000 catchable rainbows. Those 40,000 rainbows will be about 15 to 17 inches long this spring and summer, and they'll be hungry and looking for food.

Shore anglers can expect to find success around the entire lake in May. The most popular way to catch fish from shore is a simple one: use worms or PowerBait, and fish your bait near the bottom of the reservoir. Just cast your bait out and then let it sit near the bottom until a school of trout cruises by the shoreline and one of them takes your bait.

Successful techniques for boat anglers include jigging with curly-tail or tube jigs near shore (for best success, use a jig that's white in color). Hot spots include the north shore, between the dam and the state park boat ramp, Rainbow Bay and Wallsburg Bay.

In addition to jigging, trolling with bait (pop gear and worms) and lures can also be effective.

Walleye anglers should concentrate their efforts along rocky shoreline areas, including Rainbow Bay and Wallsburg Bay, which are known walleye spawning areas. Jigging, or trolling with lures from a boat, are among the most successful ways to catch walleyes at Deer Creek.

The best walleye fishing begins in May and typically continues through July, which is when the walleye fishing at Deer Creek peaks.

Smallmouth and largemouth bass

Smallmouth bass and largemouth bass will become more active as the water temperatures start to warm. Once the water warms, the bass start working the shorelines, providing anglers with good opportunities to catch some nice bass.

Wallsburg Bay and the Charleston/north end of the lake have typically been the best locations to fish for bass in May. You can find success jigging from a boat or from shore at both of these locations, especially near any flooded vegetation, which is plentiful this year because of the high water.

Recent bass population sampling by the DWR has shown great spawning success for bass. This is mostly because of the high water last year. The bass population at Deer Creek should continue to do well, and bass fishing should get even better over the next couple of years.