DWR removes chubs from Joe's Valley Reservoir

June 22, 2006 - DWR removes chubs from Joes Valley Reservoir

ORANGEVILLE - During the first two weeks in June, Division of Wildlife Resources personnel netted about 80,000 Utah chubs at Joes Valley Reservoir.

DWR netting chubs at Joes Valley
DWR employees use nets to pull chubs out of Joes Valley Reservoir.

Chubs have caused problems at the reservoir, occupying habitat and competing for food resources that are intended for trout.

Fishing regulations that are designed to help splake grow large enough to eat the chubs have been in place for a number of years. Although the regulations have resulted in splake growing to large sizes, the population of chubs in the reservoir hasn't been significantly impacted. Trap-netting chubs will hopefully give the splake a helping hand in reducing the chub numbers.

Almost every day during the first two weeks in June, DWR personnel set trap nets along the shorelines, trapping chubs that were schooling in shallow water as they prepared to spawn. Biologists set and collected the nets daily. Yields approached a ton of chubs every day, which were taken to the Emery County landfill for disposal.

Using live fish for bait is illegal

Chubs were probably introduced to the reservoir by anglers using live minnows as bait. Live minnows sometimes get off the hook and then find mates and reproduce, which creates a horrible problem for a sport fishery.

It's illegal in Utah to fish with live bait and to carry live fish from one water to another. This law was implemented to end a practice that has had dire consequences for many of Utah's fisheries.

Anglers who want to keep waters free from nuisance fish species need to stop using live minnows as bait and urge other anglers to do likewise.

If you see others using live fish as bait, or transporting live fish, please call the DWR's Help Stop Poaching hotline at 1-800-662-DEER (3337) or your local public safety dispatcher by calling 911.

The thousands of dollars spent every year to control unwanted fish species could have been used for a much better purpose.