July 20, 2006

2 New Record Fish Taken in northern Utah

A flurry of great summer fishing has produced two new fish records, with some additional close calls and short-lived records

OGDEN - Three record fish, including two new state records, were caught at Pineview and Willard Bay reservoirs during first two weeks in July.

Record Tiger Musky
Kelly Parry of Bluffdale shows the record tiger muskie he caught at Pineview Reservoir on July 4.
Photo by Scott Root

The first fish was a 49-inch tiger muskie caught by Kelly Parry of Bluffdale on July 4 at Pineview. The new record weighed in at 33 pounds, 10 ounces. The previous record (which can hardly be referred to as "old") was caught at Pineview just five weeks earlier by Marc Anderson of Pleasant Grove. Anderson's fish weighed in at 31 pounds, 11 ounces and was 49 inches long with a girth of 23 inches. While Anderson's record was short-lived, Utah's new wiper record changed hands in even less time! The 7-pounds 7-ounces, 26 5/8-inches-long wiper caught by Joe Huisu at Willard Bay on July 6 beat the old record by nearly a pound, but his record was short-lived. On July 13, John Volt of South Weber hauled in a new record that weighed in at 7 pounds 11 ounces, just four ounces heavier than Huisu's fish! Even though Huisu held the record for only one week, he will still be issued a record fish certificate since he had properly registered and verified the catch as a valid record. Parry and Volt are in the process of submitting their record fish paperwork to the Division of Wildlife Resources. After their paperwork has been reviewed, they will receive a certificate certifying that they caught new state record fish. photo DWR biologist and experienced tiger muskie angler Kent "Sorno" Sorenson releases a tiger muskie after handling the fish properly. Photo by Kent Sorenson Tiger muskie catch and release tips DWR fisheries biologists have been busy in northern Utah. Their careful cultivation of Willard Bay and Pineview reservoirs for the past 10 years has resulted in great fishing that has left them even busier trying to preserve these great fisheries. "We need anglers to properly release the fish that are critical to the management of Pineview," says Craig Schaugaard, Northern Region aquatics manager for the DWR. The tiger muskies Schaugaard is referring to are smaller than 40 inches in length. These fish that are 40 inches and under feed heavily on yellow perch and other panfish at the reservoir. This feeding helps keep these panfish populations from overpopulating and stunting. The end result is a multi-leveled fishery that provides a trophy-sized tiger muskie fishery and a good family perch fishing spot. Kent "Sorno" Sorenson, DWR habitat biologist and an experienced tiger muskie angler, says not being prepared to properly release a huge fish is the biggest mistake anglers make at Pineview. Sorno says the basics of successfully releasing a tiger muskie are to: 1. Bring the fish in as quickly as possible. "This time of year, the fish do not have enough oxygen in the water to counter the build up of lactic acid in their muscles that results from a long, drawn out battle with an angler," he says. He believes many fish will not survive a long fight, especially when the fight is combined with the fish being poorly handled. photo John Volt of South Weber shows the new record wiper he caught at Willard Bay Reservoir on July 13. Photo by Ben Nadolski 2. Have a large mesh net, 11-inch needle nose pliers and jaw openers readily accessible so you can quickly release the fish. "I have seen numerous fish with split fins that come as a result of small mesh nets," Sorenson said. 3. Take your photos quickly before releasing the fish. "Having someone with you makes that much easier, but if you are fishing alone, have your tripod and timer already set before you start fishing. I have a fish out of the water no longer that 12 seconds," he says. More information The DWR Web site provides detailed information on how to land and release tiger muskies safely and efficiently. This information is available at wildlife.utah.gov/fishing/tiger_muskie_tips.html. For a complete list of Utah's record fish and requirements for the record fish program, visit wildlife.utah.gov/fishing/recfish.html.