Starting Jan. 1, 2008, you can fillet fish at all Utah's waters except Jordanelle Reservoir for smallmouth bass and Strawberry Reservoir and Panquitch Lake for trout and salmon.
You can also keep 10 yellow perch at Yuba Reservoir and up to six bass at Sand Hollow Reservoir.
Those fishing rules are among several changes members of the Utah Wildlife Board approved for Utah's 2008 fishing season. They approved the changes at their October 4 meeting in Salt Lake City.
All of the rules approved by the board can be found in the 2008 Utah Fishing Guidebook. The guidebook should be available at wildlife.utah.gov/proclamations by mid-December.
2008 fishing rules
The following are among the fishing rule changes that will take effect on January 1, 2008. Starting January 1:
- you can fillet fish at any fishing water in Utah except the following:
- Strawberry Reservoir (fish must be kept whole in the field or in transit)
- Panguitch Lake (fish must be kept whole in the field or in transit)
- Jordanelle Reservoir (bass must be kept whole in the field or in transit)
- several underwater spearfishing changes will go into effect:
- The spearfishing limits will be the same as the regular fishing limits at waters in Utah where spearfishing is allowed.
- Jordanelle, Yuba and Pineview reservoirs will join the list of waters where spearfishing is allowed. You cannot spearfish for tiger muskies at Pineview, however.
- Joes Valley Reservoir will be dropped from the list of waters where spearfishing is allowed.
- Utah's 2008 spearfishing season will run from June 1 to November 30, 2008. You can spearfish only at waters that are on Utah's spearfishing list, and you can take both game and nongame fish at these waters. There's one exception to this rule: you can also spearfish for carp at any water in Utah during that water's open fishing season.
- the state's bait and baitfish restrictions will be changed to restrict bait items that have a higher probability of carrying
aquatic diseases. The change will include a list of fresh or frozen baitfish species that may be used at Utah waters as long as
there are no "artificial flies and lures only" restrictions at that water. All other fresh or frozen baitfish species will be
This list will be available in the 2008 Utah Fishing Guidebook.
- you can keep up to 10 yellow perch at Yuba Reservoir in central Utah. Between January 1 and April 30, you must keep all of the yellow perch you catch, up to your 10-perch limit.
- you can keep up to six bass at Sand Hollow Reservoir in southwestern Utah. Only one of those bass can be longer than 12 inches, however.
- several streams, including East Canyon Creek, the South Fork of the Ogden River, Wheatgrass Creek and the Electric Lake tributaries will now be under general statewide regulations.
All of these waters have special size restrictions, and the Division of Wildlife Resources has biological concerns about filleting fish at these waters.
"This change will allow you to take advantage of fish cleaning stations and get your fish ready for the table before you get home," says Drew Cushing, warm water fisheries coordinator for the DWR.
The general statewide regulation allows you to catch and have up to four trout in your possession. There's no restriction on the size or species of trout you can keep at these waters.
"There's no longer a biological need to maintain special regulations on these streams," says Roger Wilson, cold water fisheries coordinator for the DWR. "Placing them under the general statewide regulation will make it easier for anglers to follow the rules and allow them to possess a few more fish."