No Underwater Spearfishing at Fish Lake in the Fall

Fish Lake -- New rules should protect lake trout that spawn in Fish Lake in the fall.

At their May 7 meeting in Salt Lake City, members of the Utah Wildlife Board closed the south-central Utah lake to underwater spearfishing from Sept. 16 through Nov. 30.

Spear fishermen can still underwater spearfish at Fish Lake earlier in the year, however. The spearfishing season at the lake starts June 2 and runs until Sept. 15.

Roger Wilson, cold water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says spear fishing for lake trout at the lake became popular last year.

“Spear fishermen found the best success in the fall, when adult lake trout move into water that’s shallower to spawn,” Wilson says. “Moving into the shallower water made it easier for spear fishermen to take these big fish.”

Wilson says some of the first spear fishermen who fished at the lake last fall let other spear fishermen know about the success they were finding. That increased spear fishing pressure through the rest of the season.

“The problems started when nonresident spear fishermen made some disparaging remarks on angler Web sites about the value of these adult lake trout,” Wilson says.

Wilson says some anglers were also concerned about the perceived advantage spear fishermen have over hook-and-line anglers in taking spawning lake trout. “We also received reports that illegal fishing activities were taking place,” Wilson says.

For more information, call the DWR’s Southern Region office at (435) 865-6100.