DWR reports on upcoming events and hunt application openings
Apply for an antlerless big game permit
Applications accepted starting June 1
If you are applying for a cow elk permit, you will need to apply on-line at: wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.
A list of available hunts, maps, boundary descriptions, and all of the information you need to apply may be found on: www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks starting May 24.
Applications for permits will be accepted, beginning June 1. Your application must be received through the website no later than 11 p.m. on June 21 to be included in the draw for permits.
The DWR is hoping that hunters get used to using our website for all its application, drawing and field regulations. The website offers a lot of good wildlife information, fishing reports, wildlife news and stories, etc. They hope the website will eventually replace the printed guidebooks.
Big Game Permit results coming soon.
For big game hunters who put in for a general or limited entry or once in a lifetime hunt, they should be getting their notice of whether they have been successful any time.
Share your fishing ideas.
If you like to fish in Utah, you have an opportunity right now to share your thoughts about fishing regulations and fishing regulation changes you'd like to see in Utah in 2012. Please email Drew Cushing at: email@example.com or call him at: 801) 538-4774.
When it comes to fishing, Cushing says the DWR often hears only from organized groups. "In addition to hearing from the fishing groups," he says, "we want to hear from individual anglers. We hope those who don't belong to a fishing group will share their ideas with us too."
Cushing says even though 2012 is still months away, the agency's biologists need time before September to consider your ideas and to determine whether your ideas will work. "Please get your ideas to us no later than June 24," he says.
After examining the ideas they receive, biologists will present their final recommendations to the public in September.
The Utah Wildlife Board will make the final decision on Nov. 3.
Catch a fish, win big prizes.
Utah is one of 19 states that are holding a "Wanna' Go Fishing for Millions?" contest this year. The contest is sponsored by Cabelas with the help of the Division of Wildlife Resources, which has tagged a combined total of 53 fish at East Canyon Reservoir, Starvation Reservoir and Lake Powell. If you catch and turn in a tagged fish, you will be eligible for valuable prizes in cash and merchandise.
To qualify, you must pre-register on the Cabelas website under the heading, "Will you catch the million dollar fish?" Hurry up and enter. The contest only runs for a month from about June 14 until July 14.
As spring temperatures warm lakes and reservoirs, it will be a great time to catch largemouth bass
When the water temperatures in Utah hit 57 degrees and keep rising, largemouth bass feel the urge to spawn. The bass move onto shallow flats, looking for a good place to nest, and large females begin feeding heavily to prepare for the rigors of the spawn.
Now is the best time of the year to catch the biggest bass. You will not catch big numbers of fish, but the chance to catch a big bass is very possible.
Use large casting and flipping jigs that imitate crawfish, which are a favorite food of largemouth bass. Crawfish provide lots of protein, and protein is something the bass need for the rigors of the spawn.
Rocky areas in lakes and reservoirs catch the sun's rays and warm the water around them. The warming water attracts bass and crawfish. Target rocky areas with jigs, and try to cast your jig so it doesn't splash much when it hits the water.
If you're fishing from a boat, cast to the edge of the shore, and then drag your jig into the water. Crawling the jig slowly across the rocks-an action that mimics a newly emerged crawfish-is what you're trying to do.
As you crawl your jig towards you, let the jig fall off the rocks. Then watch your line closely. Hits will be light. Many times, just the tick of your line or your line moving slightly will be a sign to reel up the slack and set the hook.
Also, when you lift your rod to move your jig, you might feel some extra weight on the end of your line. If you do, set the hook.-you might have a bass on the end of your line.
Fishing with jigs requires sturdy gear. A baitcasting rod and reel is the best rod and reel to try this technique with. Baitcasting reels are like small winches. They give you the best control over large fish in rocky or weedy areas.
A baitcasting reel, spooled with 12-15-pound test line on a 6Â½-7-foot medium- to heavy-action rod, is a perfect rig to catch largemouth bass. This rig is capable of horsing a big fish out of snags or sharp rocks.
Another piece of invaluable equipment is a quality pair of polarized, ultra-violet-resistant sunglasses. The glasses will allow you to look into the shallows and pick out fish that are already on their nest.
Sight fishing requires stealth, proper boat position and quiet casts. If a fish is on a nest this time of the year, it will most likely be a large female getting ready to spawn.
Once you've located a nest, cast past the nest with a tube jig or a soft plastic lizard, and then slowly inch the lure toward the nest. Using this technique will provoke the female to attack what she perceives to be a threat. Casting past the nest is important. Any cast into the nest will scare the fish off the nest.
It's important to handle the bass you catch carefully. If you're not going to keep the fish, don't keep it out of the water any longer than needed.
If you catch a fish, get it to the boat as quickly as possible, have your camera ready, and limit the amount of time you have the fish out of the water.
After taking a photo, gently put the fish back in the water.
In Castle Country the best places to catch bass are Huntington North Reservoir, the pond at Green River State Park, Kens Lake near Moab or Lake Powell.
Gill nets pulled at Joes Valley and Huntington North
Reservoirs on May 24 and 26, respectively
Joes Valley Reservoir--On May 24, DWR fisheries biologists will sample the population of fish at Joes Valley Reservoir by a process called gill netting, where nets are set at locations where fish travel, and then are captured. The following morning, the nets are gathered and the fish, which are caught are categorized by species, and are weighed, and measured. The small sample of fish caught by the gill nets provides biologists with an estimate of the total population of each kind of fish in the reservoir. From that, they can judge how well the fish of each species is doing from one year to the next.
On Tuesday,Â May 24 at 8 a.m. DWR biologists will bring in the nets they set the night before. They will dock at the new boat ramp on the east side. The public is welcome to come and participate.
There are several exciting developments at Joes Valley Reservoir. DWR's stocking of tiger muskies last year has apparently been very successful, based on angler reports, who say they have been catching 27-31 inch tiger muskies.Â We will be looking forward to seeing evidence ofÂ this species and their size and numbers.Â We will also be comparingÂ the number of chubs caught this year with the numbers caught inÂ previous years.Â We will also want to see the weight gains and population increases of our predacious trout species, such asÂ splake, tiger trout and cutthroat trout.
Please remember that tiger muskies are protected until they reach 40 inches in size. The tiger muskies at Joes Valley are not expected to reach that size until late this fall or next spring, so please release all tiger muskies that you catch.
Huntington North Reservoir-- At Huntington North Reservoir, biologists will pull nets on Thursday, May 26 at 8 a.m. At this reservoir, we are very interested in learning more about last year's introduction of the wipers (which are a cross between white bass and striped bass). We are hoping to find good survival and growth of this species, which will representÂ a new and exciting game fish for Huntington North. We also hope to see an increase in size and numbers of largemouth bass. Huntington North is the best warm water fishery in Castle Country, and we hope to make it more attractive to warm water fishermen, in search of bass, crappie, bluegill and wipers.
The public is invited to watch and participate in this project. Once again, meet at the boat ramp at Huntington North Reservoir on Thursday, May 26 at 8 a.m. Watch biologists as they pull nets and weigh and measure each species of fish and see the kinds and sizes of fish that you may catch here.
Free Fishing day to be held on Saturday, June 4
June 4 is Free Fishing Day in Utah. You won't need a fishing license to fish in the state that day. Fishing should be great at low and mid-elevation reservoirs. You don't need a license, but you still need to abide by all the other fishing regulations. Pick up a fishing guide for information on these regulations. You may also call a division office for information about specific waters. Guidebooks are available online at the Division's website or at a license agent or Division office.
The DWR and US Forest Service will sponsor a kids' fishing day
at the Gigliotti Pond on Saturday, June 11.
On Saturday, June 11th from 9 a.m. until noon, the Division of Wildlife Resources in partnership with the USFS will host a kids fishing day at the Gigliotti Pond in Helper. The DWR will loan out rods, reels and bait for kids who don't have their own tackle.
Kids under 12 don't need a license, There will be refreshments and prizes for kids under 14. A raffle will be held at noon.
The DWR will sponsor a bighorn sheep watch
At Sunnyside on Saturday, June 18
If you would like to see bighorn sheep, please keep Saturday, June 18 in mind. That's the day when the Division of Wildlife Resources will host a bighorn sheep watch at Sunnyside from 4 p.m. until dark.
The DWR will have binoculars, spotting scopes, brochures and biologists on-hand to help visitors find the sheep and get the most benefit from viewing them.
Each year, about 24 rams spend their summer at Sunnyside. Some are very large with massive horns. Sunnyside is one of very few places, where this many rams can be seen at very close range.
You don't need to pre-register. Just come and bring a camera and binoculars, if you have one. Please leave your dogs at home, and coach your children that they need to be quiet and not run around or yell or throw things at the sheep.