THE GREAT OUTDOORS — With the warmer weather and high runoff currently in the state's streams and rivers, it is the perfect time to fish the local community ponds.
The community ponds are developed and maintained by local communities and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and are located all along the Wasatch Front. They provide a great opportunity for individuals and families to get outside and enjoy fresh air, sunshine and a nibble or two from many species of freshwater fish.
Most of the ponds fall under the category of warm-water fisheries. That means that the water temperature in the summer can reach temperatures that are too warm for trout and other cold-water species. Most of the ponds will hold one or more of the following species: bluegill, perch, crappie, sunfish, channel catfish, carp and largemouth bass.
The Division of Wildlife Resources typically also plants some species of trout in the ponds. This is typically done in the early spring and late fall when the water temperature in the ponds is cool enough for trout. The most commonly planted trout is the rainbow, but brown trout and brook trout might be available as well, on occasion.
The Division of Wildlife Resources website has detailed information about where each community fishery is located. An interactive map will show the general location of each community fishery. Each marker will show information, such as the name of the fishery, location, size, the species of fish available, accessibility and the amenities. Information about using watercraft such as boats, canoes, pontoon boats and float tubes is also available.
Some of the fisheries are well developed while others are a little primitive. Amenities such as restrooms, picnic tables, fishing piers and even playgrounds are available at some community fishery sites. For those who might lose patience with the fish, look for the ponds that have trail systems around or near them. This will give youngsters a chance to explore and notice the signs of wildlife and birds found in the area.
While the emphasis for the community fisheries is for kids and families, the more serious angler can also find a spot to practice his techniques. This is especially true for diehard stream and river anglers waiting for the runoff to subside. Those who are learning how to fly fish can hone their casting skills, catch-and-release skills and identification of aquatic insects.
With daylight saving time now in place, there is time in the evening after work to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and relax with a fishing rod. Who knows, you might catch one of the broodstock trout (large fish too mature for spawning) that often end up in the community ponds.
What is your favorite community pond to fish? Let us know in the comments.