News / 

$7,000 reward offered in illegal stocking case

3 photos
Save Story

Show 1 more video

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

HEBER -- The Provo River is one of the most popular fishing spots in Utah. Recently, a fisherman there caught a white bass near the inlet of Deer Creek Reservoir in Wasatch County.

The only problem is, white bass are not supposed to be there.

The Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) says the only way the white bass could have ended up in the reservoir is by somebody putting it there. Moving fish from one water source to another is illegal, and the DWR is now offering a reward to find out who put the fish there.

State biologists with the DWR say the white bass can take over an entire area, leaving no food sources for other fish species.

We are absolutely certain these fish did not come up on their own. These fish were deliberately moved by someone.

–Walt Donaldson, DWR Fisheries Chief

The Provo River is well known for excellent rainbow trout fishing. The question is, will that change?

Clint Dumas is the kind of guy who always seems to know where the fish are.

"When the rainbows are running, they tend to bite a lot," he said.

Friday, he's thinking the hot spot is the Provo River at the inlet of Deer Creek Reservoir in Charleston near Heber.

"It's pretty much the only place you can get rainbows, and they're a good size," he said.

When a fisherman caught a white bass in the area, that made Dumas pretty mad.

"It's kind of a garbage fish for this reservoir, so yeah, it does get me a little angry," he said.

Because white bass is a fish that can take over everything wherever it is, the popular rainbow trout could be in trouble.

DWR Fisheries Coordinator Roger Wilson said, "Right now, we're OK. The next few years, we're fine. But down the road, we're going to see some problems with rainbows."

Biologists say in Utah, white bass are only supposed to be in Utah Lake.

White bass can take over an entire area, leaving no food sources for other fish species -- meaning the rainbow trout in the area could be in trouble.

"We are absolutely certain these fish did not come up on their own," said Walt Donaldson, DWR Fisheries Chief. "These fish were deliberately moved by someone."

And that, he said, is illegal -- which is why the DWR is offering a $7,000 reward for information.

Donaldson thinks the white bass could ruin the thousands of dollars spent every year to stock some 80,000 rainbows in Deer Creek.

"We are very angry. In fact, we're really upset about this," he said.

The sad part is, there might not be anything the DWR can do to get the white bass out of the Provo.

"We've talked about perhaps water-level control and chemical removal. We've talked about blocking tributaries to prevent spawning," Donaldson said.

That could ruin fishing in the area for quite a while -- something a true fisherman, like Dumas, just shakes his head at.

"I always follow the rules, so I think everybody else should, too," he said.

If you suspect or observe any wildlife violation, you can report it by calling 1-800-662-DEER, or click here to report it online.

Most importantly, biologists just want to remind fisherman to never move a fish from one lake or river to another.



Related links

Most recent News stories

Alex Cabrero


    Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast