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Anglers should keep lake trout caught in Flaming Gorge, DWR says

Anglers should keep lake trout caught in Flaming Gorge, DWR says

(Ryan Mosley, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources)

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FLAMING GORGE RESERVOIR — In an effort to improve the fishery at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are asking anglers to keep lake trout caught there.

The popular reservoir is known for producing some of the largest lake trout in the country, but it currently has too many small lake trout, according to DWR. The large number of the small fish has created competition for a limited food supply which is reducing lake trout growth rates.

“An 8-year-old lake trout was about 30 inches long in the 1990s,” DWR Flaming Gorge lead fisheries biologist Ryan Mosley said in a news release. “Today, an 8-year-old fish is only about 23 inches long. On top of the decreased length, the number of lake trout in the reservoir has increased 89 percent in just the last two years, so we’re concerned the situation may only get worse.”

The large number of small lake trout is also reducing the number of kokanee salmon and rainbow trout in the reservoir, which are the primary source of prey for trophy lake trout, Mosley said.

In order to better balance the fishery ecosystem, biologists are asking anglers to keep any small lake trout they catch in Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The daily lake trout bag limit at the reservoir is eight lake trout, but only one of the fish can be longer than 28 inches.

“Now that the ice is forming in many reaches of the Gorge, it's a great opportunity for anglers to get out and target these smaller fish,” Mosley said. “And, unbeknownst to many anglers, the smaller lake trout are quite tasty. They’re one of my favorite fish to eat. In Flaming Gorge, they're a close second to kokanee salmon on the taste scale.”

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Faith Heaton Jolley


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