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3 reasons to visit Fish Lake, the ‘gem of Utah’

3 reasons to visit Fish Lake, the ‘gem of Utah’

(USDA Forest Service)

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FISH LAKE, Sevier County — If you are looking for a new part of the state to explore during spring break, Fish Lake, also known as the “gem of Utah,” has a variety of outdoors offerings.

Located roughly 45 minutes from Richfield in central Utah, Fish Lake is the largest natural mountain lake in Utah, according to the National Forest Foundation. It offers a variety of activities and beautiful, unique nature.

Here are some of the reasons to take a trip to Fish Lake:

Great fishing

As noted by its name, Fish Lake is home to several varieties of fish species, some of which are massive. Anglers can expect to see rainbow trout, tiger muskies, splake and yellow perch. However, the lake is known as the “gem of Utah” because of its excellent fishing for mackinaw lake trout, which can grow to more than 50 pounds, according to an emailed statement from the Southern Utah University Community Education Program. Trophy fish have been caught there.

The current spearfishing record for lake trout (32 pounds) was taken at Fish Lake in 2008, and the current angling record for splake (17 pounds) was also caught there in 2006, according to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources website.

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Fish Lake is great for fishing in warmer weather and is also a popular ice fishing destination.

If you are interested in fishing at other areas as well, Crater Lakes, Johnson’s, Mill Meadow and Forsyth reservoirs are all within a 30-minute drive from Fish Lake.

The “Trembling Giant”

Fish Lake is also home to one of the world’s oldest residents. Pando, known as the “Trembling Giant,” is a colony of single male quaking aspen trees that was discovered in the early 1970s as being one single living organism due to its massive underground parent root system.

“An aspen clone starts with a single seed and spreads by sending up new shoots from the expanding root system,” according to the U.S. National Forest Service website. “These shoots become trees that are genetically identical.”

While clonal colonies of quaking aspen are common in eastern North America, they are usually less than 10 acres in size. Pando, located about a mile southwest of Fish Lake, encompasses approximately 106 acres, consisting of more than 40,000 trees, according to the U.S. National Forest Service. At nearly 13 million pounds, Pando is believed to be the largest, most dense organism ever found, and includes trees more than 130 years old.


Fish Lake is also great for viewing a variety of wildlife. Hikers and anglers visiting the area may see elk, deer, black bear, moose, cougar, mountain goats, and more than 150 species of birds that live in the area, according to the Southern Utah University Community Education Program.

If you are lucky, you may also see an osprey, a large fish-eating raptor with a 5-foot wingspan, plunge into the water and catch a fish in its talons.

For some other suggestions of things to do in the area, visit

What are some of your favorite things to do at Fish Lake? Let us know in the comments.


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