Utah (ABC4) — The Blue Ribbon Fisheries program allocated $450,000 to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, which will assist in improving some of Utah’s fishing experiences.

Blue Ribbon Fisheries are waterbodies that are reportedly some of Utah’s highest-quality fishing spots. The program aims to improve fisheries in Utah.

“The program was created because Utah’s leaders recognized that fishing is one of the state’s most popular and economically valuable recreational activities,” Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. “There was a need to improve fisheries in Utah and to recognize the best angling opportunities in the state. This program helps fulfill both of those needs.”

In order to be named a Blue Ribbon Fishery, it must meet several requirements such as outdoor experience, setting, economic benefits, fish population, accessibility, and more. There are currently 43 waterbodies and two mountain areas in Utah that hold the Blue Ribbon status.

“These waters are among the best fishing spots in Utah. They have been proven to provide not only great fishing, but also ideal habitat for the fish, economic benefits to the local communities, and an overall high-quality experience in the outdoors,” Oplinger said. “They offer high fishing success rates and usually have great amenities like boat ramps and fishing piers.”

Seventeen projects were selected by the Blue Ribbon Fisheries Advisory Council this year, some of the projects include:

  • Installing a fish habitat at Pineview Reservoir
    • This project will install artificial fish habitat structures in Pineview Reservoir, which will provide shelter for young fish from predators, particularly yellow perch and black crappie.
    • The installation of this habitat should help increase the size of the perch and crappie in the reservoir, and will also indirectly benefit species such as tiger muskie that feed on the perch and crappie.
  • Duchesne River bank stabilization
    • This project will help stabilize and decrease erosion on the bank of the Duchesne River, near Hanna. In its current state, the eroding bank is depositing sediment into the river, which is reducing the quality of the fish habitat in the area, the DWR reported.
    • It will also improve the overall quality of the habitat for the benefit of both fish and anglers.  
  • New bathroom at Strawberry Reservoir
    • This project will install new restroom facilities at the newly constructed Chicken Creek East parking area at Strawberry Reservoir.