SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks will be hosting nine ice fishing tournaments from January to March 2022 throughout Utah.

Here are a list of tournaments that will be held this winter:

  • Buckboard Pupulation Control Contest (to register, click here.)
  • Burbot Bash (to register, click here.)
  • East Canyon Ice Fishing Derby with Fins and Fur (to register, click here.)
  • Ice Addiction Tournament at Rockport and Steinaker State Parks (to register, click here.)
  • Millsite on Ice Fishing Tournament (to register, click here.)
  • Monster Cisco Disco and Tournament (to register, click here.)
  • Rockport Ice Fishing Tournament (to register, click here.)
  • Slotbuster Ice Fishing Tournament at East Canyon and Lost Creek State Parks (to register, click here.)
  • Starvation Ice Bowl (to register, click here.)

Many of the tournaments will be serving a cause, for example, the Buckboard “Pup”ulation Control Contest will help to control the population of small lake trout at Flaming Gorge. The Burbot Bash will also be serving the same purpose but for burbot, a cod-like fish that rapidly reproduces and preys on other species in the reservoir.

Other tournaments, like the East Canyon Ice Fishing Derby with Fins and Fur, will be based solely on who can catch the biggest fish, with cash prizes being paid out to those who catch the top four, and hourly prizes awarded for the biggest fish caught that hour.

The Monster Cisco Disco and Tournament will have a species of fish called Bonneville cisco, which is only found at Bear Lake.

Ice fishing requires a huge amount of safety precautions, as falling through the ice can be a potentially deadly situation. It is important to be aware of conditions before heading out onto the ice, as the conditions can vary widely within only a few feet throughout the day.

Here is a list of safety tips (courtesy of Utah State Parks):

  • Clear ice is capable of holding more weight than cloudy ice. There should be a minimum of four inches of good clear ice before walking out onto the lake, and at least six or more inches before taking a snowmobile or ATV on the ice. Late in the season (March-April) is particularly dangerous as the ice deteriorates.
  • Drill test holes into the ice as you venture out.
  • Fish with a partner. If you go through the ice it is very difficult to get yourself out of the water without help.
  • Avoid having large groups of people and equipment in a small area. Spread the weight out.
  • Never venture out onto partially ice-covered water. Large sheets of ice can break away leaving you stranded.
  • Avoid the mouths of streams and underwater springs that can create dangerous ice conditions.
  • Carry some safety equipment such as ice awls (picks) for pulling yourself out of the water, as well as rope or a rescue throw bag to pull others out. Know how to use your equipment.
  • Life jackets save lives. It is a good idea to wear a life vest under or over your clothing.
  • Dress warmly. It can be extremely cold, particularly when the wind blows.
  • Be careful if you attempt to rescue a person. Use a rope or a long pole only to attempt to rescue.
  • DO NOT go in the water or near the victim. Many would-be rescuers become victims as well when getting too close.
  • Always let a friend or family member know where you will be and when they should expect to hear from you.

Here is a link to stay updated on individual state park conditions.

A valid Utah fishing license will be required for anyone over the age of 12 In order to participate in the tournaments.