SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) announced on Wednesday that the daily fishing limit has been increased to eight fish at four Utah waterbodies.

This will allow Utahns to catch and keep more fish before planned repair and restoration projects go into effect in those areas.

DWR Director J. Shirley issued the emergency change to the 2022 Utah Fishing Guidebook on Tuesday, which will apply to the following waterbodies:

  • Joe Lay Reservoir, Garfield County: The daily limit is being increased to eight trout. The previous limit was four trout.
  • North Creek, Garfield County: A major tributary of the Escalante River. The daily limit is being increased to eight trout. The previous limit was four trout.
  • North Creek Reservoir, Garfield County: The daily limit is being increased to eight trout. The previous limit was four trout.
  • Spring Lake, Utah County: A community fishing pond in Payson. The daily limit is being increased to eight fish. There is no limit on carp, so they do not count toward the new eight-fish limit. The previous daily limit was two fish.

As for repairs and treatments, Spring Lake is being drained for infrastructure repairs. Once the lake is refilled, it will be restocked with rainbow trout, channel catfish, largemouth bass, bluegill and wiper.

North Creek and two of its connected lakes, North Creek Reservoir and Joe Lay Reservoir, will be treated with rotenone, a broad-spectrum insecticide, piscicide, and pesticide. Rotenone is a natural substance that comes from the roots of a tropical plant in the bean family. According to a press release, the substance is lethal to fish, but isn’t dangerous to people, pets, or other wildlife, “especially in the extremely low quantities that biologists use.”

The treatments are reportedly an effective management tool when waterbodies are overrun by certain fish species, and the project is “one of the first steps in restoring native Colorado River cutthroat trout to North Creek, upstream of North Creek Reservoir.”

Joe Lay Reservoir will be stocked with sterile brook trout during the summer after the rotenone treatments.

The treatments will reportedly take place in conjunction with already low water levels, due to the ongoing drought conditions.

“We’d like anglers to be able to harvest more fish at these waterbodies, so they aren’t wasted,” DWR Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. “We hope people can get out and catch and keep a lot of these fish prior to the lake treatments or repairs.”

The increased fish limit at North Creek, North Creek Reservoir and Joe Lay Reservoir became effective April 26, 2022 and will remain in place until Aug. 31, 2022.

All other rules established in the 2022 Utah Fishing Guidebook remain in effect.