Utah anglers eager for ice off at Strawberry

Trout fishing can be hot as the ice comes off

Heber City — One of the country's best trout fishing waters could be ice free within the next week or two.

Scott Root, regional conservation outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says many of the shoreline areas at Strawberry Reservoir have open water. On April 12, the open water extended at least 100 yards from the shore to the edge of the ice. He says anglers who have been fishing in the open water over the past two weeks have reported mostly good success.

"Two anglers in float tubes caught and released more than 30 trout by casting black marabou jigs to the edge of the ice," Root says. "Placing the jigs where they did enticed trout that were lurking under the edge of the ice."

Root says another angler reported catching a 7-pound cutthroat trout. "Though some anglers have reported slow to fair success," he says, "most anglers have been very pleased with their success rates."

To catch trout at Strawberry over the next couple of weeks, Root says you should cast white tube jigs or other lures that imitate a minnow. "Several anglers are using their float tubes and kick boats to get closer to the edge of the ice," he says. "Most of those anglers are using wooly bugger fly patterns or leech patterns."

Root says anglers who are fishing from the shore with bait are also finding some success. "If you're not having success," he says, "try a different technique or location."

Strawberry Reservoir is just off U.S. Highway 40, about 25 miles southeast of Heber City.

Special rules

As you visit Strawberry over the next few weeks, please remember that the following rules are in place to keep plenty of cutthroat trout in the reservoir:

You can have four trout and kokanee salmon in your daily limit. But not more than two of those fish can be cutthroat trout under 15 inches long. And not more than one of the fish can be a cutthroat over 22 inches in length.
All cutthroat trout from 15 to 22 inches long must be released immediately.
Trout and salmon cannot be filleted, and their heads or tails cannot be removed in the field or while transporting the fish from the field to other locations.
More information

More information about the fishing regulations at Strawberry is available on page 31 of the 2012 Utah Fishing Guidebook. The free guidebook is available at wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.

Also, there is a Strawberry Reservoir Web page filled with information about fishing at Strawberry.

One of the items you'll find on the Web page is a brochure that has photos and illustrations that will help you tell the difference between the rainbow trout and Bear Lake cutthroat trout that are in the reservoir.

You can get the latest fishing report for Strawberry at wildlife.utah.gov/hotspots.

If you have questions about fishing at Strawberry, call the DWR's Strawberry Reservoir field office at 435-649-9368 or its Central Region office at 801-491-5678.

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