The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced a considerable number of changes and tweaks to Utah’s fishing regulations.

As with most regulation changes, some may not apply to you, but if you want to weigh-in on any proposed change, you will need to let them know online by Sept. 27.

Here are two links to leave feedback on the proposed changes:

Here is a list of general changes that are being proposed.

The UDWR wants to:

1. Clarify the statewide kokanee salmon limit to four total fish, including any trout caught.

This will clarify a former rule that kokanee salmon are included in the statewide four-trout limit that includes salmon, grayling and hybrids (a combined total). Previously anglers were confused by the regulation and many thought the limit meant four trout and four kokanee salmon, when in fact it means four total fish.

This change will also clarify that anglers may not possess kokanee salmon at any water body statewide from Sept. 10 through Nov. 30.

2. Decrease the statewide wiper daily limit from six fish to three fish at all water bodies.

Wipers are a sterile fish and can’t reproduce, so their populations are solely dependent on stocking. Decreasing the harvest would allow for more consistent numbers at all of Utah’s water bodies that offer wipers.

3. Increase the statewide daily limit for northern pike from six fish to 20 fish, with one over 36 inches.

Because northern pike are voracious predators, this change would help protect native fish species and sportfish.

4. Allow anglers to use bait without a hook to fish for crayfish in water bodies where bait is prohibited.

This change is being proposed due to the difficulty of catching crayfish without bait.

The following are proposed changes to specific bodies of water throughout Utah. The UDWR wants to:

1. Decrease the Flaming Gorge bass daily limit from 10 fish to three fish (smallmouth and largemouth bass combined) in collaboration with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

If approved by both states, this regulation would go into effect in the Utah portion of Flaming Gorge on Jan. 1, 2020 and the Wyoming portion on Jan. 1, 2022.

2. Increase the maximum number of kokanee salmon allowed in the Flaming Gorge daily trout limit to four fish instead of three.

3. Increase the Pelican Lake bluegill daily limit from zero to 15 fish, allowing five fish to be over 7 inches.

4. Create a seasonal closure for spearfishing at Red Fleet Reservoir.

5. Decrease the daily limit at Red Fleet Reservoir from 50 for each panfish species (bluegill, green sunfish, black crappie and yellow perch) to a combined total of 50 panfish, with no more than 20 black crappies in that total.

6. Decrease the daily limit at Starvation Reservoir from 50 for each panfish species (bluegill, green sunfish, black crappie and yellow perch) to a combined total of 20 panfish.

7. Adjust the fishing closure dates at West Fork Duchesne River from Jan. 1 through the second Saturday in July to May 15 through the second Saturday of July.

8. Adjust the closure dates at Wolf Creek from Jan. 1 through the second Saturday in July to May 15 through the second Saturday of July.

This change will increase fishing opportunities in the area.

9. Opening part of Red Butte Creek in Salt Lake City to fishing. Upstream of the entrance to Red Butte Canyon Research Natural Area to the headwaters would remain closed to fishing

This proposed change would give anglers in Salt Lake City an additional fishing opportunity.

10. Close Ken’s Lake to spearfishing in order to protect a vulnerable sportfish population.

11. Adjust spearfishing closure dates at Fish Lake to the first Saturday in June through Sept. 10, in order to coincide with the statewide kokanee salmon fishing closures.

I am excited about some of these changes and I urge you to let the UDWR know how you feel as well. (Most of this column included verbatim proposals with only the beginning of each numbered item edited).

Don Allphin can be reached at don@donallphin.com.

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