DWR to make proactive fish stocking changes to lower impact of drought

Apr 25, 2022, 8:07 PM | Updated: 9:35 pm
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are making proactive fish stocking changes to lower impacts...
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are making proactive fish stocking changes to lower impacts of the drought. Photo credit: DWR

SALT LAKE CITY — As it did in 2021, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is implementing proactive changes to lower the impact the drought may have on fish stocking at waterbodies around the state. 

With nearly half of the state still experiencing drought conditions, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox recently ordered an emergency drought order for the state.

In response to that order, the DWR is strategically determining what rivers or lakes will have fish stocked this year. This is intended to eliminate or reduce fish being stocked into waterbodies where fish could die because of low water levels.

According to the DWR, smaller amounts of water warm up quicker. Warm water holds less oxygen for fish than cooler water. 

Fish stocking changes

Through research, the DWR identified waterbodies that are expected to have poor angler access or low fish survival. As a result, the DWR will either reduce stocking fish or eliminate it all together at these locations.

“The best management action we can take at these waterbodies is to reduce the number of fish in these waters. Because when water levels are low, we are more likely to maintain a fishery that has fewer fish than one that has a lot of fish,” DWR Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said in a press release. “We try, whenever possible, to continue to provide a good fishing experience for anglers. Up until we think that water levels will hit a critical level.”

Same waterbodies as 2021

According to the DWR, several of the waterbodies that figure to have low water levels are the same ones from last year

“The number of fish in these waters is lower this year than it was at the same time last year, due to last year’s drought, fish stocking changes and the temporary harvest limit increases we implemented,” Oplinger said.

The DWR is exploring long-term solutions for managing fish at waterbodies that have low water levels because of the drought. Those solutions include:

  • Evaluating the kind of fish that are stocked at waterbodies impacted by the drought.
  • Changing the timing of when fish are stocked, and the size of the fish when they are stocked.
  • Creating standardized, seasonal fishing regulation changes.
  • Purchasing more water rights for drought-impacted fisheries, whenever possible.

Read more:

Today’s Top Stories

Utah Drought

Dry lakebed...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Lawsuit looms over tiny fish in drought-stricken West

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Conservationists have notified U.S. wildlife officials that they will sue over delayed decisions related to protections for two rare fish species that are threatened by groundwater pumping in the drought-stricken West. The Center for Biological Diversity sent a formal notice of intent to sue the Fish and Wildlife Service last week […]
5 days ago
The Great Salt Lake Collaborative in California. The team consisted of The Salt Lake Tribune, Deser...
Amie Schaeffer

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative wins $20,000 prize in ‘Local that Works’ contest

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative gains national recognition with the top prize in the 'Local that Works' contest. The collaboration is a group of 23 media organizations and community partners focused on the plight of the Great Salt Lake.
7 days ago
Chad Cranney, Assistant Wildlife Manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, pilots a fan ...
Sheri Quinn, Utah Public Radio and Ben Winslow, Fox 13 News

Many options for helping the Great Salt Lake; the simplest — use less water

Saving Utah's Great Salt Lake has become a vital issue as it sits at it's lowest level in recorded history.
10 days ago
The Great Salt Lake is pictured with a receded water line...
Mark Jones

Water levels are too low for some Great Salt Lake sensors

KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank says the Great Salt Lake is again at a historic low, and at least one sensor is no longer in the water.
12 days ago
A University of Utah researcher says history cannot offer a complete roadmap when looking for ways ...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

What role can history play in saving the Great Salt Lake, solving Utah’s water woes?

A University of Utah researcher said stories from history can help drive current decisions about the drying Great Salt Lake.
12 days ago
A sign at the Hemenway Harbor launch ramp marks the water line at Lake Mead in 2000, contrasting wi...
Ben Winslow, Fox 13 News and Sheri Quinn, Utah Public Radio

‘To Protect and Conserve’: Las Vegas has strict outdoor watering restrictions (with fines!) Should Utah do the same?

When it comes to water use in southern Nevada, it’s common to point to the excess of the Las Vegas Strip as a prime example of waste. But Entsminger said it’s a misconception.
12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
DWR to make proactive fish stocking changes to lower impact of drought