ENVIRONMENT

Reward offered for Strawberry Walleye invasion

May 14, 2024, 4:30 PM | Updated: 6:19 pm

A large walleye caught in Lake Powell. Fish like this one have been illegally introduced to Strawbe...

Large walleye at Lake Powell, Utah, April 20, 2007. Walleyes have been illegally introduced into Strawberry Reservoir and the DWR is asking for help eliminating them. (Ray Grass, Deseret News)

(Ray Grass, Deseret News)

Heber Valley — There is a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever illegally introduced walleye into Strawberry Reservoir. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesperson Faith Heaton Jolley said they’re asking anyone who catches a walleye to report it and destroy it.

They hope early intervention will make more drastic measures unnecessary.

Illegally introducing fish, including fish from aquariums, is a misdemeanor that can land a perpetrator in jail for a year. Jolley said people need to realize it’s not a good idea to move live fish from one fishery to another. 

“A new fish can also introduce diseases because they weren’t properly tested before being moved into that water body,” Jolley said. Walleye can also prey on and outcompete native fish.

Now that the ice is off Strawberry, it’s a critical time to make sure anglers report those introducing Walleye, if they see it happening. The DWR also asks you to kill the Walleye to prevent reproduction.

DWR officials said they were alarmed when an angler reported catching a walleye last December. The fish is a predator in Strawberry and is not native to the reservoir.

“So we believe that someone did illegally introduce the fish species there,” Jolley said. “Sometimes we refer to these individuals as ‘bucket biologists’. They kind of take matters into their own hands.”

Those who catch a walleye in Strawberry Reservoir can report it by:

Related: Bucket biologists threaten fish in Millsite Reservoir, don’t make the same mistake

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Reward offered for Strawberry Walleye invasion