An unlawful walleye was caught in Strawberry Reservoir

A walleye was caught illegally launched into Strawberry Reservoir on December 21.
Sam Broderick

The Utah Division of Wildlife Sources was contacted on Dec. 21 by an angler who reported catching a walleye in Strawberry Reservoir. DWR verified the report and believes somebody lately launched the fish species illegally. Just one grey eye has been reported thus far.

In Utah, it’s unlawful to maneuver stay fish from one physique of water to a different or take them house alive. It’s also unlawful to dump undesirable decorative fish into our bodies of water. All of those actions can lead to a first-degree misdemeanor.

When a fish is illegally launched right into a pond, stream, or lake, it could actually have a number of unfavorable impacts on that fishery, together with:

  • Unlawful fish species can prey on and outcompete different fish species, together with sport fish, native fish, and endangered fish species.
  • New fish could cause illness as a result of they haven’t been correctly examined earlier than being thrown into that physique of water.
  • New fish can negatively impression water high quality.

“It is extremely costly and really time consuming — typically requiring rotenone remedies that kill all of the fish — to revive a waterbody after an unlawful fish introduction,” stated Trina Hedrick, DWR’s sport fish coordinator. “We plan to start in depth fishery monitoring within the spring, in search of walleye at potential spawning websites when they’re prone to congregate. We have no idea if there are another walleye presently at Strawberry Reservoir, so we’re asking Anglers are inspired to search for them the place they naturally congregate and report any walleye to us. Spring surveys and help from anglers ought to assist us higher perceive the extent of the issue. Please assist our native fish species and preserve high quality fishing in Utah by Not throwing away fish or being a “bucket biologist.”

Strawberry Reservoir is a blue ribbon fishery. Annually, DWR shares rainbow trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon in Strawberry Reservoir.

“Walleye may simply disrupt our potential to handle current rainbow trout and salmon populations in Strawberry Reservoir by competitors and direct predation as predatory fish,” stated Alan Ward, DWR fisheries biologist. “We conduct in depth surveys, and 98% of anglers have supplied suggestions that they like our present trout and salmon to different species, together with walleye. We’re involved that the actions of 1 egocentric angler may injury years of It took her to show these fisheries into one thing that almost all of the general public needed.

Officers stated anglers who catch any further walleye at Strawberry Reservoir ought to kill them instantly and report the matter to DWR at 800-662-3337. Named anglers should embrace a photograph of the fish and GPS coordinates of the place it was caught. Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife can also be providing a reward for data resulting in the conviction of whoever illegally launched walleye right into a strawberry tank.

Utah residents are inspired to name 800-662-3337 to report any invasive fish they discover, or in the event that they see anybody illegally introducing fish right into a physique of water or trying to maneuver stay fish. Utah residents may also contact their nearest DWR workplace If they’ve an undesirable fish or if they’ve issues about Utah’s fisheries.

For extra data, see: “Do not Throw away a Fish” web page on the DWR web site.

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