My Fishing Page feature story last Tuesday was on the issues facing Scofield Reservoir. The day after the story ran the DWR pulled gill nets and found evidence big fish can still be had at the once-popular reservoir. Here's the report from Justin Hart, assistant regional aquatics manager for the southeastern region.
We gill netted Scofield on 10/5/11. First off we collected numerous chubs, and didn't see as many rainbows as we would have liked to. The rainbows we did see confirmed what we heard from many anglers this summer. The rainbows are a little larger this year on average (12"-15"), and appear to be in good health. We began stocking Bear Lake cutthroat trout in 2009. We saw numerous cutthroat from every year class (2009, 2010, and 2011). Their growth appears good as does their condition. 2009 fish are pushing 18-19" on average. We also sampled a record number of tiger trout, particularly large ones. We had numerous fish between 2 and 6 pounds. I've attached a picture of two very large tiger trout. The colorful one is 8lbs, and the larger one went 32" and 13lbs. That is over 2lbs bigger than the current state record!! Overall we were pleased with what we saw. We are still seeing numerous chubs, but our newly introduced cutthroat are present in high numbers and appear to be growing well. We are also increasing the number of trophy size tiger trout. At this point we are optimistic that our slot limit is being effective at (1) protecting our cutthroat and tigers, and (2) growing large fish. We still need to wait several more years and let our cutthroat get larger to realistically assess chub control. In the meantime, trophy hunting at Scofield should light some anglers fires. The photo was taken by our AIS Technician Nate Owens. Mike Bolinski, our AIS Biologist is holding the fish.