The annual spring netting surveys at Flaming Gorge Reservoir continue this week. Ryan Mosley, Flaming Gorge Project Leader for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, sent in this report from netting Wednesday.
We moved our efforts to Sheep Creek Bay today, where the weather was fantastic and the nets were full of fish! What a great "office", as seen by the sunrise looking east towards the butte that motivated John Wesley Powell to name this area, the Flaming Gorge. The shore sets were dominated by abundant rainbow trout and smallmouth bass. Many of the rainbow trout were in the 16-18 inch range with full stomachs composed of crayfish, midge larvae, flying ants, and zooplankton. Smallmouth bass were ready to "pop" and many of the females were full of eggs and both sexes had stomachs full of their primary forage, crayfish. Lake trout netting was also productive in 65-85 ft of water. We netted seven lake trout up to 23 lbs, and surprise, surprise, a 17-inch kokanee. Kokanee are uncommon in our spring netting surveys, and it's only my second time netting a kokanee in 6-years.We'll conclude the Utah portion of spring netting tomorrow, with another trip up to Sheep Creek Bay.