Where’s The Fish In Utah?

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More fish in northeastern Utah are tagged and released

VERNAL — “Where’s the fish?”

That’s what the sponsors of a new fishing event in the Uinta Basin are asking themselves right now.

Utah’s first-ever Family Fishing Event started June 1.

“We’re getting a little worried because no one has brought a fish or a tag in yet,” says Teena Christopherson, the event’s organizer. “We’ve got some nice prizes to give away. We’d hoped to see several tags brought in by now.”

ou'll win a prize if you catch a fish at Red Fleet, Steinaker or Big Sandwash reservoirs that has one of these red tags on it. - Photo by Ron StewartThree radio stations in the Uinta Basin — FM 98.5, KNEU and B92.5 — Red Fleet and Steinaker state parks, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are sponsoring the event.

Christopherson says everyone is invited to participate in the event, which consists of catching a fish marked with a small red tag and then turning the tag in for prizes.

“Prizes include a small item for everyone who catches a tagged fish and a chance to enter and win larger prizes,” she says. “Those prizes include high-definition TVs, barbeque grills, a gun cabinet, an iPod, and the grand prize, a complete video system for your car, including an X Box valued at $1,600.”

The prize drawing will be held on Aug. 9 at Steinaker State Park.

“We’re also a little surprised that no one has brought a tag in yet,” says Ron Stewart, UDWR regional conservation outreach manager. “Our biologists tagged 100 live fish in three local waters: Steinaker, Red Fleet and Big Sandwash.”

Stewart says before the event began, its organizers talked with fisheries managers in states that have held similar events. The managers told the organizers that 100 tags should be enough.

“Since none have been turned in since the event started in early June, we’ve decided to tag and release more fish,” Stewart says.

“We also need those who know about the event to tell their friends,” he says. “Since this is the first event like this ever done in the state, no one knows about it yet. So please help spread the word.

“The DWR does not have a tagging study going on at any of the three reservoirs, so if you catch a tagged fish [that fish was tagged as part of the contest].

“Just bring the fish in, or if you want to catch and release the fish, clip the tag off and bring just the tag in.”

If you catch a tagged fish, take the tag to the new entrance station at Steinaker State Park, the DWR office in Vernal or to any of the businesses in the Uinta Basin that are involved with the contest. These businesses are being advertised on radio stations in the basin.