2 out of 4 new Utah fishing records in 2021 set in Southern Utah

Record-setting Colorado River Cutthroat caught by Brett Bardsley in Pine Creek Reservoir, Wayne County, Utah, May 15, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — Anyone who goes fishing knows how thrilling it is to catch a fish, especially if it is a large, potentially record-breaking one.

Record-setting wiper caught by Trevor Cooper in Newcastle Reservoir, Iron County, Utah, May 23, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

The Department of Wildlife Resources began tracking records for harvested fish in the early 1900s. Since then, the record fish program has expanded to also include catch-and-release records and records for fish caught using alternate tackle, like spearfishing, archery and setline.

According to a press release from the Utah DWR, there are currently 33 state catch-and-keep angling records, 38 state catch-and-release records, 21 state spearfishing records, six state setline records and three state archery records in Utah. All the state fishing records are shown on the DWR website.

“The primary reason that the DWR tracks record fish is to provide anglers with recognition of their achievements,” DWR Aquatics Assistant Chief Craig Walker said in the press release. “The public records are also a fun way to encourage anglers to get out on the water and hopefully encounter some of the large fish Utah has to offer.”

While these records were set at various waterbodies around Utah, those are not the only waters that offer large fish in the state. Visit the DWR Fish Utah map to find other waterbodies — including Utah’s Blue Ribbon fisheries — that also offer trophy fishing opportunities.

Here is a look at four new state fishing records that were set during 2021.

Catch-and-release records

  • Bear Lake cutthroat trout: Set by Travis Hobbs at Bear Lake on Jan. 17. The cutthroat was 31 inches long.
  • Walleye: Set by Colby Woodruff at Bear River on March 12. The walleye was 32 inches long.
  • Colorado River cutthroat trout: Set by Brett Bardsley at Pine Creek Reservoir on May 15. The trout was 19 inches long.

Catch-and-keep records

  • Wiper: Set by Tavin Quigley at Newcastle Reservoir on April 8. The wiper weighed 15 pounds, 4 ounces. It was 28 1/8 inches long and 23 1/4 inches in girth.
    • The record was later broken by Trevor Cooper at Newcastle Reservoir on May 23. Cooper’s fish was 15 pounds, 5 ounces and 29 1/4 inches long and 23 5/8 inches in girth.

Eleven statewide fishing records were set in 2020, and five were set in 2019.

If you think you may have caught a record catch-and-release fish, you can submit it on the DWR website. Your submission must include a photo that shows the fish next to a measuring device such as a yardstick or tape measure, and your release of the fish must be witnessed and certified in writing.

To submit a catch-and-keep record, you must submit a photo of the fish, as well as its total length, girth and weight. The fish must be weighed using a certified commercial scale, and the weighing must be witnessed and certified in writing by two independent witnesses who are not members of the individual’s fishing party or family. A Utah DWR employee must witness and certify in writing the species, total fish length and girth verification.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!