Last week, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducted a gill netting survey at Jordanelle Reservoir. The data that biologists gathered will be used to establish trends and find ways to enhance the fish population.
"[Gill netting] gives us an idea of how the fish population is doing how many fish there are, whether there are larger or smaller fish, and if there are different species and in different numbers," said Michael Slater, the Central Region Aquatics Manager with the Utah DWR.
Slater said his staff spent a little more time at Jordanelle this year because last fall they had tried stocking larger fish. He said they will be stocking 8-inch rainbow, whereas they have normally been stocking 6-inch rainbow trout.
"The numbers of trout have been declining. If we could raise the size of those fish to 8-inches, would we see more fish in our gill nets?" Slater said.
Analysis of the fish population will continue at Jordanelle this fall with the addition of 8-inch rainbow trout, and biologists will continue to monitor the populations throughout the next year.
"We want anglers to be able to catch more fish. All of the [8-inch rainbow trout] received a mark on them so we'll be able to see the larger stock fish," Slater said.
Slater said Jordanelle has seen a large number of brown trout, which anglers like to catch in late fall, when those fish come closer to shore. Many anglers catch small-mouth bass, he said, although gill nets do not target those fish well. For small-mouth bass, electrofishing would have to be conducted during the summer to assess those populations.
Slater encourages anglers to come to the Jordanelle to fish, as the reservoir is more open in the fall with the lack of water-skiers and boaters.