Panguitch Lake, one of southern Utah's best trout fisheries, was closed for a few days due to the recent Brian Head wildfire but it is up and running.
To encourage anglers to return to the popular lake, Garfield County, the U.S. Forest Service, the Division of Wildlife Resources and Panguitch Lake businesses have started a fishing contest that will run through Labor Day.
They have tagged 100 rainbow trout near their dorsal fin with a red spaghetti tag. Catch one of those fish or any fish more than 24 inches long and bring it to a business near Panguitch Lake for a prize. In addition, winners will be placed in a drawing to win a rifle donated by Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife.
"Fishing at Panguitch Lake is really good right now," said Richard Hepworth, Southern Region fisheries manager for the DWR. "We have not yet seen any negative impacts from the Brian Head fire."
Anglers can catch rainbow trout, Bonneville cutthroat and tiger trout. Anglers are required to release all cutthroat or tiger trout between 15 and 22 inches long.
To claim a prize, go to Aspen Cove Resort, Bear Paw Resort, the Burger Barn, Blue Springs Lodge, Panguitch Lake Adventure Resort, Panguitch Lake General Store or the Rocky Point Boat Dock.