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Brett Prettyman
Brett Prettyman writes about the outdoors, recreation and fishing for The Salt Lake Tribune

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Spring netting at Flaming Gorge - Big lake trout and a mountain lion?

Biologists from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources have started the annual spring netting surveys at Flaming Gorge Reservoi. Flaming Gorge Project Leader Ryan Mosley sent in this report. The video comes from a day of netting on the Gorge in the spring of 2011.

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We kicked off our annual spring netting this morning at Antelope Flat. Heading down the road to the launch, we had a mountain lion run through the headlights. It was a welcome sighting of this elusive species, but afterward we pondered whether that was good or bad luck!

Fortunately, it turned out to be good. While boating to our netting site, we marked several lake trout hovering just off the bottom in 60-70 ft of water. We set the nets at sunrise and began to pull them an hour later. Matt McKell, Flaming Gorge Project Biologist, and Ian Kennedy, Project Technician, had quite the morning workout while wrestling the bulky lake trout out of the nets. We netted a total of 12 lake trout ranging from 9 to 23 lbs, five more than we did last year at this same time. Fish were measured, pumped for stomach contents, and released back to the reservoir to taunt anglers another day. Most of the fish had empty stomachs with exception of three, which were eating kokanee salmon.

Stay tuned for more netting summaries in the days to come....

Pic "Antelope5-10-12" is Ian Kennedy with his first big lake trout.

Pic "Antelope5-10-12(1)" is Matt McKell with a 23lb lake trout.

Pic "Antelope5-10-12(4)" is Matt and Ian showing a kokanee salmon removed from a lake trout stomach.

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