Ryan Mosley, Flaming Gorge Project Leader for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, sent in this report as netting surveys continue on the reservoir.
Today, we finished up our second day of netting at Jarvies Bay. It was a beautiful morning on the water. It was warm with a calm breeze, rainbows were seen dimpling the surface, and the distant calls of geese, ospreys, mourning doves, great horned owls, and even the serenade of the canyon wren, filled our ears. This is a fish sampling report though, so I guess I better get to it....
We sampled 10 lake trout in our open water sets, but the size was up substantially today with three fish right around 20 lbs. Before releasing them, we measured, weighed, and pumped all lake trout for diet contents, which included rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and even some small invertebrates like midges and scuds. Our shore sets produced mostly rainbow trout and smallmouth bass, which are now very active in the warm shallow waters. Rainbow trout were characterized by their opportunistic feeding nature and stomach contents included terrestrial insects like ants and moths, aquatic insects like midges, crayfish, scuds, and zooplankton. Grab the fly rod! Many of the bass were full of eggs and preparing to spawn, which will be in full swing once the water temperatures climb consistently into the 60s. Morning water temperature today was 56.5 F, so it's not far away.
Starting tomorrow, we'll move to Sheep Creek Bay for two more days of netting, concluding our spring netting effort on the Utah portion of the reservoir.
Ian Kennedy and Matt McKell with a 20-lb lake trout.
A lake trout being released after sampling.
Recently stocked rainbow trout which was pumped from a large lake trout.
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