DWR Personnel To Collect Kokanee Salmon Eggs At Fish Lake
Biologists from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources are busy during the month of October collecting eggs from spawning kokanee salmon at Fish Lake. This is the first time they have harvested those eggs from that lake.
The reason for the gathering at Fish Lake has been made necessary this season because lower production from the usual egg-take sites at the Strawberry and Flaming Gorge reservoirs.
Each year, biologists and professionals from fish hatcheries in the state work to collect kokanee eggs from wild fish as they spawn. Most years, this is done at the other reservoirs that have been mentioned. Those eggs are fertilized and fish are grown at state facilities and when those fish reach a pre-determined size, they are stocked around the state to help increase kokanee population.
This year, biologists noticed a decrease of the fish in their normal spawning areas. The limited success with this year's kokanee spawning runs has been observed across much of the western United States, so this is not a Utah specific situation. Based on that, the situation will require more extensive efforts.
So far this fall, DWR personnel have only been able to collect about half of the eggs needed to restock Utah waterbodies with kokanee next year. The runs at Strawberry and Flaming Gorge are tapering off. So for the next few weeks DWR biologists and staff will head to southern Utah's Fish Lake, where they will attempt to collect the remaining eggs needed to restock waters in Utah.
Because this is the first time the DWR has attempted to harvest kokanee eggs at Fish Lake, the process may disrupt some of the viewing and fishing opportunities at the Twin Creeks area.
Kokanee salmon at Fish Lake typically start their fall spawning run around the first of October and seeing the brilliant red fish swim up to Twin Creeks is a yearly highlight. Visitors should not be surprised to see DWR personnel electrofishing in Twin Creeks and netting at the inlet where it meets the lake. The activity is expected to last several weeks.
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