First the domain of cattle and sheep ranchers in the late 1800's, the Fish Lake Plateau was quickly discovered by local towns folks looking to escape from the summer heat of southern Utah.
And, of course, the main attraction on the plateau was Fish Lake. The lake is over six miles long, covers 2,500 acres and is over 120 feet deep.
Fishing has always been important at the lake and over the years lots of monster rainbows and lake trout have been boated.
In recent years the lake has undergone some dramatic changes. First came a weed known as Eurasian millfoil. No one knows how it got into the lake (the weed isn't even native to Utah) but it quickly changed the dynamics of the fishery. Now by mid-summer the millfoil forms a ring of weeds almost completely around the lake, out far enough and deep enough that shore fishing becomes difficult.
Yellow perch which were illegally stocked in the lake (in the late '60s) found the weed beds to their liking. Perch numbers exploded and they preyed on young Utah chubs causing the chub population to go into decline. With fewer chubs for the lake trout to eat, they began to prey on the rainbow and soon the rainbow fishery was in trouble. By the early 1990s the future of fishing at the lake didn't look too bright.
Changes were made in the way the fishery was managed and slowly the lake has responded. Now the great fishing is back, fish numbers are up and fishermen are grinning. The fishery now includes good numbers of rainbows, splake, lake trout and, of course, lots of small yellow perch.
You can help maintain the balance of the fishery in Fish Lake by catching and keeping all the yellow perch you can use. There are no restrictions on the number you can take. They are great eating, easy to catch and are great fun for the kids.