If you want to go after northern pike, it seems you have at least two pretty good choices in Utah: Redmond Reservoir or the Green River.
UTAH FISHING has featured Redmond Reservoir before, but we had only heard a few rumors about the Green River until we received a letter from Zade Clayton of Vernal. Zade said the northern pike fishing around Jensen was HOT!
So we checked with the DWR office in Vernal and, indeed, there is at times some pretty good northern fishing on the Green.
Fisheries biologist Mike Ottenbacher said you probably can't expect to catch a large number of northerns in most cases, but if you know the right techniques and happen to hit it right, you can have the unique experience of catching a northern in Utah.
Ottenbacher said the best fishing seems to be close to Jensen, about 13 miles east of Vernal. Most action takes place around the outlet canal from Stewart's Lake and the mouth of Ashley Creek, on up to Dinosaur National Monument.
No one stocked northern pike in the Green. Fisheries biologists suspect they migrated out of Colorado down the Yampa River and into the Green. Colorado had a reservoir stocked with northern pike in the Yampa drainage.
Northerns are more of a lake fish than stream fish, Ottenbacher said, but they seem to do all right in the Green, even though it is a little murky and silty in that area. DWR biologists say that portion of the Green actually had good quality water, but it is a little muddy.
Ottenbacher doesn't think the northern are reproducing much in the river, but there are still enough to keep the fishing interesting.
Most of the fish caught are in the 5-10 pound class, Ottenbacher said, although fish as big as 20 pounds have been found.
The main concern about the northern pike is their predation on rare and endangered species. The Green has some federally-protected fish and the northern's effect on them could be serious.
Ottenbacher said a few northern have been seen higher on the Green in the trout area below Flaming Gorge Dam, but biologists don't believe they pose any real threat to the trout. The only other game fish in the Green are catfish and they don't seem to be in danger.
Northern fishing is rather time intensive, Ottenbacher said. Most anglers use large plugs, spinners and spoons. The catch rate is not high.