SCOFIELD — A survey of anglers at Scofield Reservoir has revealed some interesting information about Utah's second most popular fishing lake.
Conducted by the Division of Wildlife from December 2004 to November 2005, the survey will provide fishery managers with important data that will guide them in setting stocking rates and management strategies at the central Utah reservoir.
Scofield Reservoir is second only to Strawberry Reservoir in its popularity among those who like to fish lakes in Utah.
Situated on the Wasatch Plateau, Scofield is about one hour from Provo, and it attracts a lot of anglers from Utah County. In fact, 70 percent of all anglers come from the Wasatch Front. Surprisingly, only 17 percent come from nearby Carbon County, with another three percent trickling in from Emery County.
During the year-long study, Scofield anglers were interviewed eight times each month. The DWR interviewer collected information about the type of fishing being done, the length of time anglers fished, how many fish they caught and the size of the fish they took. Once the data were analyzed, some interesting results surfaced:
- Fly anglers in float tubes or pontoon boats enjoyed the highest catch rate. This is probably because fly anglers are much more invested in their sport. As a whole, fly anglers are very selective about how they fish, tailoring their fly, line and presentation to specific, local conditions and fish feeding behaviors.
- As an angler group, ice anglers boasted the second highest catch rate. Utah's 365 day a year fishing season has proven to be a boon for the adventurous outdoorsperson. It seems that the catch rate for ice anglers at Scofield is highest in February and March.
- During the 2004–2005 study, the DWR estimated that 80,000 trout were caught and that nearly half of those fish were harvested. That amounts to a whopping 40,000 pounds of trout kept by anglers!
- Rainbow trout averaged 14 inches in length, while the average cutthroat was three inches longer. During the study, the largest trout reported taken was a 6-pound cutthroat caught just after the ice left the reservoir.
- Which trout was most often caught? Rainbows turned up 93 percent of the time. Cutthroats comprised a mere 7 percent of the take.
Fish grow fast
The DWR stocks Scofield Reservoir each year with 450,000 fingerling (3-inch) and 150,000 sub-catchable (six-inch) rainbow trout. These fish grow fast in Scofield's nutrient-rich water. Cutthroat trout continue to reproduce naturally, spawning in tributary streams. The cutthroat fry hatch and grow in Pondtown, Bear, Mud and Upper Fish creeks and then find their way to the reservoir as they mature.
Tiger Trout A new game fish made its debut at Scofield in September 2005. For the first time, the DWR planted 100,000 5-inch tiger trout. Tiger trout are the sterile hybrids of brook and brown trout. Because no energy goes into spawning, tigers grow big fast. Renowned for their beauty and their fighting ability, the tiger infusion will turn up the "fun factor" at Scofield. By summer 2006, the fast-growing tigers will be pan-size or better.
A Great place to take your family
Scofield is one of Utah's most popular family fisheries. Every year, thousands of bait dunkers dot the shoreline in pursuit of a fresh trout dinner. No special tackle or expensive equipment is needed to bring home a mess of fish. Grandparents and parents can provide their kids with good fishing action from a lawn chair on the bank.
Rediscover family fun — take a kid fishing. As always, Scofield should be great!