Spirit Lake trout limit increased to 8

Published: Thursday, Aug. 23 2012 10:56 a.m. MDT

MANILA, Uintah County — The daily bag and possession limit at Spirit Lake has been raised from four to eight trout.

The change will allow anglers to harvest more fish before a treatment project happens at the lake in September.

“Anglers should plan to catch and keep," said Trina Hedrick, regional aquatics manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources. “This emergency change will allow anglers to harvest fish that will be lost when the waters are treated.”

While the emergency regulation change is only for Spirit Lake, anglers are encouraged to keep up to four trout at any of the waters in the treatment area, including all of the upper reaches of the Middle Fork of Sheep Creek. This area comprises about nine miles of streams and nine lakes: Spirit, Jessen, Tamarack, Summit, Gail, Judy, Columbine, Lost and Hidden lakes.

Summit Lake is the only lake among the nine that doesn't support a population of fish.

“The trout limit is four everywhere except Spirit Lake," Hedrick says. "However, there is one exception. Anglers can keep a total of eight brook trout, no matter where in the drainage they catch them."

In September, all of the non-native fish in the treatment area, including brook, rainbow, Yellowstone cutthroat and hybridized cutthroat trout, will be removed. A barrier, constructed in 2004, will keep the non-native fish from re-establishing themselves in the treated area.

“The ultimate goal is to reproduce viable populations of Colorado River cutthroat trout in this drainage,” Hedrick explained.

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