Cutthroat and rainbow trout, by the hundreds of thousands, will be dumped into Strawberry Reservoir next week to begin rebuilding northern Utah's No. 1 trout fishery, state Wildlife Resources Division officials said Friday.
"It will look like a convoy of trucks for two weeks beginning Monday," said division spokesman Steve Phillips.In August, more than 300 workers spent a week and $3.5 million treating the massive lake with the natural poison rotenone, in the world's largest planned fish kill, to eradicate chubs and suckers that were crowding trout out of Strawberry.
"It's time to put fish back in," said Phillips. "Everything has cleared out and there's plenty of feed for them to eat. We've spent more than 1,100 hours netting the lake and have found no live fish."
The first truck carrying 20,000 Bear Lake cutthroat trout is scheduled to unload its cargo of 7- to 9-inch fish into the 190 square-mile lake just before noon.
Within two weeks, Phillips said, the division will dump another 334,000 catchable-size Bear Lake cutthroat into Strawberry.
The division also will restock the reservoir with 431,000 fingerling cutthroat and 537,000 sterilized rainbow trout ranging in size from 4 to 6 inches.
The Bear Lake cutthroat are the most voracious trout native to Utah. They are expected to control any trash fish that may find their way back into the man-made lake.
And next spring, division crews will stock the lake with 600,000 fingerling kokanee and another 150,000 Bear Lake cutthroat about 5 inches long. Kokanee will outcompete chubs and suckers for forage, also keeping any trash fish in check.
Then, to complete the resurrection of the mountainous lake, he said, next fall the division will plant another one million fingerling cutthroat in Strawberry.
The cutthroat will spawn in the lake's tributaries each spring and the kokanee in the fall, turning Strawberry into a natural fish hatchery that will require few additional transplants.
The lake will remain closed until Jan. 1, 1991.