The first snowmobile races in over a decade will take place this weekend at the Heber Fairgrounds.
Saturday and Sunday, the Utah Snowmobile Association will hold drag and oval-track races for snowmobilers. The races are open to anyone with a snowmobile.Registration for drag races will start at 8 a.m. both days, with racing starting at 9 a.m. Riders will race against the clock over a 100-yard track.
Oval-track races will begin at noon each day. According to club president Craig Cazier, more than 100 riders and machines are expected to enter the two-day event. Admission each day will be $5. For information call 571-5671 or 966-4231.
MOOSE MOVED - Thirty Shiras moose were captured in Morgan County last week and transported to three separate locations in Utah to supplement exiting herds and start a new one.
Working in minus-40 degree temperatures, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources used two helicopters in the three-day operation - one small craft to find and capture the animals and a second larger one to transport the moose, some weighing up to 1,000 pounds.
The DWR then released 14 moose to the Manti Mountains southwest of Price and 10 to the Fish Lake National Forest east of Richfield to supplement existing herds. Six more moose went to the Currant Creek area of Uinta Basin as seeds for a new herd.
RESERVOIRS LOSE FISH - Three more reservoirs can be added to the list of casualties of last year's drought.
Chad Crosby, regional fisheries manager for the DWR in Vernal, said all the fish in Matt Warner, Calder and Crouse reservoirs "were lost to winter kill."
He said that because of the low water levels, "Oxygen readings taken in early January indicated very low oxygen levels in all three reservoirs."
Trout prefer oxygen levels above seven but can go as low as three or four for short periods. January readings at the three waters was between two and three. Crosby predicted a total loss of fish.
In areas in northern Utah, where most lakes freeze, fish survival depends on the amount of oxygenated water held under the ice.
"One problem on Diamond Mountain was simply the lack of water due to the dry winters of the previous two years," said Mike Ottenbacher, DWR regional fisheries biologist.
"To make matters worse, we needed additional water this year to refill Calder following the completion of repair work. There just wasn't enough water even though we tried to save Calder and Matt Warner by withholding water from Crouse."
Normally, the DWR stocks the lakes with fingerlings. This year it will probably stock larger fish.