Fishlake National Forest

Fish Lake

Fish Lake has historically been one of the most important waters in Utah for providing fishing recreation. The rainbow trout fishery which declined during the early 1990s has improved over the past several years due to changes in stocking procedures.

Yellow perch, which were illegally introduced before 1970, caused some changes in the ecosystem at Fish Lake. Yellow perch inhabit the weed beds in shallow water where Utah chubs reproduce. Young Utah chubs are eaten by yellow perch. As the number of perch has increased, the numbers of Utah chubs have declined. This change is important because the main forage of lake trout (more commonly known as mackinaw) has been Utah chubs. With fewer Utah chubs available, mackinaw prey on rainbow trout.

At the present time, Utah chubs have reached an equilibrium and are providing sufficient forage for mackinaw. A recent study and tagging study indicate the natural reproduction of mackinaw is sufficient to produce enough lake trout to maintain the trophy fishery, but not too many for the forage base that is now present.

The combination of splake and rainbow trout has worked well at Fish Lake. Food habit studies of splake have shown no predation on stocked rainbow trout. The two fish species appear to occupy different habitats in Fish Lake for much of the year. Splake provide most of the catch during the winter ice fishing season and spring. During the summer months, rainbow trout are caught most often.

YOU can help maintain the balance of the fishery in Fish Lake by catching and keeping all the yellow perch you desire! There are no restrictions on the number you can take. They are very easy to catch and have an excellent flavor. Yellow perch are a great fish to get kids "hooked on fishing!"