A simple pheasant hunt

DWR recommends upland game changes

If you’re already familiar with the rules that govern upland game hunting in Utah, you shouldn’t have to learn much new this fall. Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are proposing rules for Utah’s 2017, 2018 and 2019 hunts that are almost identical to rules that have governed upland game hunting in Utah since 2014.

Dates for Utah's pheasant hunt might be easier to remember this fall.

Dates for Utah’s pheasant hunt might be easier to remember this fall.

Photo by Mike Christensen

They are recommending a few minor changes, though. The changes include the following:

  • Holding a single statewide general pheasant hunt. The hunt would start on the first Saturday in November and end on the first Sunday in December. The hunt would be open on both public and private land.

    In the past, a chance to hunt for 30 days was available only on public land. The hunt on private land ended after 14 days.

    The conservation group Pheasants Forever brought the idea to the DWR. “We like the idea,” says DWR Upland Game Coordinator Jason Robinson. “The change would make it easier to know when the hunt begins and ends. Anything we can do, to make hunting rules easier to understand—while ensuring wildlife remain protected—is a good thing.

    “Also, the change would give those, who have written permission to hunt on private property, more days to hunt.”

  • Close the Pahvant and Annabella Wildlife Management Areas on Nov. 11, 2017 to everyone except those 17 years of age or younger and adult hunters who have never hunted pheasants before.

    The DWR and Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife want to hold a special pheasant hunt on the WMAs that day. “We want to give young hunters, and adults who have never hunted pheasants before, a chance to get out and have a great experience,” Robinson says. “Recruiting new hunters is vital to the future of wildlife conservation in Utah.”

  • Move the sandhill crane hunt in Uintah County from September to October.

October is the month in the fall when sandhill crane numbers reach their peak in the county.

Learn more, share your ideas

All of the ideas biologists will share are available online. After you’ve reviewed the ideas, you can let your Regional Advisory Council members know your thoughts by attending your upcoming RAC meeting or by sending an email to them.

RAC chairmen will share the input they receive with members of the Utah Wildlife Board. The board will meet in Salt Lake City on June 1 to approve upland game hunting rules for the next three seasons in Utah.

Dates, times and locations for the RAC meetings are as follows:

You can also provide your comments to your RAC via email. Email addresses for your RAC members are available online.

The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person’s email address. You should direct your email to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.

Plans for restoring Basin’s fisheries

VERNAL — Big changes are in store for two fisheries in the Uintah Basin. Biologists are hoping to create the best largemouth bass fishery, and the best bluegill fishery, in the area.

A nice largemouth bass fishery is developing at Steinaker Reservoir. Once the dam repair and earthquake work are done, DWR biologists will start bringing the largemouth bass fishery back.

A nice largemouth bass fishery is developing at Steinaker Reservoir. Once the dam repair and earthquake work are done, DWR biologists will start bringing the largemouth bass fishery back.

Photo by Natalie Boren

The efforts will take time, though. Biologists hope the local community, especially anglers, will lend their support.

Pelican Lake

One of the target waters is Pelican Lake. The lake is about 25 miles southeast of Roosevelt.

At one time, Pelican Lake was among the best bluegill fishing waters in the West. The lake’s water quality and the health of its fish declined over time, however. Now, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources are taking action to bring it back.

Originally, a “restart” for the reservoir, in the form of a rotenone treatment, was set to occur in the fall of 2017. That treatment has been rescheduled for October 2018.

With such big changes in store at Pelican, an angler’s first (and second) question might be: When will fish go back into the lake? And when will they be big enough to catch?

Initially, biologists planned to take bluegill and largemouth bass from the lake and then restock the fish into the lake after the treatment was over. The presence of yellow grub in Pelican will prevent that from happening. Instead, biologists will use fish from Steinaker Reservoir.

“Fish in Steinaker Reservoir have also been reported to have yellow grub, but in far lower numbers,” says Trina Hedrick, DWR regional aquatics manager.

Instead of salvaging fish at Pelican Lake, the DWR has liberalized the bass and bluegill limits there. The liberalized limits — no limit on bluegill and 12 largemouth bass a day — are now in effect and will likely remain in effect through 2018.

“Extending the rotenone treatment to fall 2018 gives anglers additional opportunities to harvest fish from Pelican Lake before the treatment occurs,” Hedrick says.

Steinaker Reservoir

The second target water is Steinaker Reservoir, about four miles north of Vernal.

The Bureau of Reclamation needs to repair the dam at Steinaker. To reach areas that need repair, and to do additional earthquake protection work, the reservoir will have to be completely drained of water.

The work at Steinaker should be completed in 2019. BOR managers will start draining the reservoir during the irrigation season in 2018.

Because the reservoir will be completely drained, the fish in the reservoir will be lost. “We aren’t happy about the anticipated water volume after the drawdown,” Hedrick says, “but we certainly understand the need to complete the work and ensure the safety of the dam and everyone downstream of the dam.”

During the summer of 2017, DWR biologists will take bluegill and largemouth bass from Steinaker. These fish will then be restocked at Steinaker and Pelican Lake once projects at both waters are completed.

In advance of the drawdown in 2018, the DWR has removed fish limits entirely at Steinaker. Removing the limits will give anglers two full years to harvest fish before the drawdown happens.

An emergency change, lifting the fish limits at Steinaker, goes into effect April 22.

“Taking and holding large bass and healthy bluegill will allow us to jumpstart populations at both waters,” Hedrick says. “Anglers can expect bluegill to bounce back at Pelican the year following the treatment. At Steinaker, bass and bluegill should bounce back shortly after the repairs are completed and the water level starts to come up.”

Hedrick says small numbers of adult largemouth bass will be placed in both waters. They won’t be restocked in large numbers, though, until the year after bluegill are stocked. That will give bluegill one reproductive cycle without many predators in the water. “Predation, a form of harvest, is good for controlling bluegill populations,” Hedrick says. “Bluegill are really prolific, so we don’t want them predator-free for too long.”

Hedrick expects growth rates to be faster than normal for a few years after the projects. It should still take at least two years, though, for newly hatched bluegill to reach six inches and largemouth bass to reach 12 inches in length.

For more information about the upcoming changes at Pelican Lake and Steinaker, call the DWR’s Northeastern Region office at 435-781-9453.

Free archery clinic for women

CEDAR CITY — If you’re a woman, and you’d like to learn how to shoot a bow and arrow, you’re invited to a free archery clinic on April 29.

Women can learn how to shoot a bow and arrow at a free archery clinic on April 29.

Women can learn how to shoot a bow and arrow at a free archery clinic on April 29.

Photo by Steve Gray

And, if you have a daughter who’s 12 years of age or older, she’s invited too.

The Division of Wildlife Resources and The National Wild Turkey Federation are offering the free clinic. It will be held at the DWR’s Southern Region office, 646 N. Main St. in Cedar City. The clinic runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

At the clinic, you’ll learn how to shoot targets with a bow and arrow. You’ll also learn about the gear needed to hunt with a bow and arrow and techniques that will help increase the success you find hunting wildlife in the field.

In addition to the information you’ll receive, you’ll have a chance to shoot arrows at both bull’s-eye and 3D targets.

“A question-and-answer session will also be held,” says Heather Talley, regional wildlife recreation specialist for the DWR, “and you might even win a prize.”

To register for the clinic, or for more information, call Talley at 435-868-8756.

Stunning scenery, fantastic fishing

Spring is the perfect time to visit Lake Powell

Part 3

The third story in our four-part series focuses on fishing from a boat at Lake Powell in the spring.

Read other parts in this series:

  • Part 1 — A great place to fish with friends
  • Part 2 — Waters that produce big fish
  • Part 3 — Best waters for boat anglers

PAGE, ARIZ. — If you have a boat, and want to enjoy fantastic fishing at a water a fisheries biologist calls “the most beautiful place on earth,” visit Lake Powell before the Memorial Day weekend.

Striped bass are the top fish to target at Lake Powell this spring.

Striped bass are the top fish to target at Lake Powell this spring.

Photo by Wayne Gustaveson

Wayne Gustaveson has served as the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR’s) lead fisheries biologist at Lake Powell for more than 41 years.

“I visited Hawaii once,” he says. “I looked around and thought ‘this place is almost as beautiful as Lake Powell.'”

Its spectacular scenery — and fantastic fishing — are among reasons DWR biologists have picked Lake Powell as the top water to fish from a boat in Utah this spring.

Lake Powell straddles the Utah-Arizona border. Two additional waters — Flaming Gorge Reservoir and Starvation Reservoir — also topped the biologists’ list. Both reservoirs are in northeastern Utah.

Spring is the perfect season

Pleasant temperatures, fewer boats and aggressive fish make spring one of the best times of the year to fish at Lake Powell.

“The temperatures are usually in the 60s and 70s,” Gustaveson says, “so the temps are perfect. One tip in the spring: try to fish in the morning. The wind tends to pick up in the afternoons.”

You’ll need a boat to fish Lake Powell effectively. In the spring, you’ll see a lot less boat traffic. “Large wake boats and other watercraft can churn up the water and make it choppy in the summer,” Gustaveson says. “That’s not the case in the spring. Right now is the perfect time to fish from a boat at Lake Powell.”

If you visit Lake Powell this spring, bring your camping gear with you. “If you’re an angler,” he says, “I recommend camping out. You’ll have access to miles and miles of shoreline.”

Visit wayneswords.com

Any trip to Lake Powell should begin with a trip to Gustaveson’s website, wayneswords.com. He posts a weekly fishing report at the site, as well as daily reports received from anglers.

“Lake Powell is a huge body of water,” he says, “but reading the report will help you narrow down the best spots to fish each week. You’ll have a general idea where to go on the lake, which species to target and which lures and baits to use.”

Several sportfish species live in Lake Powell’s waters. Gustaveson says striped bass, smallmouth bass and walleye are the top three to target in spring 2017. He provides tips to catch each:

Number 1 – Striped bass

Gustaveson says striped bass — also called stripers — are the number one fish to target at Lake Powell this spring. “When you find a school of stripers,” he says, “you can easily catch 10 fish. But catching as many as 50 fish — out of the same school — isn’t out of the question. And stripers put up an amazing fight.”

To find and catch stripers in the spring, stay in the main lake channel and use bait to entice the fish into biting. Anchovies cut into two or three pieces, cut sucker meat or even meat cut from a thin striped bass will all work. Simply place the bait on a size 4 hook, or on a -ounce jig head, cast it out and get ready for a fun fight.

Gustaveson says the stripers you catch will likely be about 18 to 24 inches long and weigh between two to four pounds each.

Number 2 – Smallmouth bass

Another hard-fighting fish — smallmouth bass — claim the number two spot on Gustaveson’s list.

Smallmouth bass love rocky areas. And that makes them relatively easy to find at Lake Powell; simply scan the sandy shorelines until you find areas with either rocks or brush near them. Rocky islands are also good spots to target.

One you find a rocky or brushy area, thread a Senko or another type of plastic worm on a size 2 hook, or thread a plastic grub on a 3/16-ounce jig head, and then cast your offering into or close to the rocks or brush. Let the lure fall to the bottom of the lake and then walk it slowly through the rocks or brush. Oh, and hang on, because smallmouth bass hit hard.

Gustaveson says most of the lake’s smallmouth bass are 12 to 15 inches long and weight between one to two pounds.

Gustaveson says smallmouth bass are spawning right now, and you can often see male ‘smallies’ guarding their nests. Once you spot a nest, drop your plastic worm or jig right on top of it.

“Sight fishing is a great way to catch smallmouth bass right now,” he says. “Just remember that the bass are protecting their nests. So, after you catch one, let him go so he can protect the nest and you can catch him again.”

Number 3 – Walleye

Walleye claimed the third spot on Gustaveson’s list. “Finding spots that hold walleye at the lake isn’t too tough,” he says. “And you can catch them using fairly simple techniques.”

Gustaveson says walleye are on the move after their spawn, looking for something to eat. “From now until the end of May is the best time to catch walleye at Lake Powell,” he says.

To find walleye, look for the same type of structure—rocky areas or brush—that attract smallmouth. “You’ll usually find walleye in areas where trees or brush are about five to 10 feet under the water’s surface,” he says. “The walleye are among the trees and brush, hungry and waiting to eat.”

To catch walleye, work a worm harness, a bottom bouncer or a -ounce jig head, with a plastic grub on its hook and tipped with a worm, slowly along the bottom. “You’ll usually catch walleye in water that’s 10 to 20 feet deep,” he says. “Most of the fish will be in water that’s about 15 feet deep.”

If you’d like to troll for walleye, troll a Wally Diver or another crankbait that bounces occasionally on the bottom while still holding close to it.

Because walleye are sensitive to light, early morning, and then later in the evening, are the best times to catch them. Muddy water is especially attractive to walleye. “Areas where mud is streaking off a point is walleye heaven and a great place to fish,” he says.

To addition to the fun you’ll have catching these delicious fish, you might win a prize. The DWR and several sponsors, including Sportsman’s Warehouse and Fish Tech Outfitters, are offering $50 gift certificates to anglers who catch a tagged walleye at the lake. Five hundred walleye have been tagged. Five hundred additional walleye will be tagged soon.

Numbers 4 and 5 – Largemouth bass and crappie

Largemouth bass and crappie are two additional fish that are worth noting. Neither species is abundant in the lake, but the largemouth bass and crappie you catch are among the biggest in Utah.

To catch largemouth bass, look for brush piles, and then make a long cast — either into the brush or along its edge. Use an unweighted Senko or another type of plastic worm, and let the lure fall slowly through the water column.

To catch crappie, motor into the backs of canyons, and search for brush, rocks and old cottonwood trees sticking out of the water. The San Juan arm of the lake, the Escalante arm and areas near Good Hope are some of the best crappie fishing areas on the lake.

The crappie spawn will continue until the first part of May, so now is the prime time to catch them.

To catch crappie, cast an 1/8-ounce crappie jig, with either a plastic grub or a small bucktail on its hook, into the thickest brush available. For best results, target the 12- to 15-foot depth in the back of the canyon.

To protect crappie that are in the lake, the daily crappie limit is 10.

Other items

  • Lake Powell has quagga mussels in it, so please be aware that a DWR technician will stop you as you’re leaving the water. If the technician doesn’t find attached mussels on your boat, you’ll simply have to clean, drain and dry your boat, before you leave the parking area. Also, the water plugs need to stay out of your boat, until you launch again.

    If the technician finds a mussel attached to your boat, you’ll have to pay a private concessionaire at Lake Powell to professionally decontaminate it. After it’s decontaminated, remember to travel with the boat’s water plugs out of the boat.

  • Bullfrog on the Utah side of the lake, and Wahweap on the Arizona side, are the two best areas to launch on the lake. Please be aware that the concrete boat ramps are extremely long, so you’ll to walk a bit, to make it from the parking lot to your boat.
  • Lake Powell is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. If you boat and fish at Lake Powell frequently, consider buying an America The Beautiful access pass. “Having the pass will save you money in the long run,” Gustaveson says.

Press Kit: Young Adulthood from 1975 to 2016

Young Adult Report: Women Work

  • With Lower Third (MP4)
  • Without Lower Third (MP4)

Transcript (SRT): Between 1975 and 2016, the share of young women who are homemakers fell from 43 percent to just 14 percent of all women age 25 to 34.

Young Adult Report: Men Income

  • With Lower Third (MP4)
  • Without Lower Third (MP4)

Transcript (SRT): More young men are falling to the bottom of the income ladder. In 1975, only 25 percent, age 25 to 34, had incomes less than 30 thousand dollars per year. But by 2016, that share rose to 41 percent of young men.

Young Adult Report: Living with Parents

  • With Lower Third (MP4)
  • Without Lower Third (MP4)

Transcript (SRT): More young people today live in their parent’s home than in any other arrangement. 1 in 3 young people or about 24 million lived in their parent’s home in 2015.

Young Adult Report: Independent Living

  • With Lower Third (MP4)
  • Without Lower Third (MP4)

Transcript (SRT): In 2005, the majority of young adults lived independently in their own household. This was the predominant living arrangement in 35 states. Just a decade later, the number of states with the majority of young people lived independently fell to just 6.


Young Adult Report: Idle

  • With Lower Third (MP4)
  • Without Lower Third (MP4)

Transcript (SRT): 1 in 4 young people living in their parent’s home are idle. That is they neither go to school nor work. This figure represents about 2.2 million 25 to 34 year olds living in their parent’s home.

Young Adult Report: Education

  • With Lower Third (MP4)
  • Without Lower Third (MP4)

Transcript (SRT): Most of today’s Americans believe that educational and economic accomplishments are extremely important milestones in adulthood. In contrast, marriage and parenthood rank low. Over half of Americans believe that marrying and having children are not very important in order to become an adult.