Stonefly Helps Jordanelle
By Matt Selders
In 2003, the Stonefly Society donated $1500 to the Division of Wildlife
Resources (DWR) for a boat on Jordanelle Reservoir. The boat will be
used for a creel count survey on the reservoir. They will be studying
how many fish, when, how big and what species are caught. The goal of
the survey is to figure the average amount of hours fished, fish per
hour and, species caught. They intend to use the collected data to
determine the overall health of the fishery and whether current
regulations are working well. It will also be used to determine how
best to manage the reservoir in the future.
Jordanelle was a highly controversial impoundment from the beginning. Much
of the land that would be flooded was privately owned, including two
townships. The section of Provo River to be lost was a Blue Ribbon fishery.
However, the impoundment was needed and was built. After years of construction,
and allowing proper time for the reservoir to fill, Jordanelle Reservoir was
opened. It was a huge success. Sporting two boat ramps and incredible camping
and day use facilities, it quickly became a hot spot for Utah anglers.
Huge brown trout (holdovers from the river) and lots of rainbow trout were caught.
Smallmouth bass were also introduced as well. Now, trout fishing is still pretty
good. Large browns are still occasionally caught, a few nice cutthroats and lots
of rainbows are still there. The main attraction today is the numerous trophy
smallmouth bass. They grow really fast and big. It is typical to catch a couple
of three pound smallies and twenty 1 to 11/2 pounders. There are also big perch
and largemouth in the lake. Recently, because competition with prolific Utah
chubs, the average size of fish in the lake is falling. Regulations on smallmouth
bass were opened up to 4 under 12 inches (to help reduce the number of stunted
smallies). You may know Brent Jorgensen if you had spent any time on the Middle
Provo River last year.
The DWR was conducting a similar study on the Provo River to determine if current
regulations were sufficient. Brent is about 6' 2" and built like a bear. He is
just about the nicest guy I've met. On Jordanelle, he starts his day at 7 a.m.
and does random angler counts and interviews all day. The boat will make it so
he can interview people on the lake rather that at the ramp, giving clearer data.
In the future, the boat will be used for DWR programs on other major fisheries
for similar purposes. In the long run, these programs will prove a vital link
between anglers and fishery management. The State is always trying to make
fishing better and with our help, they can.