Wildlife

5 fishing records set in Utah in 2023

UTAH – In 2023, Utah saw a remarkable year for fishing enthusiasts as anglers not only experienced the exhilaration of landing a catch but also achieved new records, particularly with some impressive and record-breaking fish.

Utah currently holds 34 state records for catch-and-keep angling, 38 for catch-and-release, 22 for spearfishing, six for setline, and three for archery. Two catch-and-release records and three spearfishing records were broken in Utah in 2023.

Clint Thurgood set the new catch-and-release record for Bonneville cutthroat trout, as he caught a 25 ⅝ inches long fish at Lost Creek State Park in June.

Trevor Houston established a new catch-and-release record for black bullhead with his 16.5 inches long fish caught at Gunlock reservoir in late June.

For spearfishing, Shelby Peterson set a new record for striped bass, with a fish that was 41 ⅛  inches long, weighed 24 pounds and six ounces and had a 22 ¾-inch girth. She caught the fish in May at Lake Powell.

Shelby Peterson with her record striped bass caught at Lake Powell. Photo: Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Steven Gottfredson set the new spearfishing record for yellow perch in November at Deer Creek State park, with a fish that was 12 inches long, weighed 15 ounces and had an eight inch girth.

Another spearfishing record was set by Max Mader at Sand Lake, with his arctic grayling that was 8.5 inches long, weighed 2 ounces and had a four inch girth.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources initiated the documentation of harvested fish in the early 1900s, marking the commencement of the record fish program.

Over time, this program has evolved to encompass not only harvested fish but also records for catch-and-release, as well as fish caught using alternative tackle such as spearfishing, archery, and setline.

Steven Gottfredson yellow perch spearfishing record. Photo: Courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

“The primary reason that the DWR tracks record fish is to provide anglers with recognition of their achievements,” said Trina Hedrick, DWR sportfish coordinator.

“The public records are also a fun way to encourage anglers to get out on the water and hopefully encounter some of the large fish Utah has to offer. Fishing is a great way to explore Utah’s beautiful outdoors, and the excitement of setting a record can make it even more fun.”

If you think you may have caught a record catch-and-release fish, you can submit the record application form on the DWR website. Your submission must include a photo that shows the fish next to a measuring device such as a yardstick or tape measure, and your release of the fish must be witnessed and certified in writing.

To submit a catch-and-keep record, you must submit a photo of the fish, as well as its total length, girth and weight. The fish must be weighed using a certified commercial scale, and the weighing must be witnessed and certified in writing by two independent witnesses who are not members of the individual’s fishing party or family. A Utah Division of Wildlife Resources employee must witness and certify in writing the species, total fish length and girth verification.

Trevor Houston new catch-and-release Black Bullhead record holder.jpeg
Trevor Houston new catch-and-release Black Bullhead record. Photo: Courtesy of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

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