Anglers asked to kill and keep walleye from Strawberry Reservoir

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is working to determine whether there are any remaining walleye in Strawberry Reservoir after they were illegally introduced last year and is asking anglers to continue reporting them.

The DWR was contacted in December of 2023 by an angler who reported catching a walleye at Strawberry Reservoir. The DWR verified the report and believes someone illegally introduced the fish species. Only one walleye has been reported thus far, but the DWR is asking anglers to continue to report any that they may catch or see at Strawberry Reservoir.

“The ice just came off of Strawberry Reservoir recently, and we have started setting some shoreline walleye nets to monitor for any additional adult walleye that may be trying to spawn right now,” DWR Fisheries Biologist Alan Ward said.

Though officials say they have not caught or detected any walleye in their monitoring efforts, they will continue monitoring the reservoir as the temperatures are ideal for spawning activity.

Illegal fish species can prey on and outcompete other fish species, including sportfish, native fish and endangered fish species. New fish can also introduce disease because they weren’t properly tested before being dumped into that waterbody.

Strawberry Reservoir provides some of Utah’s most exceptional fishing experiences. Each year, the DWR stocks cutthroat trout, rainbow trout and kokanee salmon there.

In Utah, it is illegal to move live fish from one waterbody to another or to take them home alive. It is also illegal to dump unwanted aquarium fish into a waterbody. All of these actions can result in a class A misdemeanor which can result in a fine of up to $2,500 and one year in jail.

“If walleye populations become established at Strawberry, fishing success will undoubtedly be impacted. Walleye will simply not meet the angler demand at Strawberry, as walleye catch rates are typically much lower than trout and salmon catch rates,” Utah Angler Coalition Chairman Roger Wilson said.

Anglers who catch any walleye at Strawberry Reservoir should immediately kill them and report it by:

Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife are also offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever illegally introduced walleye into Strawberry Reservoir.

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