Friday, March 2, 2018

Little Montes Creek Reservoir Habitat Project

Here's some info about a revitalized Largemouth Bass fishery in the Uintah Basin. Little Montes Creek Reservoir was drained last year for repairs to the outlet structure and dam. The Northeastern Region of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources decided that this would be the perfect time to add some habitat to the reservoir. The pictures show some of the more than 60 habitat structures that were built by volunteers. They were installed this winter while the reservoir was dry. Once the lake fills, bass and bluegill from Steinaker Reservoir will be transferred by the DWR to re-populate the reservoir. This habitat project is geared specifically toward bass and bluegill. Similar habitat projects are scheduled for Redfleet and Starvation.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pelican Lake Update

The treatment of Pelican Lake to remove invasive Carp has been postponed until fall of 2018. 

The treatment project, was unfortunately, tied to other parts of the Pelican Lake project; and because funding for those components hasn't been solidified yet, the decision was made to put it off another year.  This decision was made in the Salt Lake Office of the DWR. 

Other parts of the Pelican program included an upper fish screen which entailed engineering and then construction.  A lower (outlet) fish screen, which we were stuck with because the irrigation company wouldn't sign the Memorandum of Understanding for the upper fish screen.  This part also required engineering and construction with a total estimated project cost of around $205,000.  Another part was angler access improvements which included improvements on the North end as well as dredging boat lanes by the campground (this was my lowest priority). 

The absolute worst part of this project is the sediment removal and barrier project.  Now I say the worst, because the problem wasn't caused by anglers, it is the most expensive piece, and it is the one that is waiting for the funding partners to commit (thereby holding up the treatment).  The irrigation company, through neglect and gross mismanagement has punched 907,000 cubic yards of sediment into Pelican.  This created a huge delta on the North end and has reduced the water capacity of Pelican.  If left unchecked, Pelican will cease to exist as a Bass and Bluegill fishery within 20 years.  I also suspect that they are the reason there are so many Carp in Pelican (a flood event).

It would be an absolute shame if we lost Pelican.  It is one of the two (Mantua being the other) heavy cover Bass fisheries we have.

I'll keep posting as information becomes available.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Yuba Reservoir Update

Here's an update on the possible treatment of Yuba Reservoir from Chris Crockett, Central Region Aquatics Manager:

Good afternoon, I wanted to give everyone a quick update on progress at Yuba.

1.  Biowest was awarded the contract to fulfill the Yuba Rotenone Environmental Assessment (EA) in early February.  The purpose of an EA is to ensure that decision makers consider the environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to proceed with a project in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.  Compliance with NEPA is required for consideration of funding from federal agencies.  Part of the assessment will include the compilation and evaluation of public comment.   Biowest has been diligently working through the EA process and are currently distributing a scoping notice (see attached).  I encourage you to provide comments (whether positive or negative) via the contact information provided on the notice.  The media outlets to be included are being finalized but will include local newspapers, angling groups, etc. Our goal is to have the EA complete by the end of July 2017.

2.  Mike Slater and I met with Jim Walker, the Lower Sevier River Commissioner, on February 8 to discuss anticipated water levels at Yuba in 2017.  The meeting was very informative and helped us better understand the typical sequence of drawdown.  Based on anticipated snow levels and water availability we don't expect Yuba Reservoir to drop below 15% volume this year (our highest volume where treatment is still feasible).  We plan to meet with Jim again in April to conduct a second evaluation based on updated reservoir volume and snow levels to estimate fall drawdown.  We have also submitted an enhancement (funding request) to help cover a portion of treatment costs.    

3.  Numerous volunteers assisted us in the collection of Northern Pike to benefit the state's Tiger Muskie program.  We were able to capture over 150 individuals.  Several of the NP captured were released back into Yuba once the eggs were stripped, some were retained in the Lee Kay Hatchery to establish a captive brood and some were used for disease certification purposes to assure no diseases or pathogens were found or are being transferred from Yuba to the hatchery or other waters.  We now have approximately 3,095,802 Tiger Muskie eggs incubating in the hatchery system. Thanks to Mike Slater for organizing the event and all those that participated.

Sincerely, Chris Crockett