10 new Utah fishing records set in 2020
Anyone who goes fishing knows how thrilling it is to catch a fish, especially if it is a large, potentially record-breaking one.
The Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) began tracking records for harvested fish in the early 1900s. Since then, the record fish program has expanded to also include catch-and-release records and records for fish caught using alternate tackle, like spearfishing, archery and setline.
There are currently 33 state catch-and-keep angling records, 37 state catch-and-release records, 21 state spearfishing records, six state setline records and three state archery records in Utah. You can see all the state fishing records on the DWR website.
“This has been somewhat of a record year for new fishing records — I don’t remember ever getting so many new ones in one year,” said Craig Walker, the DWR aquatics assistant chief. “The primary reason that the DWR tracks record fish is to provide anglers with recognition of their achievements. However, the DWR also lists records as a way to inform anglers, who may be seeking their own trophy, of places they might want to fish. 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.”
Here is a look at the 10 new state fishing records that were set during 2020:
• Lake trout: Set by Chance Scott at Flaming Gorge on July 17. The laker was 44 1/8 inches long, weighed 53 pounds, 15 ounces and had a girth of 37 7/8 inches.
• Splake: Set by Cade Tebbs at Fish Lake on Jan. 4. The splake was 33 inches long. However, the record was later broken by David MacKay at Fish Lake on May 8. MacKay’s fish was 34 inches long.
• Bear Lake cutthroat trout: Also set by David MacKay at Bear Lake on May 25. The cutthroat was 27 1/2 inches long.
• Yellowstone cutthroat trout: Set by Michael Christiansen at Johnson Creek on June 14. The cutthroat was 10 1/2 inches long. The record was later broken by Samuel Jenkins at the left fork of Johnson Creek on July 8. This cutthroat was 12 1/2 inches long. The record was then broken a third time by Kelly Anderson at Johnson Creek on Oct. 3. This new record fish was 14 inches long.
• Golden trout: Set by Kendall Johnson at Marsh Lake on June 16. The golden was 15 1/4 inches long. However, the record was later broken by Jonah Lewis at Marsh Lake on June 27. His fish was 16 1/2 inches long.
• Colorado River cutthroat trout: Set by Brian Olsen at Current Creek Reservoir on Sept. 5. The cutthroat was 14 inches long.
• Wiper: Set by Trevor Tippetts at Minersville Reservoir on Oct. 4. The wiper was 28 inches long.
• Black crappie: Set by Matt Turner at Deer Creek Reservoir on June 11. The crappie weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces. It was 15 3/4 inches long and 12 inches in girth.
• Kokanee salmon: Set by Scott Parsons at Fish Lake on Sept. 9. The salmon weighed 4 pounds. It was 22 inches long and 12 3/4 inches in girth.
• Tiger muskie: Set by Maya Western at Fish Lake on Sept. 12. The muskie weighed 36 pounds, 6 ounces. It was 50 inches long and 22 7/8 inches in girth.
If you think you may have caught a record catch-and-release fish, you can submit it on the DWR website. Your submission must include a photo and the measurement, 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.