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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just completed 9 days, camping & fishing at Panguitch lake.
I committed to fly fishing. Had success each day, morning or afternoon, fishing from the shorelines.
Nymphs under indicator was key for me. Avg 13 trout landed per day, most released. Released 9 tigers, 15 cutties in the slot size range of 15-22". Rest caught were all rainbows. Had a large cutthroat (24") and 3 large tigers (20-24") break off before they could be netted.
Kept a few large 18-20" rainbows for camp dinner, grilled over fire. Retained another 3 rainbows to bring home for the BBQ.

Many other shore bound bait fishermen pulling limits each day. Disturbing was observing close hand the number of tiger trout and cutthroat trout retained/killed for the limit, within the slot size range. On a Saturday, I counted 107 anglers on shoreline that I was fishing. Wow, but during the weekdays it was much more pleasant.

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Thanks for the report and pictures. It sounds like you had a great time.

I have fished for a long time and in a lot of different places and I have never been anywhere that there are so many fish harvested as there are at Panguitch.

I was down there in September one year and I was in my tube weaving in and out of all the rented party barges with four or five people on each one. They were putting everything they caught on the stringer and some of the fish looked like they were fresh out of the hatchery truck.:mad:
 

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That's your Vegas people at work.
They think laws and rules don't pay to them when they are in PoDunk Utah.
I used to deal with them ALL the time when they came into my grocery store on the way up to Panguitch lake.
I won't even go up there anymore unless it's to ice fish. My wife's family had several places up there for many years. They have all sold out.
 

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By the end of the summer, it might not matter if everything is harvested.


Nice fish, by the way. That cutt is pretty.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
met several peeps on the shoreline, from Kingman-AZ, Oregon, Provo, SLC and of course Las Vegas.
including some eastern Euro language (Russian, Czech?) guys. Who proceeded to catch 7-9 trout each on their 4 stringers. I just stared at them, they got nervous and decided it was time for them to leave.
However several fisherpersons were from ST George. These guys loved to catch & release, culling only the larger size trout...while using bait and slip sinkers. They left, I worked my way up to their vacated area. Only to observe 6-8 dead trout, 10-13", on the lake's bottom 10' from shoreline in water depth of 3-4'.
Utah F&G needs a new rule; fishing bait, catch/keep first 4 trout landed. (not that anyone would follow it!)

I love to fish Panguitch Lake each year, making a 9 hour drive to do so, camp & fish for a week+. This year as bad as 2020 for fishermen ethics, rules abidance.
But with this unchecked fishing, fear Panguitch Lk won't be "Blue Ribbon" status much longer.
 

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There is no problem releasing fish caught on bait but you have to be prepared to just cut the line instead of trying to get the hook out of a deep hooked fish. I will just cut my line on a fish that I don't want to keep if it isn't hooked in the lips.

If the DWR really want to keep it as a blue ribbon fishery they need to go to artificial lures and flies only along with a slot limit.
 

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We always do catch and release. Keep a couple of LEGAL fish to smoke or cook for dinner.
Use jigs and lures. MUCH better survival rate that way.
There is just plain too many people that feel rules and laws don't apply to them. And, they don't look forward past the end of their nose to see that they are ruining the very thing they use and enjoy.
Oh well, it's not a new problem.
 

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But with this unchecked fishing, fear Panguitch Lk won't be "Blue Ribbon" status much longer.
Isn't that always the case. This year will be the year...

Panguitch has historically been at the top of the "fishing pressure" list in Utah. It easily rivals Strawberry for angler hours spent during the summer months. Every year there are complaints about illegal harvest:
2Full said:
Oh well, it's not a new problem

And, yet, every year it continues to produce quality fish. The only times that Panguitch has not produced quality fish was due to chubs - NOT over harvest of trout by anglers.


i'm not saying there isn't a problem. And I'm not saying rules shouldn't be enforced. But to think that the sky is falling? Sorry.

The drought we are currently in is not going away any time soon. Like many other reservoirs in southern Utah, water is going to be a problem at Panguitch. Higher than normal harvest rates at Panguitch this summer may actually help create a fishery next year. I'm not condoning harvesting fish illegally - I'd also encourage people to take an opportunity to help educate those who don't know. But I'm not going to sit and fret about a few extra dead fish this summer knowing that some good may come of it.

History has shown us that Panguitch can rebound VERY QUICKLY.
 
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If the DWR really want to keep it as a blue ribbon fishery they need to go to artificial lures and flies only along with a slot limit.

No, they don't.


This is the type of conversation that causes me to shake my head. And Panguitch fits the bill.


When you have a lake that has consistently produced quality fish for years under the same management strategy and regulations, why would you want to change them when they are working?? Look, you MUST have some mortality with fish in order to grow quality fish. If you don't have any mortality, then your population grows and average fish size grows negative. You have to have some fish die. Whether that mortality is achieved through people returning bait caught fish, or people harvest fish in the slot (legal or illegal) doesn't matter -- you need some mortality.

The history of Panguitch Lake has shown that even with high angler pressure, including mortality of bait caught and released fish, that the lake still grows quality fish!


We've seen the same thing at other places -- look at Round Willow Bottom on the Boulder. People start catching large trout (tiger trout up to 10lbs!) and immediately starting saying "we need to protect those fish!". Protect from what?? They grew that large under the existing regulations - so why change that? Why change a good thing?


The regulations at Panguitch are working! They have worked for many years. Could they use some minor tweaking? maybe. Do they need an overhaul (artificial only + stricter slot)? No! Should anglers obey the current regulations? Yes! Did the DWR set the current regulations knowing and understanding that they would lose some fish to rule breakers (intentional or unintentional)? Yes!

It's working. We don't need to panic.

We just need water - or none of this means a thing.
 
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If recent history from both Strawberry and Panguitch Lake have shown us anything, it is that the slot limits do not require AFL regs to work well.

In spite of extensive hand wringing from some quarters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just enjoy fishing this lake. Its a long drive but quality of trout reminds me somewhat of Kamloops BC-Canada.

Last year my grandsons fished with me from the shorelines. We fished bait, slip bobbers & slip sinkers. Kept a couple limits of rainbows over 8 days to take home.
what I observed last year in late May 2020 was far worse than this year.

But this year I did enjoy watching some youngsters having fun fishing. Harder for most of the younger anglers to fish artificial lures.
 

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I just enjoy fishing this lake. Its a long drive but quality of trout reminds me somewhat of Kamloops BC-Canada.

Last year my grandsons fished with me from the shorelines. We fished bait, slip bobbers & slip sinkers. Kept a couple limits of rainbows over 8 days to take home.
what I observed last year in late May 2020 was far worse than this year.

But this year I did enjoy watching some youngsters having fun fishing. Harder for most of the younger anglers to fish artificial lures.
The next time you visit Panguitch for an extended stay, I strongly suggest you drive over the mountain to Paragonah Reservoir. It's not a long drive and is usually well worth the time of getting there. The fish are generally a little smaller, but there are lots of them and you get a little more solitude.

I'm not sure if you are fishing Panguitch exclusively or not, but you have some other really good fisheries in that same general area--Yankee Meadow, Paragonah, Navajo at times, Kolob among others are all well worth the time to try.
 

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The years I've fished Panguitch have always revealed some pretty horrible behavior by folks. Every summer trip I see dead trout either on shore or floating in the water. I would rather see mortality from thoughtful harvest but, as PBH stated, managers include unintentional kill in their planning. It's a "known known". We should help people learn better skills but we'll never eradicate the variable. I don't lose sleep over it.

Panguitch has successful policy. It's working. It also has a successful slot even if some people ignore it. I get serious side eye when I release a tiger or cutthroat, that is within margin of error of the slot but I'm guessing plenty do the same out of precaution even though others choose to ignore the rules. I will say, the cutthroat seem to be prone to deeper hooking as they are the only ones I've cut line on or harvested with old hooksets still imbedded.

I think I may be a controversial trout fisherman though. I consistently take my limit. I figure the managers will appropriately set limits and adjust as time goes on. I prefer medium sized trout but I also occasionally take smaller ones. There is a reason they literally release tens of thousands of trout into that lake every year. My friends in the fisheries have taught me to trust the guidelines. Where harvest is allowed, I take my limit and enjoy the subsistence part of the hobby. When it's catch and release, I have no problem doing so, and enjoy the experience. But I long ago moved on from catch and release being the presumptive gold standard of western trout fishing.

I hope Panguitch fares the drought and associated changes well this year. I've grown to really love that lake and the trout fishing it provides.
 

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I talked with a biologist last night. He mentioned they will be dumping a lot of extra fish in Panguitch this year -- mainly because they won't be putting them in other lakes that would normally get them due to water issues. Fish Lake will be supplementing the lake trout feeding program with additional fish as well.

Panguitch should fare the drought OK. It has been down to its conservation pool the last few years, and been fine.
 

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I talked with a biologist last night. He mentioned they will be dumping a lot of extra fish in Panguitch this year -- mainly because they won't be putting them in other lakes that would normally get them due to water issues. Fish Lake will be supplementing the lake trout feeding program with additional fish as well.

Panguitch should fare the drought OK. It has been down to its conservation pool the last few years, and been fine.
 
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