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Over 10 Million Fish Stocked Throughout Utah By DWR In 2019

Over 10 million fish were stocked in over 600 bodies of water by the Utah DWR. (Mark Hadley, Utah DWR)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Officials with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said they stocked over 10 million fish into 603 bodies of water across the state in 2019.

Almost 9.5 million of those fish came from 13 local hatcheries while around 680,000 fish came from various states and two federal hatcheries in Utah.

“Our hatcheries are important because they provide the majority of the fish that we stock in Utah,” said DWR sportfish coordinator Randy Oplinger. “Stocking is a crucial management tool that we use to provide Utahns with the numbers and species of fish that they desire — it helps ensure that the public has a great fishing experience.”

Utah’s first hatcheries were opened in 1899 and the practice of stocking fish goes back to 1871 in the Beehive State.

At that time, fish were brought to Utah by train and stocked into lakes along the railway.

These original hatcheries were really impounded streams where we put fry that we got from the federal government,” Oplinger said. “We opened our first traditional fish hatchery — with raceways like we have today — where we produced our own eggs, in 1899 in Murray.”

Officials said 20 different species were stocked this year, including 30,000 June suckers, a species only found in Utah Lake.

Due to conservation efforts, DWR officials said the June sucker species was recently proposed for a downlisting under the Endangered Species Act to “threatened” from “endangered.”

Other native species that were stocked included 28,000 bonytail chub and 4,700 Virgin River chub.

Officials said they decided to stock fewer but larger fish this year and some fish are sterile to control various populations in different bodies of water across Utah.

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