A variety of fish species have been stocked in Utah’s Jordanelle Reservoir as part of a recently developed management plan. The latest stocking happened Aug. 25, when Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fish hatchery personnel and biologists placed 25,000 two-inch wipers in the reservoir southeast of Park City.
Wipers are a sterile cross between a striped bass and a white bass. Managers are predicting that stocked wiper will do two things at Jordanelle: provide anglers with fantastic fishing and increase the size of smallmouth bass by eating some of the smaller ‘smallies’ in the reservoir.
Mike Slater, regional aquatics biologist with the DWR, says the smallmouth bass population in Jordanelle mostly fall into three size classes: those around six inches in length, which are about one year old; those around 12 inches, which are anywhere from three to six years old; and those over 16 inches, which are six years of age and older.
Many of the smallmouths in Jordanelle Reservoir are currently less than 11 inches. To thin the bass population, tiger muskie (a sterile cross between a muskellunge and a northern pike) were also stocked into the reservoir recently.
“As the wipers and tiger muskies mature,” Slater says, “they’ll eat a portion of the smaller bass. Removing the smaller fish will free up food that will allow the bass that remain in the reservoir to grow larger in size.”
A 2015 DWR online survey showed anglers want a smaller population of larger fish in Jordanelle as opposed to lots of bass less than 12 inches long.
Managers also plan to stock 12-inch rainbow trout instead of 8-inch trout that have been stocked in the past. By stocking larger rainbows in Jordanelle, biologists hope fewer young fish will be lost to predators
Fish stocking efforts at Jordanelle Reservoir are part of a management plan put together by a work group and the DWR. The 15-member work group included representatives from state resource agencies and numerous sportsmen and fishing groups.
The group assisted DWR biologists in updating and developing a fishery management plan for the reservoir that will provide anglers with a quality fishing experience. It took biologists and the group six months to write the plan.
On July 12, a total of 9,000 six-inch tiger muskies were also stocked into Jordanelle. Placing tiger muskie in the reservoir addresses several objectives in the management plan, including “increase size structure of smallmouth bass,” “expand fishery to include a trophy apex predator,” “expand species for additional opportunities” and “increase diversity of species that anglers can target.”
Approximately 60,000 kokanee salmon were also stocked in Jordanelle in April. The management plan calls for addition kokanee to be stocked in the reservoir over the next few years.
Kokanee are expected to reproduce naturally in the waterway. Kokanee production will not only create a chance to catch a salmon, but the young kokanee will provide food for other predators in the reservoir.
source: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources