HEBER CITY — If you catch a rainbow trout at Strawberry Reservoir, you might be in for more than just a big fight — the fish could be worth as much as $25,000.
Although the Division of Wildlife Resources is not an official sponsor of the Strawberry Rainbow Rush contest, its biologists worked with the event’s sponsors to tag 300 rainbow trout. In May, the biologists stocked the fish in different locations throughout the reservoir.
As of July 11, anglers had caught 58 of the 300 tagged fish. That means as many as 242 tagged rainbows are still swimming in Strawberry.
You don’t have to register to participate in the contest, but you must have a current fishing license. If you catch a tagged fish, simply take it to any one of the four marinas around the reservoir to claim your prize.
The first 100 anglers to bring in a tagged fish win a prize from Camp Chef. Six of the rainbows are marked with special tags that may be redeemed for a cash prize. The largest cash prize is $25,000.
You can stay updated on how many tagged fish have been caught by visiting the “Strawberry Lake in Utah” page on Facebook.
The Rainbow Rush contest started on May 26 and ends on Oct. 15.
Scott Root, a DWR conservation outreach manager, said the number of applications the agency receives to hold tagged fish contests is growing.
“It’s been fun to see how excited anglers have gotten about the contests,” Root said. “It’s also fun to know that the average angler can win prizes while doing something he or she enjoys.”
Strawberry Reservoir, located just off U.S. Highway 40 about 22 miles southeast of Heber City, is known as one of the state’s top trout fisheries. More information about fishing at Strawberry is available online at go.usa.gov/flk or by calling the DWR’s Central Region office at 801-491-5678.
If you visit Strawberry Reservoir, please be aware that all cutthroat trout between 15 and 22 inches must be released immediately.
Information about the fishing regulations at Strawberry is available on page 31 of the 2012 Utah Fishing Guidebook. An illustration and description of a Bear Lake cutthroat trout, the only cutthroat in Strawberry, is available on page 45 of the guidebook. On page 46, you’ll find an illustration and a description of a rainbow trout.
Another good identification guide is the “Strawberry Reservoir Fishing Regulations and Fish Identification” brochure. The free PDF brochure is available at go.usa.gov/flX.