You don’t have to travel too far – but you can if you want – to check out 7 ice fishing tournaments

Stock image courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — If you want to add an extra challenge to your ice fishing this winter, a tournament may be just the thing. Plus, you can help many of Utah fisheries and often win prizes.

Ice fishing at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, Utah, date not specified | Photo by Matt McKell and courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Utah State Parks announced in a press release that they will be sponsoring or hosting several ice fishing tournaments in January and February around the state. The closest to Southern Utah is at Fish Lake in Sevier County, but for those willing to travel farther, several tournaments will be held in northern Utah.

A valid Utah fishing license is required for anyone over 12 years old to fish in any of the events. Anyone participating should be familiar with the ice safety recommendations on the Utah State Parks website.

Here are a few tournaments to check out.

Fish Lake Perch Tournament

Hosted by DWR and several partnering organizations, the annual Fish Lake Perch Tournament will be held on Feb. 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. As its name suggests, participants will be targeting perch and can win prizes if they catch a tagged one.

For more details, visit the DWR Eventbrite page.

Starvation Ice Derby

This event will be held at Starvation Reservoir at Fred Hayes State Park on Feb. 8. Participants will be targeting trout and walleye for the contest, and prizes will be awarded based on fish length. Registration is $15 to fish for just one of the species or $20 to fish for both species.

For more details about the contest, visit the Utah State Park website.

Rockport State Park Tagged Fishing Classic

This fishing contest will take place from Jan. 1 to Feb. 29 at Rockport State Park in Summit County. Over 100 fish in the reservoir have been tagged, and anyone who catches one and turns it in during that time frame can win a prize.

Find more contest details on the Rockport State Park website or by calling their office.

East Canyon State Park Ice Fishing Challenge

This will be the 7th annual fishing challenge hosted by East Canyon State Park. It will be held on Jan. 25 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants can register on Eventbrite.

For more details, visit the Utah State Parks website. 

Steinaker State Park Tagged Fish Outing

Finding the depth where the fish are is the key to catching fish through the ice, photo location not specified, Jan. 4, 2009 | Photo courtesy of Ray Schelble, St. George News

This fishing contest will take place from Jan. 11 until Feb. 7 at 5 p.m. at Steinaker State Park in Uintah County. Only 50 trout will be tagged, and anglers have the option of keeping the fish or releasing them. If you choose to release your fish, simply pull the tag out. All tags must be turned in to the DWR office at 318 N. Vernal Ave. during normal business hours.

The prize giveaway will occur at the Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum on Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. Registration is required to participate in the contest. It’s $20 for adults 17 and older and $15 for youth 16 and younger.

Find more contest details on the Steinaker State Park website or by calling their office.

Burbot Bash

Hosted by the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by the DWR and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the Burbot Bash will be held Jan. 24-26 at Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This annual ice fishing tournament helps to control the burbot population, a cod-like fish that rapidly reproduces and preys on the eggs of other fish species.

Prizes will be awarded to anglers who catch the most burbot, the largest and smallest burbot and a tagged burbot.

For more contest details or to register, visit the Burbot Bash website.

Monster Cisco Disco

While this is not technically “ice fishing,” this annual winter fishing event is worth attending. The Cisco Disco is part of the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest and will be held Jan. 25 at Bear Lake State Park. Participants will have the chance to dip net for Bonneville cisco, a fish species only found at Bear Lake, and must turn in their catch between 11 a.m. and noon to be entered into the contest.

For more details, visit the Bear Lake Monster Winterfest website.

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