Officials add $300 bonus to harvesting incentives for certain brown trout caught in Lees Ferry Reach

File photo of brown trout in Utah, Sept. 8, 2017 | Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, St. George News

LEES FERRY, Ariz. — Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is pleased to announce that beginning Sept. 1, the Brown Trout Incentivized Harvest Program will add an additional $300 incentive to encourage anglers to catch and keep brown trout in the Lees Ferry Reach below Glen Canyon Dam.

Stock photo of brown trout, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of the National Park Service, St. George News

According to a press release from the National Park Service, anglers can already get a $33 payment for each brown trout over 6 inches long that is harvested and turned in at the Navajo Bridge Visitor Center, and for the months of August through October, an additional $50 is paid for every three brown trout harvested each month.

During September and October, anglers will receive an additional payment of $300 for each harvested brown trout containing a pit tag, which are small tags (7 mm, or approximately a quarter inch) that researchers use to uniquely identify each fish and to estimate population size, et cetera. Pictures of pit tags are located on the brown trout signage at the Lees Ferry Boat Ramp.

According to the press release, anglers are encouraged to help reduce the growing population of brown trout in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam.

The brown trout population between the dam and Lees Ferry has steadily increased since 2014. As adults, brown trout feed on other fish, threatening downstream native and endangered fish species.

The goal of this program is to determine if the incentivized harvest by anglers can help manage and reduce the number of brown trout. This management option was highly favored during public review of potential management tools when compared with intensive mechanical removal efforts or disturbance activities during the spawning period.

Brown trout spawn during fall and winter months when they begin to move into shallow waters. This is a great time to catch brown trout and focus on fishing gear and techniques that enhance the angler’s experience. Although brown trout can be found throughout the river below the dam, most have been harvested from the dam down to approximately 4 miles upstream from the Lees Ferry boat ramp.

The Glen Canyon Conservancy is helping administer the Brown Trout Incentivized Harvest Program and will send participating anglers a check at the end of each month. More information about how to participate in this program is available online.

Details on the Arizona Game & Fish Department angling regulations for this area can be found here.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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