Lake Powell Fish Report

By: Wayne Gustaveson August 24, 2006
Lake Elevation: 3604 Water Temperature: 80-83 F

Striped bass are at the top of the roller coaster, heading down the first big hill. Excellent reproduction and survival have resulted in record numbers of big and small fish. It is possible that striped bass numbers are greater now than at any time during their 30 year residency in the lake. There is a great battle going on each day for the limited shad food source. Since the 10-15 inch stripers live in warm water with shad they have the competitive advantage over adults confined to cool water beneath the thermocline. . In a race for a shad big fish cannot beat the smaller, faster stripers. It's no contest.
This overpopulation allows anglers to catch an unprecedented number of hungry fish. Every hotspot that has been mentioned this year is still producing stripers for bait fishermen on a daily basis. Most striper schools are congregated in the main channel near the mouth of a canyon. Find a prominent point that dives into deep water for consistent fishing success. Chum with anchovies to get the school active and eating and then catch and keep all fish possible. The striped bass population must be reduced to bring them into balance with available forage.

Fishing at the barricade in front of Glen Canyon Dam has picked up again. Other great spots are the mouth of Warm Creek, Padre Canyon, Rock Creek, Escalante main channel, Lake Canyon, Moki Wall, and Hansen Creek.

The only consistent boiling action is found near Hite between Buoys 133-134 in the afternoon. Boils are present but inconsistent on the San Juan.

Juvenile stripers increase in number from Bullfrog north. There seems to be an innumerable amount of fish from the surface to 20 feet. These 10-15 inch fish can be caught on every cast with anchovies, spoons and hard plastic baits. Fishing is so quick for small fish that's its hard to describe. Many anglers are using heavy weights to get the bait down past the small fish so they can catch a bigger one. If you like to catch lots of fish and size doesn't matter then
there is no better place to be than Bullfrog Bay and the canyons upstream.

Great bass fishing is almost unnoticed with all the striper catching. Fishing with plastic grubs at 20-25 feet is awesome. Use a quarter ounce jig head with a green plastic offering to catch bass up to 3 pounds. Target the breaking edge of rock structure where depth rapidly increases.

Sunfish and catfish are readily taking live worms near shore. Sunfish are in the brush and in the shade of boats while
catfish are on the sandy bottom near camp. If you haven't experienced the most amazing year for fishing success
ever seen at Lake Powell, now would be a good time to give it a try.

Salt Lake - Ogden City, Weber Pathways, the Ogden Trails Network, and the Weber-Morgan Health Department host the 2006 Utah Trails and Pathways Conference September 7, 8 and 9 at the Eccles Conference Center in Ogden. This year's conference theme is Utah Trails: The Heartbeat of a Community.

The conference begins with a keynote address from Dr. John Librett, current principal of The Active Survivor's Network and former head of Trails for Health Initiative at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The lecture series will commence with a variety of topics and a number of fantastic presenters. Topics of discussion will include pathways for active people, walkable communities, trail safety, promoting trails, trail building and maintenance, ski trail grooming, and preparing successful grant applications. A hands-on session will be held on a local mountain trail.

The closing session is held at the Earl Lodge located at Snowbasin Ski Resort, and includes lunch and a gondola ride to the top of the mountain. Participants will have the opportunity to spend time taking a nature walk, or may choose to walk, bike, or ride a horse down the mountain.

For more information, visit or call (801) 629-8558.

Special scheduled on the Outdoor Channel

Dear Friends,

Last year, Hurricane Katrina left the U.S. in shock and the stories and statistics have literally filled the media since. Far too little has been said about the heroic contributions made in the critical days and weeks following this disaster by the incredible efforts of the men and women who wear fish and game uniforms.

On 8/30/06 at 4:00 PM and 9/2/06 at 10:00 PM (both Eastern times) The Outdoor Channel's "Fish and Wildlife Journal" will air a special that documents the contributions of the agencies and the agency personnel who helped get the gulf coast states through the very worst of the disaster and back on the road to recovering and healing from the devastation.

We hope this program will contribute in some small way to both recognizing the dedication and professionalism of the people who reported for duty during that trying and dangerous time…and extending some degree of gratitude from the outdoor community for their service.

As with other efforts to tell this story, there simply wasn't enough time or material to tell the complete story, but we have done our best to recognize these extraordinary efforts to help in a time of dire need.

We thank them for being there…and for caring enough to serve.

As your schedules and outlets permit, we hope you will let your audience know about the show. It's something they should watch.

Best regards,

Chris Chaffin

Executive Producer, "Fish & Wildlife Journal"


AAA Offers Guidelines for Motorists in Case of Car Trouble

SALT LAKE CITY, August 23, 2006 - There's never a good time for a vehicle to break down, but car trouble should be a minor inconvenience rather than a dangerous disaster. AAA Utah, which has been helping motorists for more than 100 years, offers some suggestions for how to make the best of a breakdown.

"If your vehicle breaks down, the first and most important rule is to not panic," said Rolayne Fairclough, spokesperson for AAA Utah. "AAA of Utah, Northern California and Nevada responded to more than 2.6 million calls for help in 2005. By following a few simple guidelines, you can ensure that assistance will arrive as quickly as possible, and that you will stay safe until it does."

1. Note your vehicle's location.
Be aware of your surroundings and know where you are in relation to a major exit, cross street or landmark. If you are on a highway, note the nearest mile marker, exit, rest area, or call box.

2. Assess your vehicle's operating problem.
While driving, take notice of warning signs such as unusual noises, trouble steering, or steam or smoke coming from under the hood.

3. Pull off the road.

· In general, pull onto the right shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible while remaining on level ground.

· If it's a flat tire, signal and slow down gradually.
· If you run out of gas or your engine stops, switch on your emergency flashers, steer your vehicle out of traffic, and allow momentum to carry the car off the road to a safe place. Avoid braking.

· Never risk your safety by attempting to push the vehicle out of the way.

4. Alert other motorists.
Make sure your vehicle is visible to other drivers by turning on emergency flashers. If it's safe,
raise your vehicle's hood and tie a brightly colored tie or handkerchief to the antenna or close a window on it. Place one flare or reflector 10 feet directly behind the closest side of the vehicle to the road; place another 100 feet behind the middle of the car. Do not ignite flares if there is gas leak or smell of gas.

5. Remain with your vehicle.
If it's safely out of traffic, stay inside your vehicle with your seat belt on. Do not stay in the vehicle if it might not be safe. If it's safer to leave the car, stay as far as possible from the vehicle and the road. Do not stand directly in front of or behind the vehicle, as other drivers may have trouble seeing you.

6. Communicate your situation.
Call for emergency road service. Be sure to include detailed information about your location. If you don't have a cell phone, consider finding a nearby payphone. Be mindful of your surroundings. If no pay phone is available, try to get the attention of other motorists. Seek out law enforcement officials. Decline any offers from motorists to take you to a phone. Instead, ask the person to make the call for you. As a last resort, if you have no other choice but to go with a stranger, ask for his or her name, phone number and address and leave it and an explanation of the situation in the car or with another person.

When help arrives, remain calm and cooperative. Don't attempt to assist the service representative unless he or she requests assistance. If the problem is a dead battery or an empty fuel tank, the road service operator will likely be able to get you on your way. If the breakdown is due to more serious mechanical or electrical problems, the vehicle will need to be towed. Always ask for a receipt in case there is a disputed charge later.

Drivers should carry at all times:

· A cell phone programmed with emergency numbers, including (800) AAA-HELP
· Flares or reflectors
· Jumper cables
· Tire pressure gauge
· A flashlight with extra batteries
· Drinking water, snacks and a blanket in case conditions are extreme or help is delayed
· For members of AAA or other assistance providers, a current membership card

It's an even better idea to avoid car trouble in the first place by maintaining your automobile according to the schedule laid out in the owner's manual. In addition, perform regular safety checks on tires, lights, belts, hoses, fluids and windshield wipers, especially before long trips or in extreme weather. For AAA members, AAA-approved repair shops offer free safety inspections whenever other work is being performed.

AAA Utah offers a wide array of automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 150,000 members. AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers since it was founded more than 100 years ago.

One Month to National Hunting and Fishing Day

Heads up. September 23, only a month from today, is the 35th anniversary of National Hunting and Fishing Day, the most successful public outreach campaign in the history of outdoor sports.

It's an especially good story this year, because the past 12 months have seen a special renaissance.

For example, Groundhog Day has Punxsutawney, Pa. Christmas has Bethlehem, or the North Pole. And now National Hunting and Fishing Day has an official home, too: Wonders of Wildlife, the National Fish and Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Mo. The holiday's new home is the only hunting- and fishing-focused facility that's both affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and accredited by the American Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

National Hunting and Fishing Day also has new sponsors, including the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), The Outdoor Channel, Bass Pro Shops, Realtree, Woolrich, "Outdoor Life" and "Field & Stream" magazines, National Wild Turkey Federation,, and Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

Adding even more energy are new official partners such as the Weatherby Foundation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Professional Outdoor Media Association, Pheasants Forever, National Wildlife Federation and NSSF's STEP OUTSIDE program.

Finally, National Hunting and Fishing Day also offers new ways for you, the media, to help us celebrate the importance and conservation successes of America's hunters and anglers.


Wanship - Thanks to quick response from Utah State Park Rangers, four men and one woman avoided serious injury in a dramatic boat fire last weekend at Rockport State Park.

Fire broke out onboard an older model motorboat, apparently due to a fuel leak. The five passengers attempted to extinguish the flames, but the fire grew out of control. All passengers jumped into the water, and only one was wearing a life jacket.

Utah State Parks Boating Education Specialist Richard Droesbeke and Rockport State Park Assistant Manager Joe Donnell responded to the fire. Officer Droesbeke was the first to arrive on the scene. He quickly pulled four passengers out of the water, while the fifth was rescued by another boat. Due to the size of the fire, there was nothing Officer Droesbeke could do but stay back and maintain the safety of everyone involved.

Officer Donnell later secured a towline to the burning boat and pulled it toward shore, where the Summit County Fire Department was waiting to extinguish the flames.

Utah State Parks boating rangers are required to complete approximately 100 hours of boating training every year.

"It is difficult to train for any one specific emergency situation," commented Utah State Parks Boating Coordinator Dave Harris. "Officers are trained in general emergencies and then use actual emergency experiences to broaden our knowledge. Our primary focus is on the safety of the people involved, then protection of their property."

To avoid accidents like this from occurring, follow these guidelines:

- Always run the blower for at least four minutes before trying to start the engine. If the boat is making several stops and restarts, keep the blower on at all times.
- Have a knowledgeable marine mechanic service the vessel and check for fuel leaks.
- Always keep a marine-approved backfire flame arrester attached to the top of the engine's carburetor.

For more information on boating safety and education, please visit or call (801) 538-2628 within the Salt Lake calling area or 1-800-743-3792 from outside the Salt Lake calling area.

Sportsmen's Coalition Makes New Push to Conserve Public Lands Facing Energy Development

FACTS Campaign Designed to Better Protect the Places We Hunt and Fish

PINEDALE, WYO. - A working group of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership (TRCP) today released a set of principles that it hopes will guide future energy development on public lands throughout the West. As part of the "Energy FACTS for Fish and Wildlife" campaign, the coalition, which includes the leaders of several of the country's oldest and most respected fishing, hunting and conservation organizations, is calling on the federal government and industry to increase funding, accountability, coordination, transparency and science when making decisions on energy development on the public lands that belong to all Americans.

The TRCP's Fish, Wildlife and Energy Working Group (FWEWG), which includes representatives of the American Sportfishing Association, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Izaak Walton League of America, North American Grouse Partnership, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Wildlife Management Institute and the Wildlife Society has been meeting for several months to develop the core principles of the FACTS campaign.

"There's a reality being recognized throughout the West that as energy development is increasing, some fish and wildlife populations are decreasing," said Steve Belinda, a TRCP Policy Initiative Manager and former federal wildlife biologist. "These changes on the landscape have led to changes in the places we hunt and fish. It does not have to be this way. By applying an approach based on the FACTS, we can better balance our need to develop domestic energy supplies and protect the fish and wildlife populations revered by hunters, anglers and those who love the outdoors."

The FWEWG believes that there are some areas that should be off-limits to energy development and is crafting criteria that can be applied to identify them. Additionally, a Conservation Strategy for fish and wildlife resources should be employed to limit damage to fish and wildlife in places already developed or being eyed for development in the future.

The complete "Energy FACTS for Fish and Wildlife" principles follow:

Energy FACTS for Fish and Wildlife

Balanced Management of public lands for energy and fish and wildlife can Be Accomplished with FACTS

Funding Accountability Coordination Transparency Science

The TRCP FWEWG has compiled its recommendations and priorities regarding federal management of energy development on public lands and organized them under the five fundamental areas of Funding, Accountability, Coordination, Transparency and Science.


· A long-term, dedicated funding solution is needed to adequately provide the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service (FS) and state fish and wildlife agencies the necessary means to manage habitats and populations affected by energy development. The administration and Congress must pass federal legislation for new, long-term funding to monitor, evaluate and protect fish and wildlife populations influenced by energy development.

· Funding appropriated for fish and wildlife management should be used to manage habitats and populations proactively. Much of the funding BLM receives for fish and wildlife biological services is being directed to the processing of permits for expanded energy development.

· Any annual or short-term increase in federal funding for energy development should be matched by funding to deal with the consequences to fish and wildlife. While there have been regular increases in funding for expediting energy development, there have not been commensurate increases in fish and wildlife funding.


· BLM and FS lands should be managed equally for multiple uses and resources, maintaining a balance of energy development and fish and wildlife habitat.

· A specific "Conservation Strategy" for each energy field or project, which would go beyond the NEPA-level evaluations and plans currently being completed, should be used to proactively address fish and wildlife management and needs. This Conservation Strategy should be finalized before development starts and must provide specific recommendations and actions to minimize impacts, while establishing plans for mitigation, detailed monitoring and the use of adaptive management.

· Managers, industry and other decision-makers must be held accountable and responsible for following laws, regulations, and policy including commitments made in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents. A process for accountability should be established that allows the public to track compliance with law, policy, plans and, most importantly, commitments in decision documents.

· Compliance with, and enforcement of, requirements from Records of Decision and other contracts with the American people for the efficient development of their resources should be included in written performance standards for the BLM employees responsible for each phase of the development process.

· Mineral leasing should be done in a manner that takes into account the future impacts from development on fish and wildlife resources. Therefore, we recommend a change in the current leasing process that would provide for a prior assessment of impacts from lease development before leasing occurs and includes plans that balance the needs of fish and wildlife resources.


· The federal government should improve coordination with all interested parties when planning and implementing energy development. Public involvement from all stakeholders, including local and state governments, non-governmental organizations, industry, sportsmen and others, is important and should be assured. State wildlife agencies that have the authority to manage wildlife and fish populations that are affected by energy development should be given stronger legal standing in the process, rather than only being given cooperating agency status.

· Adaptive management based on the best-available monitoring information and coordination with state agencies must be used by federal officials. An effective adaptive management process includes regular reviews of both state and federal findings from research and monitoring, active consideration of alternative energy field management, and the means for making such management changes for future development where needed to lessen impacts on fish and wildlife. There must be coordination between federal officials and state wildlife agencies to lessen or avoid impacts on fish and wildlife. Lack of coordination and data-sharing often means that the same approach to development is continued despite monitoring that has shown it is detrimental to wildlife.


· A clear, transparent federal planning process and decision-making process that follows administrative law and policy is essential.

· Leasing and development should be guided by complete and up-to-date land use plans developed with public input, based on current information on how development is likely to proceed.

· Federal land managers must make decisions on energy development following processes that allow for adequate public review. Decisions made by public officials and the processes leading to them must be transparent. Laws, policies and proper procedures must be followed at all times. Sufficient information about proposed energy leases and development must be provided to the public to allow for understanding and reasonable comments, and the time provided for public comments must be commensurate with the complexity of the proposals.

· Meetings related to energy development on public lands should be part of the public record.


· Science must be used to inform all fish and wildlife management decisions, particularly when specific research has been conducted on the impacts of energy development. Subsequently, adaptive management processes should be used and based upon monitoring data so that a systemic approach to adjusting development can be made when other natural resources are affected.

· The energy development planning process should include science-based mitigation. This mitigation must be planned by using rigorous methods and an adaptive management process that systematically uses data from impact monitoring and evaluation to adjust development. Offsite mitigation is essential when on-site mitigation cannot be effectively used or is not appropriate to offset resource values impacted at the project location.

· There are certain special and unique places in the West that should be either entirely off-limits or extremely limited to oil and gas drilling. The federal government should set aside these important areas to ensure that valuable fish and wildlife resources and these special habitats are appropriately protected. Such places can be identified from a fish and wildlife habitat standpoint by using available science and data on population numbers and other factors.

The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is a coalition of leading hunting, fishing and conservation organizations and individual partners working together to guarantee access to places to hunt and fish, conserve fish and wildlife habitat, and increase funding for conservation.

Walleye Aren't Starving in Starvation

Duchesne -- A recent survey by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists found the walleye aren't starving in Starvation Reservoir. "These fish aren't skinny," said Ed Johnson as he surveyed his catch. "We found a good, healthy population. We caught more large walleye this year, including numerous fish in the two- and three-pound range and one that weighed in at eight pounds. It's been quite a while since we caught an eight-pounder in our survey."

This was a good sign for Johnson, who had to reduce the number of walleye in Starvation Reservoir a few years ago because they had over-eaten their food base of Utah chub. "We found fat walleye, fat smallmouth bass, fat brown trout and fat yellow perch," Johnson said. "These are all predatory game fish, and they have been eating well." Further investigation showed the fish had been eating crayfish and yellow perch.

The survey results are also good news for anglers who enjoy fishing at Starvation, which is about five miles west of Duchesne. "Starvation provides high quality fishing without the crowds that Pelican Lake and other better known waters get," Johnson said. "Anglers who like to go after warm water fish can choose between walleye, smallmouth bass and yellow perch."

Johnson says small 1/8 to1/4 ounces jigs tipped with night crawlers, and trolling spinner-rigs with a worm harness, are common methods to catch walleye at Starvation. "Try jigging along the points and large walls of the main reservoir in about 15 to 25 feet of water," he said. "Another place to try [is] along the edges of the weed beds."

Johnson said the fishing has been good over the past few weeks, and it's improving. "It's a great time to fish, and fishing will just get better as we go into the fall."

Yellow Perch Population Booming at Starvation Reservoir

Duchesne -- There's a rising star among the fish in Starvation Reservoir: yellow perch. During a recent survey, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologists caught yellow perch in all of their nets. "They were everywhere," said Ed Johnson, UDWR fisheries biologist. "My fingertips still hurt from taking so many of them out of the survey nets."

This is good news for anglers for two reasons: yellow perch provide another fish for anglers to catch at the reservoir, and the perch and crayfish have replaced the Utah chub in providing a forage base for other sportfish in the reservoir, including walleye, smallmouth bass and brown trout.

"We caught perch in several age categories, including quite a few that were around 12 inches," Johnson said. "Our survey showed they were well spread out throughout the reservoir. Fish were especially abundant around the points and near the weed beds."

Yellow perch have small mouths, so Johnson recommends using very small jigs tipped with pieces of worms, such as night crawlers, mealworms or pieces of perch meat, including the perch's eyes.

"Tip your lure with a piece of perch meat or a worm, and try fishing the points and the weed beds inside the bays," Johnson suggested. "In Utah, it is usually illegal to use game fish for bait, but dead yellow perch [are] allowed on some waters, including Starvation [see the 2006 Utah Fishing Proclamation for details].

"Many anglers catch [a yellow perch] and then slice sections off it to use as bait. Don't forget the eyes; for some reason, the eyes also seem to be preferred bait for yellow perch, so don't be afraid to try one." Starvation Reservoir is about five miles west of Duchesne. The few anglers who have been fishing at the reservoir report catching yellow perch.

"Yellow perch at Starvation is an under-utilized fishery," Johnson said. "The perch have only come on strong in the last couple of years, so most anglers don't know about them yet. It's getting very little angling pressure. Those who do [fish for yellow perch] report good fishing, and it's just going to get better. I also think the ice fishing season is going to be dynamite." For more information, call the UDWR's Vernal office at (435) 781-WILD (9453).

Ogden Nature Center's 21st Annual Wildwoods BASH Saturday, September 9, 2006

Enjoy a fabulous evening outdoors and help raise funds for the Ogden Nature Center at the 21st Annual Wildwoods

BASH. This fun and relaxing event includes dinner, live entertainment and a great auction of nature-inspired items.

Stroll down Birdhouse Trail to the Visitor Center where you'll find a relaxing outdoor party on the back lawn. Enjoy a gourmet dinner catered by the Nature Center's favorite local chefs and improvisational folk-fusion sounds by local musicians William Pollett and Todd Milovich.

This year's auction will include nature-themed art, bicycles, outdoor getaways (far away and close to home), pottery, hand-knit clothing, stained glass art, the latest in outdoor gear and more.

All proceeds support the Ogden Nature Center's award winning nature education programs, wild bird rehabilitation and the Nature Center's beautiful, 152-acre wildlife sanctuary on 12th Street in Ogden.

Tickets are $55 per person or $1000 for a reserved table of 10. Reservations are being taken until Friday, September 1. Please call ahead, as seating is limited. For more information or to reserve tickets, please call the Nature Center at 621-7595.

The Ogden Nature Center is located at 966 W. 12th Street in Ogden. Our mission is to unite people with nature and nurture appreciation and stewardship of the environment.

Fish Removed to Start New Bonneville Cutthroat Trout Population

Utah County -- Bonneville cutthroat trout, a fish that once thrived in Utah, will soon be swimming in another river in the state.

On Aug. 16, biologists with the Division of Wildlife Resources, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, treated approximately 21 miles of stream in the upper stretches of the Diamond Fork river drainage with rotenone. Most of the fish in the 21-mile stretch are brown trout, and the rotenone should remove all of them.

Initial results show the Aug. 16 treatment was a success. Biologists will treat the area again on Sept. 20. The treatment area begins about 10 miles from the mouth of Diamond Fork Canyon, at the Three Forks area, and continues upstream to its headwaters.

Biologists are removing fish so native Bonneville cutthroat trout can be placed in the river. Restoring Bonneville cutthroat trout to their historic range in Utah is an important step towards keeping this sensitive species off the Endangered Species List and ensuring the future health of the species. The project will also provide great fishing for anglers.

DWR biologists have taken eggs from spawning Bonneville cutthroat trout in Mountain Dell and Little Dell reservoirs east of Salt Lake City over the past year. This egg-taking effort provided them with enough fish for the Diamond Fork project.
The U.S. Forest Service has also contributed to the project's success by installing a fish barrier at Three Forks. The barrier will keep the brown trout in the 10-mile stretch below the project area separate from the Bonneville cutthroat trout population the biologists are establishing.

A Big Effort

Rotenone was administered to the water via drip barrels that were placed in 20 locations. Biologists also used backpack sprayers to apply rotenone to areas that were difficult to reach. After the treatment, biologists applied an oxidizing agent, potassium permanganate, to the end of the project area (near Three Forks) to neutralize the effects of the rotenone.

Once all of the fish have been removed, the DWR will stock the project area with 10,000 three-inch Bonneville cutthroat trout. The area from Three Forks and upstream will be closed to fishing in 2007 to allow these small cutthroats to grow.

"Several streams are tied to the main stem of the Diamond Fork River. These streams aren't separated from the river by any barriers, so placing fish in the river will allow us to restore Bonneville cutthroat trout to several drainages at the same time," says Don Wiley, the DWR regional aquatics manager who coordinated the project.

"Also, the cutthroat trout in the main stem of Diamond Fork can access those tributaries during the spawn, or any time of the year, which will help maintain a gene flow throughout the cutthroat trout population in the area."

The DWR is conducting the project with support from the U.S. Forest Service, the Central Region Advisory Council, the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget Resource Development Coordinating Committee (RDCC), Trout Unlimited, the Blue Ribbon Fisheries Council and other organizations.

For more information, call the DWR's Springville office at (801) 491-5678.

Cougar Hunting Permits Approved

Salt Lake City -- The number of cougars taken in Utah during the state's upcoming hunting season will probably be similar to the number taken during the past two seasons.

At its Aug. 17 meeting in Salt Lake City, the Utah Wildlife Board approved 533 permits for Utah's limited entry and harvest objective cougar hunting units. Based on past success rates, the Division of Wildlife Resources anticipates that the 533 permits will result in hunters taking about 325 cougars in Utah this season.

That number would be similar to the 332 cougars taken during the 2005 - 2006 season and the 321 taken during the 2004 - 2005 season.

"We're shifting our emphasis from trying to reduce the number of cougars to maintaining a balance between cougars and the deer, bighorn sheep and other animals cougars prey on," Kevin Bunnell, DWR mammals program coordinator said about the recommendations the DWR presented to board members this year.

Utah's 2006 - 2007 cougar season runs from Nov. 22, 2006 to June 3, 2007 across most of the state.

Applications for limited entry cougar permits will be available by Sept. 19. Harvest objective permits go on sale Nov. 7.

For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.