Repair Work Should Not Affect Scofield Reservoir Fishery

The Bureau of Reclamation will begin rebuilding the spillway and road across Scofield Dam to create a safer spillway structure and improved traffic flow. Construction begins this fall and will continue into the summer of 2006. Project managers indicate that the popular trout fishery at the central Utah water should not be affected by the work.

This past winter, BOR dam safety inspectors found cracks in the spillway, which could possibly erode the face of the dam during emergency spilling. In the interest of public safety, the BOR decided to renovate the spillway. This construction project will be awarded to a private contractor, who will work under the supervision of the BOR.

To prepare for the work, the BOR tested the outlet structure in June to determine how much water could be passed through it. When the gates are open all the way, 445 cubic feet of water per second races through the shaft, emptying into lower Fish Creek. This rate of flow should be sufficient to drain excess water from the reservoir during the spillway construction.

Bob Davis, Scofield dam master, plans to limit the reservoir's storage capacity at or below 7,628 feet in elevation (about two feet below the spillway) this summer. By fall, the water level will have dropped enough that construction can begin. Until the work is completed, the reservoir will be held at a lower than normal capacity.

Scofield Reservoir ranks among the top three family fisheries in Utah. It owes its popularity to the fact that shoreline anglers often enjoy the same catch rate as boat anglers. The only exception occurs during the heat of summer, when fish retreat from the banks into deeper, colder water.

The best time to fish Scofield is in spring, just after ice-off; or late in the fall, before the reservoir freezes. Winter offers good fishing too. A broad range of baits, lures and fly patterns work well at the reservoir. Nightcrawlers and PowerBait top the list for bait casters. Fly anglers rely on leech patterns more than any other.

For current fishing tips and tackle information for Scofield Reservoir, visit the Division of Wildlife Resources Web site at Once at the site, click on "fishing," then click on "Weekly Fishing Report." The Scofield Reservoir report is in the Southeastern Region section. For more information or answers to questions about fishing at Scofield, call the DWR's Southeastern Region office at (435) 636-0260.
Hunting Geese Into Late January Among DWR Proposals

Hunters are encouraged to attend the upcoming Regional Advisory Council Meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. July 26 at Springville Junior High School, located at 165 S. 700 E. in Springville.

Canada geese could be hunted into late January under a proposal the Division of Wildlife Resources will present at an upcoming series of public meetings. The DWR will also present cougar hunting recommendations for Utah's 2005 - 2006 season.

Those who attend the meetings can learn more about the proposals and can provide their input and suggestions. Citizens representing Utah's five Regional Advisory Councils will take the public input received to the Utah Wildlife Board when it meets Aug. 11 in Salt Lake City to approve Utah's 2005 - 2006 waterfowl, cougar and furbearer proclamations.
DWR biologists are in the process of determining the number of cougar hunting permits that will be available next season and possible changes in how cougars are hunted in Utah. One possible change involves a split season on Utah's harvest objective units. During the first few weeks of the season, the units would be open to hunters who drew a permit to hunt them. After the first few weeks, the units would open to all hunters with a harvest objective permit.

Kevin Bunnell, mammals program coordinator for the DWR, commented, "The Utah Wildlife Board has directed us to consider a split season on harvest objective units, and we're working out the details. We'll have the details worked out by the time the RAC meetings start, and I encourage people to attend the meetings to learn more and provide their input."

Utah hunters could possibly hunt geese into late January under a DWR proposal that would shut Utah's 107-day Canada goose season down for two weeks in December. The season would reopen in late December and would run until the end of January.

"We think this proposal will increase the success Canada goose hunters find next season," said Tom Aldrich, waterfowl coordinator for the DWR. Aldrich says as soon as the hunting season starts in October, many of the Canada geese in Utah head for urban areas where they spend most of the season. In January, the geese begin moving back to the marshes in preparation for the breeding season. Data the DWR has collected from four independent harvest surveys across the state shows the number of Canada geese taken by hunters starts to climb in early January.

Aldrich suggested, "If the season is extended until the end of January, we think Canada goose hunters will be in for some great hunting and will take more geese." Aldrich says the number of Canada geese in Utah has increased over the past 40 years. "There are three times as many geese in Utah now as there was 30 to 40 years ago," he said.

Many of these geese are causing problems at golf courses and other urban areas where they spend much of the fall and winter, and where they can't be taken by hunters. For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.
See Bighorn Sheep July 23

Bighorn sheep viewing awaits at a special Division of Wildlife Resources-sponsored bighorn sheep viewing event July 23 in the city of Sunnyside, which is about 20 miles east of Price. Viewing will be best early in the morning and later in the evening.

DWR biologists will be available from 7 to 9 a.m. in the morning, and 7 to 9 p.m. in the evening, to help visitors locate the Rocky Mountain bighorns and answer questions. Those interested in viewing bighorns are advised to avoid mid-morning to late afternoon hours, when sheep bed down to escape the summer heat and become close to impossible to see.

Almost every year, a band of bighorn rams summer at the far east end of the town and typically forage on local vegetation and water at Grassy Trail Creek. Their numbers usually vary between 10 and 25, although as many as 40 have been observed. When monsoonal moisture arrives in August or September, the rams leave Sunnyside and return to the high plateaus overlooking the Green River.

This band of rams is accustomed to people and vehicles and can often be observed and photographed at relatively close distances. Photographers should pack a telephoto lens to the event. Those who have binoculars or a spotting scope also are encouraged to bring them, but the DWR will also have several pairs available for public use.

Sunnyside is less than 20 miles east of Price. From Price, travel southeasterly on U. S. Highway 6 to its junction with State Road 123 (East Carbon/Sunnyside junction). On SR-123, travel east to Sunnyside, where signs will guide you to the viewing area. For those not familiar with the area, there's a gas station in East Carbon and a grocery store at Sunnyside.

For more information, contact Brent Stettler at (435) 636-0266 or

Spots still open for July Flyfishing Class

There are still spots available for a beginning fly fishing class scheduled at at Trout Bum 2 from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wed. July 13th and Fri. July 15th. The third and final session will be a river field trip on Sun. July 17 for 4 hours starting at 10 a.m..

Class size will be limited to 8 and will be limited to a minimum age of at least 14 for anyone participating. The cost of the class is $90. Rental gear for the field trip is not provided, but is available at the shop.

For more information contact Dusty at Trout Bum 2 at 435-658-1166 or toll free at (877) 878-2862. E-mail should be sent to

Weekend Star Parties await

The Salt Lake Astronomical Society will host two free public star parties this weekend on Fri. July15 and Sat. July16 from 8:30 to 11:00 p.m. Those who arrive early will be treated to views of a rather squashed planet Venus. Venus will appear not quite round because it, like the Moon, goes through phases and Venus is currently in it's "not quite full" phase.

Venus will be followed by the thin crescent Moon, always an impressive sight in astronomical telescopes, the giant planet Jupiter, complete with it's mini solar system of moons, the International Space Station and on Saturday night a very brief appearance by a satellite that's so
bright it can cast shadows.

Friday's star party is scheduled at the Harmons grocery store parking lot located at 5454 South Redwood Road in Salt Lake City. The venue for Saturday's star party will be the society's Harmons Observatory in the Stansbury Park Observatory Complex (SPOC). SPOC is
located at 15 Plaza in Stansbury Park and can be reached by taking Interstate 80 west from Salt Lake City to the Stansbury / Tooele exit (#99) and then following the signs south, first to Stansbury Park and then to the observatory. Drive time from downtown Salt Lake City is
about 35 minutes.

The SPOC star party will feature a telescope specifically designed for use by those with disabilities. Both events will be held weather permitting. Additional information can be found on the society's web site at or by phoning the observatory's information line at (435) 882-1209.

Nighttime Boating Tip provided

When operating a boat between sunset and sunrise, the operator must display the boat's navigation lights. Boaters use lights to be seen by other boaters, as well as being in compliance with navigation rules. Check light bulbs to ensure they work. As visibility reduces in darkness, boats should be operated at safe speeds to avoid collisions with another boats, hazards or fixed objects.

Red navigation lights indicate the left side of a boat and green identifies the right side. These two lights must be displayed whenever the boat is moving or adrift on the water. The white-360 degree light must be visible from all directions around the boat and must be displayed whenever the boat is anchored, moving or adrift on the water, except when tied to a dock or moored in a designated mooring area. Small, non-motorized boats, like canoes or rowboats, may carry a white light like a flashlight or lantern to be displayed in time to prevent a collision with another vessel.

The use of bright spotlights on a boat at night is permitted, when used intermittently, to locate hazards or approaching a dock. Spotlights are not to be used in a constant manner, such as headlights on a motor vehicle. Bright lights can create hazardous conditions to other boaters because they temporarily ruin night vision of other boaters.

Nature/Bird Walk Schedule for July and August

The Layton, Wild Bird Center (WBC) is offering a series of free nature/bird walks, leaving from the WBC at 8 a.m., every Saturday (unless otherwise noted). These walks are a great way to introduce children to the world of nature.

Bill Fenimore or another local expert will lead the walks, where participants will discuss the birds, mammals, flowers, butterflies and other nature interests. The WBC is located at 1860 North 1000 West, Layton (across from Barnes & Noble, exit 335 off I-15). Details at

Provided is the latest schedule-

July 16 Powder Mountain (Mountain Bluebirds)

July 23 Kayscreek

July 30 Kaysville, East Mountain Wilderness Park

August 6 Snow Basin

August 13 Beus Pond

August 20 Perception Park

August 27 North Arm Pineview