If you’d like to try your hand at catching some fish, but you’re not sure where to go, you can try your luck at one of the lakes in the La Sal Mountains stocked with fish.
The state’s Division of Wildlife Resources recently stocked several lakes with different species of fish.
“People can fish multiple styles — in small boats, using lures, or bait — there are different techniques and tactics for different species,” said Calvin Black, assistant aquatics program manager for the Southeast Region of the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Nearby fishing lakes in the La Sal Mountains are within 20 miles of downtown Moab. Lakes include Medicine Lake, Warner Lake, Oowah Lake, Hidden Lake, Don’s Lake, Blue Lake, Dark Canyon Lake and Ken’s Lake.
“Ken’s Lake was recently stocked, and the fishing has been good according to an angler report,” Black said. “There’s rainbow and brown trout, catfish, bluegills, largemouth bass.”
Ken’s Lake is approximately 10 miles from downtown Moab. To get there, go south on U.S. Highway 191 for 6.8 miles, then east on Old Airport Road for about a half-mile to Spanish Valley Drive. Turn right on Spanish Valley Drive and continue approximately three miles to the Ken’s Lake turnoff.
But, added Black, “With the warmer temperatures, I recommend going to higher elevation. There are several lakes in the La Sal Mountains that have been stocked with rainbow and brook trout.”
Warner and Oowah lakes both provide easy access by car, and each have nice campground facilities. A little further away on the La Sal Mountains’ eastern and northern sides are Don’s and Hidden lakes.
“The lakes are within a couple of miles of each other, and it’s very beautiful,” Black said.
While children younger than 12 can fish for free anytime, there are fishing fees that apply for everyone else. A license for kids 12 and 13 is $5; for anglers ages 14-17, the fee is $16; for fishers 18-64 the cost is $34; and for people over 65 the license drops to $25.
Sports Fish Coordinator Randy Oplinger, of the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources in Salt Lake City, also recommended Rattlesnake Ranch Pond, as another waterhole that’s been stocked with rainbow trout. For more experienced anglers, Oplinger recommends fishing the Mill Creek area between Ken’s and Oowah lakes.
“We do a lot of stocking (before the start of the fishing season),” Oplinger said. “It’s a good opportunity to get out and catch fish. It’s a good family activity.”
For children, and others new to fishing, Oplinger recommends simply using worm bait to catch fish, for
simplicity: cast your reel and wait for bubbles, or give a tug on the line.
“It’s a good method — it’s simple,” Oplinger said.
Experienced anglers might prefer to use lures, or do fly fishing, which requires a bit more skill.
With bait such as worms, fish are drawn by the smell, he said. Lures, on the other hand, are meant to mimic another fish to attract other fish-eating species. With lures, anglers must move all the time — to simulate the movement of fish in the water.
Anglers are required to abide by regulations such as limitations on how many fish you can keep. Numbers allowed depend on the species; for example, the state-wide limit for trout is four a day.
Fishing rules can be found in the 2018 Utah Fishing Guidebook, which is available at wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.
La Sals and Ken’s Lake stocked for anglers
Where: Eight regional lakes within 20 miles of downtown Moab
Information: For details on each lake, including directions, visit discovermoab.com/fishing