Rainbow trout restocked in Bear Lake

GARDEN CITY, Utah (AP) — The Division of Wildlife Resources has restocked rainbow trout in Bear Lake for the first time in about 25 years.Wildlife officials released about 5,000 of the fish into the lake last week near the Bear Lake State Park Marina. They hope to create fishing opportunities for people who plan to fish from the shore this summer.It’s hard to catch fish from the shore at Bear Lake during summers because the lake’s native cutthroat trout population moves to deeper waters as it warms up, said DWR fisheries biologist Scott Tolentino.But he said rainbow trout will stay close to shore.”It’s a good spot for the public to come out here and fish,” Tolentino said. “We were lucky to get the fish this year.”Wildlife officials had stopped stocking rainbow trout, which are nonnative to Utah, in the 1980s because they were concerned that the fish were crossbreeding with Bear Lake Bonneville cutthroat trout, Tolentino said. The Bonneville cutthroat are a subspecies that’s unique to the lake.But hatchery scientists have learned how to hatch and raise sterile rainbow trout. The trout stocked in Bear Lake this year cannot reproduce, Tolentino said.Three tanks full of fish were transported May 24 in a tanker truck from a hatchery in Mantua and were deposited in the lake via a long white tube.DWR plans to release another 5,000 on June 30.”These fish are put here to catch and keep,” Tolentino said.

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