Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Swan Hunting Permit Applications accepted until Sept. 10

The chance to apply for a swan hunting permit is almost over. You can now apply for a 2009 Utah swan hunting permit at . To get your application in the draw for permits, you must submit it no later than 11 p.m. on Sept. 10. If you need help applying, call (801) 538-4700 no later than 6 p.m. on Sept. 10.

Must complete swan course first

If you haven’t completed Utah’s one-time swan hunting orientation course, you must complete the course before you apply for a permit. The course is available at . It takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete. The course must be taken only one time, so if you’ve already completed the course, you don’t need to take it again.

Two changes

Two changes await Utah’s swan hunters this year:

- If you apply for a swan permit, but you don’t draw one, you’ll receive a preference point. Your preference point will put you at the top of the list to receive a swan permit in 2010.

Also, if you won’t be hunting swans in 2009, you can still apply for a preference point for 2010. If you’d like to apply for preference point, make sure you submit your application at no later than 11 p.m. on Sept. 10.

- For the first time, up to four swan hunters can apply together as a group. For more information, see page 12 of the 2009 – 2010 Utah Waterfowl Guidebook. A draft copy of the guidebook is available at .

2,000 permits

A total of 2,000 permits will be available for this fall’s hunt. Last year, 4,347 hunters applied for the 2,000 swan permits that were available.
For more information, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

DWR proposes fishing changes for 2010

Starting in 2010, the chance you’ll catch yellow perch in Utah could increase. And the chance to catch fish at Utah’s community fishing waters might go up too.

A statewide yellow perch limit and a lower limit at the community waters are among the ideas Division of Wildlife Resources biologists are proposing for Utah’s 2010 fishing season.

Learn more, share your ideas

All of the DWR’s fishing proposals are available at . Once you’ve read the proposals, you can share your thoughts and ideas one of two ways:

RAC meetings

Five Regional Advisory Council meetings will be held across Utah. Citizens representing the RACs will take the input received at the meetings to the Utah Wildlife Board. Board members will use the input to help them set rules for Utah’s 2010 fishing season. They’ll set those rules at their Oct. 1 meeting in Salt Lake City.

You can participate and provide your input at any of the following meetings:

Southern Region
Sept. 8
7 p.m.
Beaver High School
195 E. Center St.

Southeastern Region
Sept. 9
6:30 p.m.
John Wesley Powell Museum
1765 E. Main St.
Green River

Northeastern Region
Sept. 10
6:30 p.m.
Western Park, Room #1
302 E. 200 S.

Central Region
Sept. 15
6:30 p.m.
Central Region Conference Center
1115 N. Main St.

Northern Region
Sept. 16
6 p.m.
Brigham City Community Center
24 N. 300 W.
Brigham City


You can also provide your comments to your RAC via e-mail. E-mail addresses for your RAC members are available at .

The group each RAC member represents (sportsman, non-consumptive, etc.) is listed under each person’s e-mail address. You should direct your e-mail to the people on the RAC who represent your interest.

50-perch limit

Fishing for yellow perch in Utah is kind of like going on a roller-coaster ride -- you’ll experience plenty of ups and downs. One year, fishing will be great. Then, the next year, you’ll have a tough time finding perch at the same water you caught fish at the year before.

DWR biologists know why.

“Perch in the West have two challenges that perch in other parts of the country don’t have,” says Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR.

The first challenge is the water level in Western reservoirs. These water levels fluctuate from year to year. Because they fluctuate, many of Utah’s reservoirs can’t provide the stable vegetation base a perch population needs to remain stable.

In addition to stable water supplies, yellow perch need another thing to remain stable -- a complex fish community that provides predators in the water with fish to eat besides just the perch. Unfortunately, fish populations in the West aren’t that complex, and predators prey heavily on perch when perch populations get large.

A lack of food, cover and other species for predators to prey on creates boom-and-bust cycles. The cycle begins when the perch population is small. There’s plenty of food for the perch to eat and lots of cover to hide in. The perch population explodes, and fishing is great. Then the population crashes as the perch compete for food and cover, and other predators and bigger perch prey on the smaller perch.

After the crash, the cycle starts all over again.

To smooth these cycles out, DWR biologists are recommending that Utah does what almost all of the other states in the West have already done -- adopt a higher perch limit.

Right now, the perch limit in Utah varies by water. It ranges from a low of 10 perch at some waters to as high as 50 perch at other waters.

For 2010, the DWR is recommending a statewide limit of 50 perch.

“Having a higher limit would allow anglers to keep more perch. That would help smooth out the ups and downs perch populations go through in these cycles,” Cushing says. “Perch fishing would be much more consistent. And anglers would still catch some nice-sized fish.”

Looking at data from the perch-fishing waters in Utah illustrates what Cushing is talking about. The waters with 10-perch limits have the biggest boom-and-bust cycles, while waters with 50-perch limits, such as Pineview Reservoir, provide more consistent fishing.

Community fishing waters

DWR biologists would also like to improve fishing at Utah’s 39 community fishing waters by reducing the number of fish anglers can keep.

Currently, anglers can keep up to four fish at these waters. To improve fishing, community parks and recreation directors and individual anglers have asked the DWR to lower the limit.

“These waters receive a lot of fishing pressure,” Cushing says. “Most of the fish we stock are caught two or three days after we stock them. Then fishing usually slows down until we can stock the waters again.”

Cushing says lowering the limit would keep fish in these waters for a longer period of time. And that would improve fishing for everyone. “Each time you went out, you’d have a better chance at catching a fish because many of the fish we stocked would still be in the water,” he says.

After parks and recreation directors saw the results of an angler survey the DWR conducted at the waters, they suggested to the DWR that the daily limit at the community waters be lowered to two fish a day. The directors are also recommending that largemouth bass be protected under a catch-and-release only regulation.

“Largemouth bass don’t spawn until they’re at least eight inches long,” Cushing says. “Very few of the bass in these waters ever make it to that length because anglers catch them before they get that big.

“The community waters that have bass also have bluegill. We need the bass to keep the bluegill populations under control. If the bluegill populations get too large, the bluegill won’t reach a size that most anglers will want to catch.”

Changes at Kolob Reservoir

Some anglers who fish at Kolob Reservoir in southwestern Utah have asked the DWR to consider changing the trout limit at the reservoir.

They hope the change will bring more families and children to the reservoir to fish.

Under the current rules, anglers may fish at Kolob with artificial flies and lures only. They can keep only one trout, and that trout must be at least 18 inches long.

After a cabin owner near the reservoir circulated a petition last fall, the Wildlife Advisory Council in southwestern Utah asked the DWR to assemble an advisory committee to suggest various options.

“This committee worked really hard, and we appreciate their efforts,” says Roger Wilson, cold water sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR.

“The committee has come up with a compromise. Their goal is to maintain quality fishing at the reservoir while giving kids a better chance to catch and keep fish.”

Starting in 2010, the committee recommends that the trout limit be increased to two trout. Any trout kept would have to be less than 15 inches or over 22 inches in length. All trout between 15 and 22 inches would have to be released.

Anglers would also be required to use artificial flies or lures from early September through late May of the following year.

From late May until early September, anglers would be allowed to use bait.

Wilson says the committee is recommending the new rules on a three-year trial basis.

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

Spike Bull Elk Permits Sell Out

Permits to hunt bull elk on spike-only hunting units in Utah sold out on Aug. 28. Last year, spike-only unit permits didn’t sell out until Sept. 24.

Two options

If you want to hunt bull elk in Utah this fall, but you don’t have a permit, you still have two options:

- On the morning of Sept. 3, a total of 3,678 permits were still available to hunt with a rifle on any-bull elk units in Utah.

- Plenty of permits are available to hunt elk with a bow and arrow. In fact, the number of general archery elk permits the Division of Wildlife Resources can sell isn’t limited, so there’s never a problem getting one.

The archery elk hunt started Aug. 15. It ends in September on most of the state’s hunting units. However, on three extended archery areas in Utah, the archery hunt runs into December.

Extended archery areas are located along parts of the Wasatch Front, in parts of the Uintah Basin and in the Sanpete Valley.

2009 Big Game Guidebook

You can find more information about the extended archery areas on page 32 of the 2009 Utah Big Game Guidebook. The free guidebook is available at You can also get a copy at DWR offices and from hunting license agents across Utah.

Youth Waterfowl Hunt moved to Sept. 19

American widgeon drake at Harold Crane Waterfowl Management Area.
Photo by Phil Douglass.

Utah’s special Youth Hunting Day will be held on Sept. 19 this year. That’s two full weeks before the general waterfowl season begins on Oct. 3. It’s also a week earlier than it’s been held in the past.

“Last year, the Utah Wildlife Board moved the start of the chukar partridge hunt to the last Saturday in September. That was also the same day the youth waterfowl hunt was held,” says Tom Aldrich, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

“We want to give young hunters as many chances to hunt as possible, so we decided to move the youth hunt up one week,” he says. “That way, kids can participate in it and also participate in the start of the general chukar hunt the following Saturday.”

Who can participate?

The youth waterfowl hunt is open to hunters who will be 15 years of age or younger on Sept. 19. To qualify, you must complete the state’s Hunter Education course, have a current hunting license and Harvest Information Program (HIP) number, and be accompanied by an adult.
You can start shooting at 6:42 a.m. on Sept. 19.

A fun day

“The youth hunt is a lot of fun,” Aldrich says. “The marsh is usually filled with ducks that time of the year, and the kids get to have the marsh all to themselves. And, since adults can’t hunt that day, the young hunter you take gets all of your attention.
“The youth waterfowl hunt is a great chance to introduce a young person to waterfowl hunting and to pass your skills along to him or her.”

More information about the Youth Hunting Day is available on page 30 of the 2009 – 2010 Utah Waterfowl Guidebook. The guidebook is available at

SPOT Unveils Next Generation Satellite GPS Messenger

SPOT LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: GSAT) and a leader in personal satellite messaging and emergency communications today introduces its new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™. The new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ is 30% smaller and lighter than the original SPOT Satellite personal tracker, offers additional custom messaging modes, and uses a state-of-the-art GPS chipset and satellite communications to provide enhanced reliability and performance.

“Since market introduction, the award-winning original SPOT has initiated more than 250 rescues and sent millions of peace-of-mind and track-me messages around the world. We have listened to our customers’ suggestions and are proud to introduce today the second-generation SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger with its increased features and utility,” said Darren Bassel, director of global marketing, SPOT LLC. “Today’s announcement further demonstrates our continued commitment to expand our product line and develop integrated services like SPOT Assist roadside assistance providing advanced personal satellite communications to increase safety for our customers on a daily basis.” The new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ will include the following new features designed to enhance customer usability:

30% smaller and lighter than the original model at 5.2 ounces
New enhanced satellite antenna for improved performance in foliage or canopied environments
Advanced GPS performance chipset
GPS Acquisition light
“Message Sending” indicator light
Dedicated GPS Tracking button
New, dedicated pre-programmable Custom Message button
Protective covers over S.O.S and Help button to prevent inadvertent message transmission
Illuminated buttons
Choice of orange or silver
Included case and neoprene fastening band

The new model includes globally recognized symbols for its message buttons to accommodate use in international markets and stimulate distribution to a growing customer base in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

“The active outdoor enthusiasts such as hikers, boaters, pilots, riders, remote workers and travelers will continue to enjoy the new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger ™ for its ruggedness while its smaller compact size and weight is ideal for portable use,” continues Bassel. “The smaller size and ease-of-use will appeal to our broader consumer markets including the family on-the-go or anyone who spends time in the areas with unreliable cellular service.”Equipped with two, notification LED’s and six function buttons the new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ transmits activated messages based on varying levels of need:

OK/Check in lets contacts know where you are and that you’re okay
Track Progress sends and saves your location and allows contacts to track your progress in real-time using Google Maps™
Help notifies your contacts or SPOT Assist professional services of your GPS location and need for assistance
SOS/9-1-1 Alert notifies an emergency rescue coordination center of your GPS location
Custom Message button sends a pre-programmed message to your personal contacts

Since market introduction, the award-winning SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ has initiated more than 250 rescues and sent over 10 million peace-of-mind and track-me messages around the world. As of March 31, 2009 the Company had received orders to ship more than 120,000 units and it currently has a growing global network of more than 8,000 points of distribution.

The new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger(TM) is scheduled to be available at select retailers this fall. To find a SPOT retailer in the United States please visit the SPOT dealer locator at

Register now for the Antelope Island Bison Roundup Range Ride

Syracuse – Antelope Island State Park staff hosts the 23rd Annual Bison Roundup and Range Ride Saturday, October 31 and Sunday, November 1. Anyone interested in participating in the Range Ride on horseback and assisting with the Roundup must register online at by Friday, October 23.

Range ride participants herd the Antelope Island bison herd to designated areas on Saturday and Sunday. Please be aware that in past years, bison have been moved to holding facilities on the first day of the Range Ride. Registration fees are $25 per person and include a souvenir bandana and entertainment. For more information, visit or call (801) 773-2941.

Carbon Monoxide Dangers on Boats can Kill

Salt Lake – Utah State Park Boating Rangers warn all boaters to be aware of carbon monoxide dangers while boating on Utah’s waters. Carbon monoxide is a potentially deadly gas produced anytime a carbon-based fuel, such as gasoline, propane, charcoal or oil, burns. Sources of carbon monoxide on boats include gasoline engines, generators, cooking ranges, space heaters and water heaters.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas, which mixes evenly with the air. Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream through the lungs and displaces the oxygen your body needs. Do not confuse carbon monoxide poisoning with seasickness, intoxication, heat exhaustion or marine stressors.

“If someone complains of irritated eyes, headache, nausea, weakness or dizziness, move the person to fresh air quickly and seek immediate medical attention,” stated Assistant Boating Program Manager Chris Haller.

Boat exhaust leaks are the leading cause of death by carbon monoxide. Cold and poorly tuned engines produce more carbon monoxide than warm, properly tuned engines. These leaks can migrate throughout the boat and into enclosed areas. Regular maintenance and proper boat operation can reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Other areas of concern include being on or swimming near the rear decks or swim platforms of boats with the generator or engines running. It is dangerous and illegal to teak surf, platform drag, or be towed within 20 feet of the rear of a boat while in a non-standing position. Research indicates that high concentrations of carbon monoxide can be found within 10 feet immediately behind a boat.

For more safe boating tips visit

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Heber – Ross Creek Trailhead at Jordanelle State Park, located off State Road 248 between Park City and Kamas, is open. Ross Creek Trailhead provides parking, trash receptacles, a vault restroom, hitching posts and non-motorized day-use access to Jordanelle Reservoir and the Perimeter Trail. Park access fees are $7 per vehicle and Utah State Parks Annual Passes are accepted.

Utah State Parks continues work on the Perimeter Trail by marking sections of the trail that were washed away and working with the Bureau of Reclamation for approval of rerouting, then building and repairing sections of the trail system. Volunteers are needed to donate their time and resources for trail projects, such as removing vegetation. For additional information, please call (435) 649-9540.

Youth Off-Highway Vehicle and Personal Watercraft Classes Now Available

Salt Lake City – In an effort to meet the growing demands for off-highway vehicle (OHV) and personal watercraft (PWC) youth education courses, Utah State Parks has made classes available online at

Cost for the OHV class is $30 and covers ATVs, off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and side-by-side ATVs. The cost of the PWC course, which covers JetSki and SeaDoo-type boats is $34.95, which includes a $5 certification fee. Upon successful completion of the course, students print a temporary certificate valid for 60 days and later receive a permanent certificate by mail.

Students are strongly encouraged to thoroughly study all materials prior to taking the test. Students who do not pass the course, must pay a second registration fee and retake the test.

“Safety is our number one concern. We want to reduce the number of accidents by educating youth to operate ATVs and PWCs safely and emphasize the importance of wearing safety equipment, and following laws and rules,” stated OHV/PWC Education Coordinator Ann Evans. “Online courses provide easier access to education courses and allow students to learn at their own pace.”

Utah law requires youth eight to 16 to complete the Utah State Parks Know Before You Go! OHV Education Course before operating a machine on public lands, roads or trails. It is illegal for any child under age eight to operate an OHV on public land.

Utah youth, 12 to 17 years of age, are required to complete and pass the Utah PWC Education Course in order to operate PWC (Jet Ski, Wave Runner, Sea-Doo) without an adult on board. Children who are younger than 12, may not operate a PWC without a responsible adult onboard.

Since the creation of the education courses, approximately 22,000 students have completed the PWC course and over 60,000 students have taken the OHV course.

For more information, visit, call (800) OHV-RIDE or (800) RIDE PWC.