Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ghost Fish in Steinaker?

Vernal -- Anglers are raising their eyebrows at Steinaker Reservoir. “What is this fish I just caught?” many of them are asking. “It looks like a ghost. Is it radioactive?!”

No, the fish isn’t radioactive. And it’s not a ghost, either. It’s just a strain of white rainbow trout the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has developed and raised to give anglers an unusual and unique fishing experience.

“We’ve stocked white rainbow trout for years in the Uinta Mountain lakes along the Mirror Lake Highway,” says Roger Schneidervin, UDWR regional aquatics manager. “Anglers and wildlife watchers really like the fish. The fish are easy to see. And they’re quite unusual.”

After Schneidervin learned that one of the DWR’s hatcheries had some extra white rainbows, he asked the hatchery workers if they would put them into Steinaker and the Kids Canal in northeastern Utah this fall.

“They stocked a few into the canal and roughly 15,000 into Steinaker a couple of weeks ago,” Schneidervin says. “It’s been fun talking with the anglers who have caught them. Some are familiar with the fish. Others have asked if the fish are radioactive!”

If you catch a fish that’s white at either water, don’t panic. It’s not a ghost, and it’s not radioactive. It’s just an unusual genetic variation that’s sometimes found in rainbow trout. DWR hatchery managers have managed to isolate some of the fish. Now the fish are being bred and raised in Utah’s fish hatcheries.

For more information, call the DWR’s Northeastern Region office at (435) 781-9453.

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