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Western U.S. Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Nevada. Post fishing reports, ask for information, discuss this area...

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  • 8 Post By stenacron
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Old 08-04-2013, 11:40 PM
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Default Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

So my daughter and I thought it would be cool to hike in to an alpine lake and see if we could knock Arctic Grayling off of the bucket list. We chose the Crystal Lake trailhead in the High Uintas Range as a few lakes close enough for a day hike hold these beautiful fish.

Mount Watson greets hikers at the trailhead.
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My daughter checks out one of the many alpine meadows and lakes that we passed today on our journey.
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Our target comes into view for the first time 2.5 miles in - Lake Marjorie.
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Arctic Grayling... CHECK!
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My daughter hauling a cast in the SW corner.
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Difficult to capture the beauty of these fish in still images.
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Lake Marjorie with Haystack Mountain in the background.
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Maybe next summer I can knock Golden Trout off the list?
imxer, mcnerney, cpiercem and 5 others like this.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:37 AM
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Default Re: Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

Awesome! Love the high Uintas. Are you wanting goldens in the Uintas or just in general?
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:57 AM
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Default Re: Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

Joe: Awesome photos! I know what you mean about the difficulty in capturing the true beauty of Arctic Grayling with a camera. We have Grayling over here also, reminds me I need to make an effort to check those off my list, haven't landed a Grayling since leaving Alaska.
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:38 PM
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Default Re: Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by utah kelly View Post

Awesome! Love the high Uintas. Are you wanting goldens in the Uintas or just in general?
Golden Trout from the Uinta's would be very special, but a Golden from just about anywhere would be the piscatorial version of the Holy Grail for me.

At the outdoor show this past spring the DNR officer present and handing out booklets for the Uintas fisheries said that Golden Trout fry are back in the mix in an exchange with Wyoming. He wouldn't say which lakes they were planning on planting them in though.


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We have Grayling over here also, reminds me I need to make an effort to check those off my list, haven't landed a Grayling since leaving Alaska.
Are they in the Wind River Range up there Larry?
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Old 08-05-2013, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

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Originally Posted by stenacron View Post
Golden Trout from the Uinta's would be very special, but a Golden from just about anywhere would be the piscatorial version of the Holy Grail for me.

At the outdoor show this past spring the DNR officer present and handing out booklets for the Uintas fisheries said that Golden Trout fry are back in the mix in an exchange with Wyoming. He wouldn't say which lakes they were planning on planting them in though.




Are they in the Wind River Range up there Larry?
Joe: Oh yes, Goldens are definitely in the Winds! I'm not sure about this but I did hear that the Daniel Fish Hatchery is raising Goldens to distribute, now I'm wondering if Utah is getting Goldens from the Daniel hatchery. I've been wanting to stop in there for a tour, now I have an even better reason to go.

Larry
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:19 PM
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Default Re: Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

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Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post

Joe: Oh yes, Goldens are definitely in the Winds! I'm not sure about this but I did hear that the Daniel Fish Hatchery is raising Goldens to distribute, now I'm wondering if Utah is getting Goldens from the Daniel hatchery. I've been wanting to stop in there for a tour, now I have an even better reason to go.

Larry
I was referring to the Grayling... my posts kind of stacked up there. But always good to know that the Goldens are alive and well in the Winds.

Good question about the Daniel hatchery. I overheard the DNR officer saying that California is no longer interested in dealing their prized Golden Trout out of state... but Utah has been actively raising/reintroducing native strains of Cutthroat Throat to their historical drainage's and I believe it was this particular strain (Bonneville's?) that they would be swapping with Wyoming for Goldens.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

The Uintahs were my home waters all the years of my youth. Many a scout summer camp in their vast expanses. Spirit Lake and area used to hold a good population of grayling. This is where I cut my teeth on a fly rod and was hooked forever. Brownie Lake outlet, bamboo rod, level line, Perrine wind up automatic and either a Royal Coachman, Gray Hackle Yellow or Renegade was all it took to fool any fish. Good memories.

Kelly.
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Old 08-05-2013, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by stenacron View Post
I was referring to the Grayling... my posts kind of stacked up there. But always good to know that the Goldens are alive and well in the Winds.

Good question about the Daniel hatchery. I overheard the DNR officer saying that California is no longer interested in dealing their prized Golden Trout out of state... but Utah has been actively raising/reintroducing native strains of Cutthroat Throat to their historical drainage's and I believe it was this particular strain (Bonneville's?) that they would be swapping with Wyoming for Goldens.
Joe: Very interesting, I will try to get a tour of the Daniel hatchery to see if what I heard was true or not.

Larry
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Seeking Grayling, High Uintas, UT - 08/04/2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnerney View Post

Joe: Very interesting, I will try to get a tour of the Daniel hatchery to see if what I heard was true or not.

Larry
Larry,

Found the confirmation that I was looking for... from the Salt Lake Tribune (10 July 2013);

Golden trout release brings more diversity to Uintas

State wildlife officials recently released 4,800 golden trout in Echo Lake in the Uinta Mountains to bolster a small population of the rare — at least in Utah — fish.

Golden trout are not native to Utah — they come from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California — but have been introduced in a few Uinta Mountains lakes over the years to provide angling diversity in the popular high-elevation lakes.

Robert Black arrived at Echo shortly after the 6- to 10-inch fish were released. He had done his homework and was hoping to land a golden trout and claim bragging rights among his fishing buddies.

"I came here specifically for the golden trout," said Black, of South Weber. "I looked up some stocking reports from a long time ago and saw they were here. I’m in a contest with some guys at work to see how many species in Utah we can get this year, and the golden trout is worth a lot of points."

Black was having a hard time getting the newcomers to take the flies he was presenting, as the fish were likely a little rattled after hitching a ride to Echo Lake from the hatchery truck via oxygen-fed coolers strapped to off-highway vehicles.

Or the fish, having come from the state hatchery in Midway, may have been waiting for a different kind of food.

"Probably about 3 p.m. they will start looking around for the pellets and wondering why there aren’t any," said one Utah Division of Wildlife Resources biologist. "That was feeding time at the hatchery."

Black and his four children decided to head to the other end of the lake in search of golden trout that actually knew what wild food looks like.

A small number of golden trout have been hanging on in Echo Lake since the last release of the fish in 1977.

"The state has been managing golden trout to some degree since the 1920s. Many populations did well into the 1950s until brook trout were stocked or invaded, and at that time we lost many of our populations," said Paul Thompson, a native aquatic biologist with the DWR. "More lakes were stocked in the 1960s and 1970s, but pretty much met the same fate."

Golden trout had held on at Echo and some lakes in the Atwood Creek drainage of the Uintas.

"We get reports every year of anglers catching a few golden trout," Thompson said. "They have become pretty popular and when eggs became available from Wyoming, we decided to take some and stock the lakes again."

The first batch of 13,000 goldens were stocked at about 2 inches long in the summer of 2012 at three lakes in the Atwood Creek drainage. The goal was for 3,000 to be released this summer at Echo. Things went better than expected at Midway Hatchery over the past year and 4,800 fish, averaging 6 to 8 inches, were released after their rough ride on the Murdock Basin Road.

Utah fisheries officials are working hard to restore native cutthroat trout in home ranges across the state. Part of that effort means avoiding placing non-native fish in competition with the natives. Portions of the Uinta Mountains did not have native trout when pioneers arrived. Biologists eventually introduced brook and rainbow trout in the productive waters.

"We manage the Uintas for a variety of species," Thompson said. "We do have some drainages specifically designated for native cutthroat trout. We also have tiger trout [a hybrid between a brook and a brown trout], brook trout, rainbow trout and grayling to provide some diversity."

People can help the golden trout do well at Echo and in the Atwood Creek drainage by keeping brook trout and putting goldens back in the water.

Black’s family had not caught any goldens by the time biologists left Echo, but he was looking forward to many return trips for a chance to catch the species.

"I used to live in Idaho, and there are a couple of really elusive lakes in the Sawtooth Mountains that have goldens and I caught them there," he said. "They are really aggressive and fun to catch when you can find them."

Link to article & video: Golden trout release brings more diversity to Uintas (with video) | The Salt Lake Tribune
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