Fishing Regulations in Utah

Utah is a densely populated state that encompasses all major geographical regions, ranging from arid deserts to pine forests. Aside from being the home of numerous popular ski resorts, Utah’s temperate climate also makes it a great place to go hiking. Moreover, it is a state of contrasts, with numerous semi-arid and desert climate locations, as well as rainy regions and cold winter temperatures.

Salt Lake City, the state’s largest city, is also located near the Great Salt Lake, which has been referred to as “America’s Dead Sea” because of its proximity to the largest lake in the area.

As a matter of fact, whether you believe it or not, Utah offers plenty of lodging and fishing opportunities for avid fishermen, so you should consider visiting this state on your next fishing trip. If you have already planned a trip here and would like to learn more about the local fishing regulations, the following information will provide you with everything you need to know.


Licenses and permits

Just like any other state, Utah issues licenses and fishing permits to residents and nonresidents alike, with varying fees depending on the type of license or permit.

Utah’s fees are slightly higher when compared to other states, but this is also due to the fact that the state’s fishing opportunities are significantly reduced. It costs $34 to purchase an annual fishing license for residents and $75 to purchase one for nonresidents ages 18-64, while an annual combination license for nonresidents over the age of 18 costs $85 to purchase.

Nonresidents can also purchase a three-day fishing license for $24 or a seven-day fishing license for $40, which are both valid for the entire season. If you are only planning a short trip to Utah, we recommend that you purchase a three-day fishing permit, at least until you become familiar with the state’s fishing regulations and options.

The state of Utah does not require a fishing permit for children under the age of 12, making it extremely convenient to teach your children how to fish from a young age.

If you want to take advantage of the abundant fishing opportunities in Utah, you must keep your fishing license on you at all times. However, you can now easily obtain your fishing license on your mobile phone as well, ensuring that you will always have it with you when you are out fishing.


Fishing rules

Having any of the following fish is prohibited: bonytail, bluehead sucker, Colorado pikeminnow, Flannelmouth sucker, Gizzard shad, grass carp, humpback chub, June sucker, least chub, roundtail chub, razorback sucker, virgin chub, virgin spinedace, woundfin, and woundfin. Unless you have a permit, you must release any of these species that you catch on the hook.

You must keep your fishing equipment within 100 yards of where you are.

During the open fishing season, if you are under the age of 12 or have a valid Utah fishing license, you can only fish with two poles if you are under the age of 12. However, you are not permitted to keep more than one daily limit of fish, regardless of whether you use one pole or two poles to fish.

Except at Bear Lake, Flaming Gorge Reservoir, and Fish Lake, it is not permitted to ice fish through a hole larger than 12 inches in diameter.

There are a variety of methods for fishing carp available during the open fishing season. Some of the more popular ones are angling, archery, dip nets, cast nets, traps, seins, crossbow, underwater spearfishing and others. In addition, if you are bow-fishing for carp, you are permitted to use artificial lights.


Daily fish limits

Depending on the species of fish, you may be permitted to possess a greater or lesser number of fish in all natural waters in Utah, depending on the location. For example, channel catfish count for only 8 items per day, whereas crappies, bluegill, and green sunfish each count for 50 items. Crayfish, white bass, and striped bass are not subject to any restrictions.

You are only allowed to eat four pieces of Kokanee salmon per person per day between September and the end of November, however.


Free fishing days

In contrast to other states, Utah does not provide a free fishing weekend or week in its entirety, but rather only one day per year. In 2020, the free fishing day was held on June 10th, which was a Saturday. For the duration of this day, both residents and nonresidents are permitted to fish in all state waters without the need for a fishing permit or license.