Fishing Forum
Skip to Content


Fishing Forum > Utah Fishing Forum : Utah Fishing General >

Eating Utah Lake fish

fishing FLASY FISH LURES fishing
Report Post | Register to Reply
Eating Utah Lake fish
I love eating catfish, and walleye ain't half bad either. I was just wondering how much you all eat from Utah Lake. My brother was in charge of the whole Geneva clean-up and he doesn't seem too keen on eating any. What's your take on the consumption advisory?



"Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [catchinon] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
Although it tends to muddy up quickly when windy, Utah Lake is actually "cleaner" than many of our more "pristine" lakes. No mercury, arsenic or other toxic remnants of the mining industry.



There are residual PCBs in Utah Lake. But serious concentrations are found only in larger catfish and carp. All other species are shorter lived and less likely to accumulate PCBs. Smaller cats (under 24 inches) are better eating and have safe levels of the PCBs. Another consideration is that the majority of the PCBs are found in the offal (guts) and oil tissue of catfish. Simply gutting them removes a lot. And high heat cooking like grilling helps remove more. And frying in oil helps leach out even more.


Have you read a recent edition of the Utah Lake fish consumption reports?

Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [TubeDude] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
I just read the advisories online and they are somewhat ambiguous to me, probably due to the date involved which is often not included in documents. The advisory was 1 4 oz. fillet per month. I called the Springville DWR and they found someplace where it advised 1 8 oz. fillet per month for channel catfish and carp. I can easily eat that much per meal and would want to eat catfish more than once a month. Some see these advisories as just CYA for "the government" and go ahead and eat all they want. What do you think?



"Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [catchinon] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
I have been eating Walleyes, white bass, and catfish out of UL my whole life, 50 + years dont think I have ever gave it a second thought.
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [Bamit] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
I have been eating fish out of Utah Lake for 18 years and have yet to lose or grow any appendages. My Doc says Im healthy considering the shape that Im in. I eat catfish whenever I want. Its probability the Hushpuppies and coleslaw that will take me out.
Ice_sled
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [catchinon] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
As Pat mentioned the largest catfish, carp and walleye may have an elevated PCB level yet it is still lower than you may find in store bought salmon. I catch and eat fish from utah lake and have been for over 60 years. Your call of course but I dont worry.
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [catchinon] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
I have searched high and low for PCB studies...fish related...that provide solid lab tested information on just what levels of that substance are deadly...and why and how. Can't find it.


As others have pointed out, there are innumerable folks in Utah who have been regularly consuming multiple species from Utah Lake...for decades...and have never developed any conditions attributable to PCBs...or any other potential nasty stuff in Utah Lake. I'm one of them. In my advanced years my annual wellness checkups show nothing in my blood or body which might indicate consumption of harmful substances over a prolonged period. Never mind the third eye in the forehead and that pesky glow in the dark thing that keeps me awake at night.


I am glad our otherwise careless watchdogs are nice enough to warn us that there MIGHT be consequences from excessive consumption of large old catfish and carp. Personally, I would like to see more attention paid to protecting the public from intake of alcohol, tobacco and harmful pharmaceuticals. No question on those things. They can and do kill people. But PCBs do not have legions of highly paid lobbyists protecting them from negative news.

Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [TubeDude] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
Good info, Pat. I remember my brother telling me a lot about the PCBs, but don't recall any specifics. His interest would be in general environmental cleanup so he may not have any real insight into fish consumption. I'll talk to him again, but it sounds like the only thing holding me back from eating all the fish I want is how many I can catch and how many I want to fillet. Well, then there's how much fishy smell my wife can stand! To that end, can anyone tell me where the cleaning station is at Lincoln Beach? If I bring home nothing but clean fillets she'll be a much happier woman. And you know what they say: Happy wife, happy life.



"Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [catchinon] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
"To that end, can anyone tell me where the cleaning station is at Lincoln Beach?"

Sadly, you are a few years too late to be able to use the fish cleaning station at Lincoln Beach. I have attached an old map...showing the location, at the far northwest corner of the parking lot. I have also attached pictures showing the facility, the often jammed up and unusable grinder and the eventual removal of the cleaning station when Utah County Parks got tired of repairing the vandalism.


It got so that the disposal was jammed with fish parts, beer bottles and rocks more than it was open and operable. PEOPLE!


The only fish cleaning station I am aware of around Utah Lake is the one at the Saratoga Springs Pelican Bay Marina. Top notch.
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [TubeDude] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
Thanks for that info. What I said about all the outdated or undated stuff on the internet. And yeah, the masses are asses. If I weren't such a good-natured feller I could became a bitter old misanthrope.



"Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [catchinon] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
I believe in hating all people equally. And most of them deserve it...except you and me. Still not sure about you.

Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [TubeDude] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot. - Mark Twain, What Is Man?

Also, see my post on Fish cleanup



"Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx
(This post was edited by catchinon on May 18, 2018, 11:45 AM)
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [TubeDude] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
Super images; you're the best.

Thought I would ask you a question about cooking catfish since you are the unqualified, I mean unquestioned expert on that. I filleted a couple of bullheads (didn't get much). The fillets are much redder than the pure white of the channel. Is that how they should be? How will they taste? What's the simplest good way to cook them? I don't think I'll keep any more.



"Outside of a dog a book is man's best friend. Inside a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx
Report Post | Register to Reply
Re: [catchinon] Eating Utah Lake fish In reply to
catchinon wrote:
Super images; you're the best.

Thought I would ask you a question about cooking catfish since you are the unqualified, I mean unquestioned expert on that. I filleted a couple of bullheads (didn't get much). The fillets are much redder than the pure white of the channel. Is that how they should be? How will they taste? What's the simplest good way to cook them? I don't think I'll keep any more.
Bullheads (aka "mudders"...or mud cats) are much maligned and not highly esteemed. True, they can be pesky...often destroying even large baits being soaked for channel cats. But if you catch and keep a few you have the makin's of a good meal. I know more than a few experienced tanglers who would rather eat bullheads than most other species.


True, you don't get a large reward (fillet) when you take a knife to a bullhead. But with a bit of skill and careful cutting you can get some dandy small tidbits for the pan. I have eaten hundreds of bullheads from Utah Lake. With the exception of some from the "olden days" (Geneva Steel operation) all the bullies I have eaten have been firm, sweet and incredibly edible.


I am attaching a couple of writeups...one on cooking channel cats and the other on bullheads. Hope it helps. Don't keep bullheads if you have something else you prefer. But don't throw them back just because they are smaller or you don't like their looks. They eat better than they look.