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You need to see what's happened below Piute Res...
My family and I were down south today. I wasn't fishing, just went along for the ride.

We went below Piute, because it's usually a decent place to fish and look at wildlife. What I saw sickened me.

All flows were cut off from the spill way. NO water running down the Sevier river. I took pictures from the spill way. It was horrible! Thousands of dead fish littered the banks. About 1/3 were Rainbow trout(some I saw were 5 - 6#'s), 1/4 were Smallmouth Bass(including a lot of spawners), and the rest were various minnows and suckers. All belly up. There were still a few fish surviving in the remaining trickle of water. One was an honest 10# brown, but he went down in the water before we could net him and get him to oxygenated water.

It was like that all the way down the river. Fish lined the banks dead. Made me sick. Fortunately there's still a little water running down Marysvale canyon. For now.

What would a guy need to do to get at least a little water running down the river? 5 CFS would work. Not like it's that much water, anyway. Is it the Sevier River Water Users Association? If it is, they've ruined the entire fishery. Here's some pictures.

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
Thats got to be one of the saddest sites I have ever seen.

AFDan52

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
Man that is horribleMad You'd think someone would pull their heads out and let a little water down the river!

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
Man that a sad site to see.Unsure

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
Talk about waste!! Thanks for posting the pics, such an eye-opener.
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Some are haunted by the fish that got away. Others quietly plot their revenge.

-Anonymous
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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
That is truely sad, the lake level was really quite low last i knew, i guess they are trying to fill the lakes upstream first. Its to bad that the owners of the water focus more on that then letting a little bit extra go down stream




DO NOT CLICK

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
That sucks man!!
Tommy
><)))'< ><>--------
><)))'<
(This post was edited by 2morecasts on Sep 24, 2006, 7:56 PM)

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
Man that sucks! What a total waste of fish.



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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
It's not that big of a deal. This happens every year in Sept when the irrigation water is shut off. The gates on Piute are closed shut. The majority of the lost fish are rough fish (chubs, suckers, carp). Sure, a few trout are also lost, but not enough to impact the trout fishery. The Sevier River below Piute isn't much of a trout fishery until you get closer to Marysvale, where the water comes back up out of the ground, and other steady streams enter the river.

Did you happen to drive through Marysvale Canyon and notice all the fishermen? It was so busy on Saturday, that it was hardly worth fishing.

The pictures paint an ugly picture, bin in all reality, the situation isn't as bad as one might think.



I couldn't help it. It just popped in there.
Dr. Raymond Stantz


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Re: [PBH] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
It's not as though the lake level is all that low. 37% isn't exactly full, but it's not bad, either. I've seen the lake when it was empty, and it's not even close to that.

http://www.sevierriver.org/reservoirs/teacup.php3

It's kinda funny, I showed this to my dad. He's been fishing down there for quite a while, and usually goes down in September or October for a couple trips. About the last 10 years, actually. And he has never seen fish dead and piled up like that. Seeing as how we can go down there and catch a bunch of Rainbows and Browns, too, I can't see how you wouldn't think it's a trout fishery. Even if it's just washout from Piute there are still large numbers of trout in large sizes; Exactly what I'd call a trout fishery.

We didn't happen to just drive through; my family were fishing. You didn't happen to notice the group of anglers spin fishing out of a 2005 F150, did you? That was us. I saw in one hole in Marysvale canyon easilly 200 fish, with a bunch of big brown mixed in with the suckers and other assorted bait fish. And already fish were starting to die. BTW, it was worth fishing. My dad nailed yet another 5 LB Brown, and 30 fish for the day.

The picture IS as bad as it seems. Tell me that spawning sized Small mouth bass are not a loss. If they could have stayed in there, they would have eaten the suckers and minnows, and all the other rough fish. I know what the diet is on large brown and rainbow trout, too. They turn picevacious(screwed that spelling) around 18", and the majority of them were above that size. Look at all the dead fish. It's senseless.

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Re: [PBH] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
i was thinking the same thing



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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
I've taken the liberty to highlight a couple of the pictures that we took. Clearly shown in one picture are Smallmouths and Rainbows. In the other, Rainbows. Look at the size; Do the math. How long does it take to grow 5+# rainbows and 3# Smallmouths? These are just little sections of the amount of death around the river.

The news seems to disagree, also. We've been on the phone with KSL. It'll be on at 10 tonight. The DWR is upset over it, too. Very upset. They can not do anything about the situation because of private water use(for now). Seems that SRWUA washed out the spillway hole today to get rid of the evidence...
image/jpeg Highlights.JPG (776 KB)
image/jpeg Highlight2.JPG (1.08 MB)

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
CoolMan, some of those trout were whoppers! That's really sad to see all of those fish go, even though I never make it down that way, it's sad to see any good fishery being wasted like that...


Skunk happens when you fish with Mike!

BRING ON THE ICE, BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!


walleye





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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
In Reply To:


We didn't happen to just drive through; my family were fishing. You didn't happen to notice the group of anglers spin fishing out of a 2005 F150, did you? That was us. I saw in one hole in Marysvale canyon easilly 200 fish, with a bunch of big brown mixed in with the suckers and other assorted bait fish. And already fish were starting to die.

Yes, I did notice you and your family...in fact, one member of your group actually cast a spinner right over my fly line and didn't even know it. You guys jumped from spot to spot and right on top of me several times...it was a bit irritating. I was driving a white dodge that said "Ram Spirit" on the window.

I live in Monroe and fish that section of river a lot through the winter...I think you are worried about something that is not that big of a deal. Also, I never noticed any dieing fish in the canyon. You must remember that the river gets pretty good water returns below Piute Reservoir...the best trout section of the Lower Sevier is in Marysvale Canyon...I doubt seriously that this section of river will be lost. I am going to fish it again this week.
The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
W&B, I sent you a PM to clear things up. And I'd just like to post this here, too. I'll admit that my little brother did cast over him once before he saw him. But then, he yelled 3 or 4 times, "Hey sir, sorry about that." And W&B didn't say one word to him. Far from it, he turned away. We drove up river and never saw him again. How we were stepping on him all day I don't know; We fished Otter Creek after about 1.

This is the last I'm going to rant on this subject. It shouldn't matter what species of fish it is that died. Just keep this in mind, all of you who are out there all warm and cozy tonight.

Two weeks ago all those fish were living, breathing, thriving individuals. Every last sucker, minnow, trout and bass were all sitting in that pool living out their lives. I know trout don't grow to 5#s in a year; I know bass don't grow to 3#s in a year. This was all of these fishes home, and it had been for quite some time.

And because one person or a group of people were too greedy to put a little water down the spillway to allow them all to live, they are all dead. Pretty well every last one of them. They all died by suffocation in their own homes.

If this were the Provo or Weber or Green you'd have outraged anglers from through out the state talking about it. And last I heard all of them have a lot of the same species I documented in the Sevier. But why isn't it a worry? Because it IS the Sevier river. It shouldn't matter where it is; It should be what happened, and why.

This shouldn't happen because of any person in the state of Utah, besides the DWR. If the DWR saw fit to kill the river, so be it. It's their job to make decisions like that. But it wasn't them. And far from it, they don't agree with the decision to cut off water at all. They'd rather see those fish living.

These were fish that you or I could have gone out and enjoyed. Given time, and the habitate present, along with all the food, the Smallmouth bass would have taken over, and made one heck of a fishery. I would go as far as saying Jordanelle and then some. Instead, the SRWUA decided they all should die a slow and grisley death. And it's just not right, and I will never agree with it. SRWUA's made a life long enemy out of me and my family at the very least. And I urge you all to speak up against them, too.

Now I'll step off of my soap box. I've got bigger things to think about like the Muzzleloader hunt next Wedensday. Mods, if you think I've gone over-board here, feel free to delete/edit as needed.
Thanks for everyone who's taken the time and replied their feelings on the subject. Jerry

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
CoolFor what it's worth, most of us are shocked and saddened by the definite loss of many nice fish. It is never a GOOD thing to have such massive dieoffs.

I have sent a link to this thread to Drew Cushing (DWR) locally and he has forwarded it to Mike Ottenbacher, the fish manager in the southern region. They will at least be aware of the problem even if they are unable to do anything about it.

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
In Reply To:
And I'd just like to post this here, too. I'll admit that my little brother did cast over him once before he saw him. But then, he yelled 3 or 4 times, "Hey sir, sorry about that." And W&B didn't say one word to him. Far from it, he turned away. We drove up river and never saw him again. How we were stepping on him all day I don't know; We fished Otter Creek after about 1.

Well, if your brother said anything, I never heard it. I stayed finished fishing the spot i was on and left...when I left and went upstream, I could still see someone standing near the spot i was on and I could hear other people talking and busting through the brush. But, again, no one yelled that I could hear. I was not annoyed that his happened...I understood that your brother did not know that i was there. No big deal.

However, unless I am mistaking your group for a different group, you jumped from big hole to big hole and right in front of me on two more occasions. I may have your family confused with a different group, but I find it to be very poor etiquette for someone to leap frog another fisherman on a relatively uncrowded river. If it was not your group, I apologize.

It is never good to see lots of dead trout, I agree. But, I think you are definitely exaggerating the effects this is having downstream. Unless the fish died from something other than low flows upstream (like poison from irrigators--which is possible and has happened at times in this area), I don't think the fish in Marysvale Canyon are threatened. Between Saturday and Sunday, I fished the entire stretch of river from the sharp curve at the mouth of the canyon and private property to Big Rock and never saw loads of dead or belly up fish...in fact, I don't recall seeing a single dead fish. Also, many good streams with much lower flows than the Sevier and its 20cfs hold large trout through winter months despite freezing over...true, some fish may die, but that holds true in any stream during the winter. You mention the smallmouth bass...if those fish could take over the river, it would have already happened. Smallmouth have been stocked in Piute numerous times over the years and have never taken the river over...again, I think you are exaggerating the effect of this die off.
The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
(This post was edited by wormandbobber on Sep 26, 2006, 7:01 AM)

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
In Reply To:
... Given time, and the habitate present... and made one heck of a fishery.

This is absolutely correct. Most likely, NOT for smallmouth, but definately for trout. If there was some minimum flow coming from Piute year round. However, with the current status of the SRWU, it isn't happening. How you go about changing that, I don't know, but this media attention is a good start.

Irrigation users have presented problems to fisheries for years in Utah. This isn't a new situation. If you think this problem is bad, what did you think of the 3 years in a row that Minersville was drained dry? What about that past few years when Otter Creek and Piute were drained dry? How many fish died from those situations, with NO attention at all? These drainages killed thousands upon thousands of fish, instead of just a few hundred.

I'm on your side. It's not a good site to see. I just don't get why the outrage over this, while not a word is said about other areas. If you want to throw a fit, why no concern about Koosharem in it's current state?



I couldn't help it. It just popped in there.
Dr. Raymond Stantz


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Re: [PBH] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
In Reply To:
I'm on your side. It's not a good site to see. I just don't get why the outrage over this, while not a word is said about other areas. If you want to throw a fit, why no concern about Koosharem in it's current state?
Little harsh on a guy, aren't you? Can't you give a little credit for trying to make a difference? Same old stuff...

(This post was edited by BearLakeMack on Sep 26, 2006, 7:43 AM)

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Re: [wormandbobber] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
Uh, from what I can tell on that river, pretty well every group I saw were jumping from spot to spot. It's what I've seen most of them do on all of my trips there. We parked at 3 more spots, fished for a while, and left for Otter Creek. We weren't there all day. Like PBH said, it was a busy day on that river.

I saw what I saw, my mom saw it. If you didn't, well, you're missing out on a very sad sight. Fish were dying. White bellies in a school of black sorta stands out. And maybe they were from improper release on fish. I don't know. All I know is that yeah, I did see dead fish in Marysvale Canyon, particularly in one stretch.

The Smallmouth didn't get a chance. Just look at the habitat. Honestly, it reminds me of the Coquille River in Oregon. Lots of SM in that river, along with resident trout and runs of salmon. When you see 2 or 3 hundred young of the year SM dead, it indicates there was a possiblity there. I've caught them out of Otter Creek's spillway before, and in rather large sizes. From what I've seen there, too, rough fish numbers are down. Only problem, as PBH said, is the water flows. I know bass can contend with high water; They'd take it to their advantage. What they'd need is just a minimum flow durring the off-irrigation season. Then both trout and bass would benefit.

It's not right for this to happen at the Sevier river, Koosharem Reservoir, or any other place in the state for that matter. It shouldn't matter where it is. It should get publicity, and have something done about it ASAP. I documented what I did on the Sevier, and I'd like to see something done about it. At the very least the DWR should have told anglers to get down there and take those fish before they died. The fish should at least be used by anglers rather than having it rot all down the river.

One thing that kinda fries me about the Sevier, too, is that Otter Creek is still having water let out of it. And now it's lower than Piute. There's already snow in the mountains. It wouldn't hurt to put a little bit of water down the river. But now the reservoirs going to be closer to the top. And what's going to happen next spring when Piute is full with run off still coming in? More flooding? It just doesn't make any sense to me at all.

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Re: [Mc_Lennon] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
In Reply To:
Uh, from what I can tell on that river, pretty well every group I saw were jumping from spot to spot. It's what I've seen most of them do on all of my trips there. We parked at 3 more spots, fished for a while, and left for Otter Creek.

The Smallmouth didn't get a chance. Just look at the habitat. When you see 2 or 3 hundred young of the year SM dead, it indicates there was a possiblity there. I've caught them out of Otter Creek's spillway before, and in rather large sizes. From what I've seen there, too, rough fish numbers are down. Only problem, as PBH said, is the water flows. I know bass can contend with high water; They'd take it to their advantage. What they'd need is just a minimum flow durring the off-irrigation season. Then both trout and bass would benefit.

There is nothing wrong with jumping from spot to spot unless you are jumping directly in front of someone else. As you may or may not know, stream fishermen usually work upstream. When you jump on to a spot on a river directly upstream from someone else you cut them off. It is poor etiquette.

Smallmouth bass will probably never be a significant game fish throughout the sevier river below Otter Creek or Piute because the water temps are way too cold through the winter months and those hundreds of 2-3 inch bass die. That will happen regardless of flows. The larger bass you are seeing in the spillway pools/ponds are fish that are coming from the reservoirs.

With that being said, minimum flows would be very beneficial to the river...but, again, these periodical die-offs are not as serious as you may think...I will watch the Sevier closely all fall/winter and am willing to bet that the fishery is not lost and a significant kill never takes place in Marysvale Canyon.

The thing you have to remember about the flooding two years ago is that the area is coming out of a major drought...who knew that they were going to have that much water? Nobody has a crystal ball and can predict exactly how much water to release or hold. Who is to say that we don't have a terrible winter this year and those reservoirs don't fill? Honestly, I understand your frustration, but I also understand the concerns of the water users. They try to err on the safe side and preserve enough water to make it through the next season. What bugs me about how the water is released is this: during the summer months the river rages with exceptionally high flows and during the winter months it is shut off. Why can't the flows be managed at more stable or consistent rates?
The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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Re: [wormandbobber] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
"As you may or may not know, stream fishermen usually work upstream."

CoolThat may be what you are used to doing, but it is not everybody's way of fishing. Fly flingers usually work upstream, but many bait dunkers and spinner fishermen do just the opposite.

As you are no doubt painfully aware, this is Utah and the water in question is the Sevier River, not a private stream in Scotland. The only rules seem to be that there are no rules. If you try to hold everybody else to your standards you will continually be frustrated and stressed.

Many of us were "properly trained" by our fishing teachers to observe some measure of fishing etiquette. Unfortunately, many anglers are "self taught" or poorly taught and think nothing of just barging right in and flinging their own bait or lures in the same spot another angler is already fishing. Bad manners and poor sportsmanship but not something you can do much about...except go somewhere not subject to roadside angling and inconsiderate fishermen.

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Re: [TubeDude] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
Agreed. That is exactly why I left and went somewhere else. It would have done me no good to confront the other people or tell them i was there first. I was a bit irritated, but could hardly expect anything else on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

On a different note, I think that sometimes these fish die-offs are a good thing: not only are fish populations held in check, but it allows remaining fish the chance at faster growth. Even if some large fish die during winter months in Marysvale Canyon because of low flows, these fish are quickly replaced by other fish. The Middle Provo River is the perfect example of what I am talking about...since minimum flows were acquired below Jordanelle, the brown trout population has increased dramatically and the fish sizes have decreased. Low flows on this section of river kept the brown trout population in check and allowed for better growth in fish. It is sad to see nice trout dead, but the absence in so many rough fish can only help trout grow quicker and eliminate unhealthy competition.
The moment we begin to fear the opinions of others and hesitate to tell the truth that is in us, and from motives of policy are silent when we should speak, the divine floods of light and life no longer flow into our souls.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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Re: [wormandbobber] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
Sounds like Tubedude needs to brush up on Trout Unlimited's In-Stream flow bill efforts. Rules are made to be remade.....That probably would have saved fish in this case, and probably at all those other places where fish are lost due to low or no water because of Utah's silly water laws...

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Re: [redlight88] You need to see what's happened below Piute Res... In reply to
CoolWHAT????? So now it's my fault?

I don't get what you are trying to say.


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