Utah began tracking fishing statistics in the early 1900s and since then, the number of records available to break have grown to 100.
Ten of those 100 state records were broken in 2020, which is something experts at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources say could be record year for records.
Craig Walker, DWR aquatics assistant chief, says:
This has been somewhat of a record year for new fishing records — I don’t remember ever getting so many new ones in one year. The primary reason that the DWR tracks record fish is to provide anglers with recognition of their achievements. However, the DWR also lists records as a way to inform anglers, who may be seeking their own trophy, of places they might want to fish. The public records are also a fun way to encourage anglers to get out on the water and hopefully encounter some of the large fish Utah has to offer.”
You can see photos of Utah fishing records broken in 2020 in our gallery above or by clicking here.
TEN UTAH FISHING RECORDS BROKEN IN 2020
- Lake trout: Set by Chance Scott at Flaming Gorge on July 17. The laker was 44 1/8 inches long, weighed 53 pounds, 15 ounces and had a girth of 37 7/8 inches.
- Splake: Set by Cade Tebbs at Fish Lake on Jan. 4. The splake was 33 inches long. However, the record was later broken by David MacKay at Fish Lake on May 8. MacKay’s fish was 34 inches long.
- Bear Lake cutthroat trout: Also set by David MacKay at Bear Lake on May 25. The cutthroat was 27 1/2 inches long.
- Yellowstone cutthroat trout: Set by Michael Christiansen at Johnson Creek on June 14. The cutthroat was 10 1/2 inches long. The record was later broken by Samuel Jenkins at the left fork of Johnson Creek on July 8. This cutthroat was 12 1/2 inches long. The record was then broken a third time by Kelly Anderson at Johnson Creek on Oct. 3. This new record fish was 14 inches long.
- Golden trout: Set by Kendall Johnson at Marsh Lake on June 16. The golden was 15 1/4 inches long. However, the record was later broken by Jonah Lewis at Marsh Lake on June 27. His fish was 16 1/2 inches long.
- Colorado River cutthroat trout: Set by Brian Olsen at Current Creek Reservoir on Sept. 5. The cutthroat was 14 inches long.
- Wiper: Set by Trevor Tippetts at Minersville Reservoir on Oct. 4. The wiper was 28 inches long.
- Black crappie: Set by Matt Turner at Deer Creek Reservoir on June 11. The crappie weighed 1 pound, 14 ounces. It was 15 3/4 inches long and 12 inches in girth.
- Kokanee salmon: Set by Scott Parsons at Fish Lake on Sept. 9. The salmon weighed 4 pounds. It was 22 inches long and 12 3/4 inches in girth.
- Tiger muskie: Set by Maya Western at Fish Lake on Sept. 12. The muskie weighed 36 pounds, 6 ounces. It was 50 inches long and 22 7/8 inches in girth.
The 100 Utah fishing records on the state's website are broken down into category:
- 33 catch-and-keep angling records
- 37 catch-and-release records
- 21 spearfishing records
- 6 setline records
- 3 archery records
You can see all of Utah's fishing records here.
The oldest record on the books for catch-and-keep fishing dates back to 1970 when John R. Welcker caught a 4.1 pound white bass. The measurements of the white bass, however, are not listed on DWR's fishing records page.
The oldest catch-and-release record dates back to April 26, 1997 when Kirk Ray Johnson caught a 19" white sucker fish at the Flaming Gorge Reservoir at Sheep Creek Bay.
The oldest spearfishing record happened in 1983 when Bruce Boyd caught a 21 pound 12 ounce,35 1/2" by 21 3/4"brown trout at Fish Lake in Sevier County.
If you think you've caught a record fish, you can submit it to DWR on their website. DWR explains what is required:
"If you think you may have caught a record catch-and-release fish, you can submit it on the DWR website. Your submission must include a photo and the measurement, and your release of the fish must be witnessed and certified in writing. To submit a catch-and-keep record, you must submit a photo of the fish, as well as its total length, girth and weight. The fish must be weighed using a certified commercial scale, and the weighing must be witnessed and certified in writing by two independent witnesses who are not members of the individual's fishing party or family. A Utah Division of Wildlife Resources employee must witness and certify in writing the species, total fish length and girth verification."