Jake Wallace of Nibley fishes the Blacksmith Fork River Wednesday with his daughter Millie Mae on his back.

HYRUM — Jake Wallace and his young daughter Millie Mae were out on the Blacksmith Fork River Wednesday fly fishing for trout.

Jake Wallace of Nibley ties a fly to use fishing on the Blacksmith Fork River Wednesday.

“I started fly fishing about 20 years ago then life got in the way,” Wallace said. “I learned how to fly fish from family and YouTube videos.”

He said he fishes to relieve stress. Wallace is an emergency room nurse.

He started at the lower part of the river and after no success he headed to a favorite place above the dam.

Meanwhile, on the same river in front of Ridgeline High School in Nibley, two cousins where exploring the river bed and finding dead fish in some of the pools.

Ryker Hofler and Ben May were skipping stones on some of the ponds where dead fish where trapped and died.

Ben May picks up a dead fish out of the one of the pools of the Blacksmith Fork River on Wednesday.

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources issued emergency changes to Utah’s fishing regulations last Tuesday to allow anglers to catch and keep more fish in some waterbodies around the state.

“Currently, the only changes to fishing limits for the Cache Valley area are the community ponds and the Blacksmith Fork River,” said Faith Jolley, spokesman for the DWR. “We will be evaluating as the summer continues to see if additional waterbodies may be impacted by drought and warrant an increased daily fish limit.”

The drought has impacted Utah trout by reducing the amount of water available in lakes, reservoirs and streams throughout the state. Smaller amounts of water heat up more quickly and warm to higher temperatures. Warm water is problematic for the Utah fish species since warm water holds less oxygen than colder water. The combination of high temperatures and low oxygen can stress fish, causing poor growth and disease, and can sometimes be fatal to trout and other species.

The DWR has decreased fish stocking in the affected lakes and reservoirs to minimize the number of fish that may die as a result of the anticipated low water levels.

“When we decrease the number of fish stocked into one lake, we will reallocate those fish to another waterbody where we don’t anticipate low water levels,” DWR Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. “Despite low water levels in some lakes, fishing will be very good in a lot of places this summer. The number of waters where we are expecting drought impacts is very small, and we anticipate that the majority of waterbodies, including the major fisheries in the state, won’t be affected.”

Ben May and his cousin Ryker Hofler explore the mostly dry riverbed of the Blacksmith Fork River on Wednesday. The two found several dead fish in the pool.

These changes are effective immediately and will remain in effect until Oct. 31, 2021. Here are the waterbodies with new increased daily fish limits:

  • Blacksmith Fork River, Cache County: Increasing the daily limit to eight trout from the Nibley Diversion downstream to the confluence with the Logan River.
  • All 57 community ponds: The fishing limit for all these waterbodies will be increased by adding a two trout bonus limit. This means that at community fishing ponds, anglers can keep a four fish maximum with the stipulation that at least two of those fish are trout.

All the other rules in the Utah Fishing Guidebook regarding Utah waterbodies have not changed and remain in effect.

Visit the DWR website for additional things that anglers should be aware of while fishing this year.

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