Just last month, the Utah Department of Wildlife (UDWR) and the Department of Natural Resources (UDNR) conducted an electrofish survey at Victory Ranch, a method to determine abundance, density and species composition of the Upper Provo River. The survey went off without a hitch, resulting in minimal harm to the fish and returning the trout to their natural state in as little as two minutes after being caught. Below, learn exactly how and why we’re working to preserve our healthy and beautiful river ecosystem at Victory Ranch.
Prior to the creation of a tailwater fishery by Jordanelle Dam, UDWR biologists had concern for the population abundance of brown trout in the Provo River above Deer Creek Reservoir. In 1981 special regulations were implemented allowing for the harvest of only two brown trout under 15 inches in length and the use of artificial flies and lures only.
With the completion of the Jordanelle Dam and the separation of the Middle Provo River from the upper sections, a tailwater was created and the need for the regulation may be negated below the dam. However, in the upper sections where the hydrology is characterized by high spring flows, flashy summer time events and extremely low flows in the fall and winter, such a regulation may still be warranted.
Surveys were conducted to assess water conditions, density and biomass of sportfish, baitfish and Kokanee species, and to detect the presence and/or absence of other species in the Provo River above Jordanelle Reservoir.
A single pass electrofishing was used to capture fish with a Smith Root Variable Voltage Pulsator mounted to a pontoon raft pulled upstream. Approximately 1/10 of a mile was sampled at Victory Ranch starting approximately 1/4 mile downstream from the bridge near the Freestone Lodge and ending 528 feet up river. Fish were weighed, measured and released back into the stream reach surveyed. Stream length was measured and average width determined to estimate fish density and biomass.
Species present in the Upper Provo River include brown trout, Bonneville cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, Kokanee salmon, longnose dace, sculpin, redside shiners and mountain suckers.