Jack Rensel, northern regional supervisor for the DWR, and Jeff Grandison, a wildlife officer in the region, were honored recently by the Utah Chapter of the Wildlife Society.
Rensel was given the group's Award of Excellence. It is given in recognition of career-long achievements in the wildlife profession. Especially noted were his direction of wildlife management programs in the region.Grandison was given the chapter's Award of Merit for his work with the white-tailed ptarmigan, elk, mountain goat and the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep recently planted in the Uintas.
Grandison has worked on the North Slope of the Uintas for the past 15 years.
Also honored was the Canyonlands Field Institute of Moab and the Four Corners School of Outdoor Recreation of Monticello for contributions toward a better understanding of wildlife values in southeastern Utah.
FISH KILL - A section of the lower Strawberry River suffered a large fish kill back on Feb. 28.
Biologists from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources found 150 browns, rainbows and white fish in pools or on river banks.
The section of river affected, about one mile, flows through the town of Duchesne to a confluence with the Duchesne River.
The fish ranged up to 4 pounds and were from 4 to 22 inches long.
Plans are to restock the section with rainbow in the spring. Brown trout and white fish will immigrate from other parts of the river, but it will be several years before the area recovers.
DWR biologists suspect a chemical agent of some kind killed the fish. Water samples and fish specimens collected will be analyzed to determine what was introduced into the water. Officers hope they will be able to trace the kill to its source.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the DWR.
SCOFIELD REPORT - How are things at Scofield?
According to DWR fisheries manger Kevin Christopherson, there is still plenty of oxygen for trout under the ice.
Christopherson found the dissolved oxygen concentration above five parts per million in all but the bottom three feet. Trout require five ppm to remain in good health.
He was also concerned about a food source for the fish. The treatment last September not only killed the fish - trout and walleye, but mainly carp - but also the food source - zooplankton.
Samples, however, show that the zooplankton recovered quickly and is now a good food source for the 169,000 trout restocked there in November.
Treatment of the reservoir also resulted in the loss of fish in about two miles of lower Fish Creek. Plans are to restock this section of stream with 8- to 10-inch browns this summer.
Scofield will reopen Memorial Day weekend with a four fish limit, but the tributaries won't open until July 11.
WALLEYE UPDATE - The warm February and early ice-off on many waters has avid walleye fishermen reaching for the tackle box.
A few walleye are being caught at both Utah Lake and Deer Creek, but the actual walleye spawning run has not yet started.
No activity has been reported at Willard Bay or Starvation.
The walleye run should begin when the water temperatures reach about 50 degrees or higher.
Early indications are that this year's walleye run will be one of the best, especially at Deer Creek where the fish have increased dramatically in recent years.