There will be, during the month of May, a fish swimming the currents of Lake Powell with a million dollars on its back.

If caught, it will be the instant answer to the million-dollar question for some fisherman.If it swims off with the money intact, it may still prove to be an answer to a bulging striped bass population.

It was announced Monday that Lake Powell Resorts and Marinas will be holding a million dollar fishing event between sunrise on May 1 and sunset on May 24.

Bob Seney, vice president of operations at the lake, said there will be 20 fish caught and tagged "at various points over the entire lake and then released. One of the fish will have a tag worth the $1 million."

The other side of the event focuses on management. For years, lake biologist from Utah and Arizona have tried to make fishermen more aware of the striped bass fishing opportunities and the recurring problems they face at Lake Powell.

Striped-bass numbers increase faster than their food base, mainly a small fish called a shad. As a result, fish thrive when shad are plentiful and starve when they're not. The problem is this roller-coaster ride pulls other fish along for the ride, such as the largemouth and smallmouth bass, walleye and crappie.

In an attempt to control the fish several years ago, the limit on striped bass was withdrawn. It helped, but still the striper's survival has been cyclic.

"Right now,"" said Wayne Gustaveson, lake biologist for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, "we've bottomed out and are now on the rise. To help keep things more in balance, this would be a good time to start harvesting stripers."

Consensus is, an event such as this will focus more attention on the striper and, hopefully, increase the catch rate.

"What we want to avoid, however, is waste. The fish they'll be catching will be fat and healthy . . . excellent eating. But if they can't use the fish, then we're asking fishermen to release them for someone else to catch," he added.

Most of the stripers, lakewide, are running between 2 and 3 pounds.

The idea for a lakewide contest developed last November, said Steve Ward, director of public relations for ARAMARK. "We were trying to come up with an idea on how we could have our own 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,' and see if we couldn't improve the resources and educate fishermen," he said.

"ARAMARK, the National Park Service, and the wildlife agencies from Utah and Arizona will all be holding seminars and clinics during May on how to fish the lake. At the same time all the agencies will be dispensing information on proper sanitation, boating safety and regulations."

Seney added that another objective was to have an event that bridged all skill levels and all ages. "We wanted to involve the entire family. We decided to hold the event in May because it is typically a quiet time at the lake and a time when the fishing is at its best," he added.

Anyone catching a tagged fish will be required to take the entire fish, tag attached, to one of the five marinas on the lake. It will be checked to make sure it was legally caught and the tag authenticated. There will be other prizes associated with the other 19 tags, including vacation stays at ARAMARK properties in Alaska, Lake Tahoe and Lake Powell.

To be eligible, fishermen must register at one of the marinas.

There is no charge and no age limit.

For information on rules and requirements, as well as fishing tips and recipes for the striped bass, individuals can log on to www.milliondollarfish.com.