Have you ever wondered what the largest lakes in Utah are? So did I but there wasn’t a good source online. In fact the only web page I could find was horribly inaccurate and missing several lakes. So I decided to compile my own list, defined by surface area.
25. Joes Valley Reservoir size 1,183 acres. People travel from all over the world to this reservoir. Although a good percentage of them prefer to rock climb the surrounding area instead of fish. Which is pretty silly considering multiple state record fish came from here. I highly recommend you take Skyline Drive from here in the summer time. There is plenty of smaller lakes to fish. Watch out for bears.
24. DMAD Reservoir 1,199 Acres. This is a acronym for Delta, Melville, Abraham, and Deseret. Named after the companies that built the reservoir. The reservoir is near Delta, which is about 30 minutes from the Little Sahara Sand Dunes. Among other fish there is Crappie and Northern Pike in here.
23. Long Park Reservoir size 1,200 acres. Long Park Reservoir is located in the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains. There is two different lakes with the same name. The lake may also come up as Sheep Creek Canal. KSL Outdoors had an episode with some big rainbows caught here.
22. Panguitch Reservoir size 1,248 acres. This Blue Ribbon fishery boast some large Cutthroat Trout. There are special fishing regulations in place, including a slot limit on cutthroat, and tiger trout. The reservoir is located about 18 miles past Brian Head Ski Resort.
21. Gunnison Reservoir size 1,278 acres. You can see an amazing view of the reservoir from hole four of Palisades Golf Course. There is an assortment of fish in here but carp are in the majority. Due to the extreme lack of water in San Pete county, the water can draw really low some years. Some other sites confuse this water with Gunnison Bend Reservoir which is only 706 acres in size.
20. Sand Hollow Reservoir size 1300 acres. This southern Utah fishery is quickly becoming famous for its huge Largemouth Bass. Although the reservoir is relatively new, finding 5lb + bass can be frequent. Current fishing regulations require you to kill all smallmouth bass caught.
19. Echo Reservoir size 1,394 acres. In 2014 the water was drained to a puddle, in order to repair the dam. This had an incredibly positive affect on the fish population. Since the water levels were refilled the trout are doing amazingly well. We have seen several 18″+ rainbows from ice fisherman this season. The brown trout appear to be in higher numbers as well.
18. Pelican Lake size 1,683 acres. This Blue Ribbon Fishery is well known for its Bluegill. If you have kids, that you want to have fast fishing action, Pelican can be a great place to take them. The lake is located southeast of Roosevelt, and south of Vernal. Carp numbers have exploded here in recent years. So the DWR is going to construct a screen to block the carp from downstream.
17. Otter Creek Reservoir size 2,500 acres. Otter Creek is well known for its fat Rainbow Trout. Although you can also catch some decent Smallmouth Bass there too. The reservoir is located northwest of the boulder mountains. So it is in close proximity to several other lakes.
16. Fish Lake size 2,500. This is one of the most popular lakes in Utah, and for good reason. Fish Lake boasts a rich history of gigantic Lake Trout, and Splake. With the recent plantings of Kokanee Salmon and Tiger Trout, this lake will only get more exciting.
15 Piute Reservoir size 2,510 acres. Piute Reservoir sits just 13 miles south of the city of Marysvale. Located near the south end of the popular Paiute ATV trail. This reservoir has some very large Brown Trout, but they can be tricky to catch. Your more likely catch will be Rainbow Trout.
14. Scofield Reservoir 2,815 acres. Scofield is one of the most popular ice fishing destinations in Utah. Due to it being one of the first reservoirs to freeze each year. Producing the record breaking Tiger Trout multiple times also helps. Although exploding numbers of Utah Chub recently have upset the balance. Causing competition that is resulting in Rainbow Trout growth to be limited. The future also looks grim for this fishery, once the Upper Gooseberry Reservoir is built.
13. Pineview Reservoir 2,874 acres. Pineview is located just up through Ogden Canyon. In the summer time this reservoir is over run with stupid water skiing boats. Some of these big stupid jerks don’t even fish. The state record Tiger Musky was caught here back in 2006.
12. Deer Creek Reservoir 2,965 acres. The proper way to pronounce this is crick not creek. A creek is what your hear in your house at night, a crick is a place you fish at. Now that we have that out of the way. This fishery is constantly over looked for its booming Walleye population. We recommend trying a drop shot rig, or a trolling spoons.
11. Jordanelle Reservoir, 3,301 acres. Due to Strawberry Reservoir having so much pressure, the DWR has been working hard at building up Jordanelle. With recent introductions of Kokanee Salmon, Wiper, and Tiger Musky. The goal is to get more fisherman to come here instead crowding the berry.
10. Starvation Reservoir 3,310 acres. This is one of my favorite places to fish in Utah. The Bass are fat, the Rainbows are shaped like footballs, the Brown Trout are crazy active, and the Walleye are among the biggest in the state. I fully expect the new population of Kokanee to be very successful here as well.
9. Willard Bay 10,000 acres. This water produces some really good Walleye and Wiper fishing. It’s also a very popular duck hunting area. Adam Eakle has a good video on fishing at Willard Bay. If you need some advice on fishing here stop in and Smith and Edwards Store. They are the area experts on this water.
8. Cutler Reservoir 10,000 acres. This fishery is often overlooked just because it smells bad, and there is more bugs per square foot than an outhouse. The record for Black Bullhead comes from here. Because of a lack of fishing pressure there is some gigantic fish in here. This is an awesome place to take a canoe, and hook into a big catfish or carp.
7. Yuba Reservoir 10,905 acres. This reservoir offers some beautiful sandy beaches to camp and play on. Yuba is best known for it’s Northern Pike. The biggest Pike in Utah are in Yuba Reservoir. There is also some decent sized Walleye here.
6. Strawberry Reservoir 17,164 acres. This trophy fishery is by far the most popular fishing destination in Utah. If you would like to get more involved, I would suggest you check out the Strawberry Anglers Association. This group meets on the first Tuesday of each month. Each meeting has a guest speaker as well as news and updates from Strawberry. For more info check out their Facebook page.
5. Flaming Gorge Reservoir 42,020 acres. This reservoir is over 90 miles long and has 350 + miles of shoreline. Although a good chunk of it is in Wyoming. It’s not uncommon to see 30 + pound Lake Trout caught here. The record Kokanee Salmon was caught here. In the summer smallmouth fishing here can be a lot of fun.
4. Bear Lake 69,760 acres. Known for huge Lake Trout and Cutthroat Trout. If you need advice stop in at the Pugstones Sporting goods and talk to Darin. This guy is super helpful and will steer you in the right direction of fish. The lake doesn’t cap with ice every year, but when it does I highly recommend you ice fish it. Catching the Cisco in the winter time is a blast for children, as the action can be fast.
3. Utah Lake 95,000 acres. Some people enjoy fishing this lake, I’m not one of them. It smells bad, there is a lot of bugs, I’ve seen multiple rats swimming in the water, and the mud is deeper than the water. One time my buddy reeled in a diaper here. Kind of strange that we named the site after the June Sucker which inhabits this lake, when we have so much disdain for it. With that said latching into a 10 pound catfish will erase all that hate in a hurry. Also the White Bass can be a blast to catch as well. The government has been doing a decent job of cleaning up the lake. I wouldn’t be surprised if this lake turns into a top destination in the next decade.
2. Lake Powell 161,390 acres. One of the best places in the western United States to catch Striped Bass. Lake Powell hosts several state records for fish. The best resource for Lake Powell is wayneswords.com. His website pretty much sets the bar on how fishing sites should be in Utah. Lake Powell is also famous for its big giant dam. Which begs the question shouldn’t this be called a reservoir?
1. The Great Salt Lake 1,088,000 acres. Most people don’t consider The Great Stinky Lake to be a fishery, but their wrong. Every fall commercial fishing boats converge on the lake to collect brine shrimp. One time I was drinking some Mexican cactus juice at a bar with one of these fisherman. He told me that The Great Salt Lake used to have the biggest brine shrimp in the world. When the Russian brine shrimp industry couldn’t compete they brought in a weaker species of brine shrimp and dumped them in the lake. Then they mated with the bigger brine shrimp which decimated the population. Could this be another wild fishing story? Probably, but that’s okay with me.
Honorable Mentions: Rush Lake (Tooele County) 3200 Acres. After Rush Lake dried up a few years ago most the fish died in it. The lake is rarely close to 3,200 acres these days.
Sevier Lake 127,000 acres. This Lake will completely dry up some years, so we didn’t add it.
Quichapa Lake unkown size. Same as Sevier Lake.
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