ST. GEORGE – Wildlife officials are offering a reward to find out who illegally stocked Kolob Reservoir with fish that pose a threat to endangered Virgin River species.
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources posted an advisory on Facebook Friday alerting the public that three species of fish – yellow perch, green sunfish and bluegill – had been illegally stocked in the reservoir.
“These species … pose a substantial threat to the endangered fish species that live downstream in the Virgin River,” the Facebook post states.
Because of the danger to the endangered Virgin River fish – the Virgin River chub and woundfin – officials will be draining Kolob Reservoir this fall and treating it with rotenone to remove all fish.
Rotenone, a natural product derived from the roots of South American plants, is specifically toxic to gilled organisms because it interrupts oxygen uptake from the water at the cellular level. It also completely decomposes without leaving any harmful residue.
The Utah DWR on Friday increased the bag and possession limit at the Kolob Reservoir to eight trout. There is no size restriction and bait can also be used.
Anyone with information about who illegally introduced the perch, sunfish and bluegill into the reservoir is asked to call the UTiP hotline at 1-800-662-3337.
“We’re offering a reward of up to $3,000 for details that lead to the prosecution of those responsible for illegally introducing fish to Kolob,” the DWR Facebook post states.
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