You can catch tasty yellow perch, enjoy free hot chocolate and win prizes at the second Fish Lake Perch Tournament.In addition to 10 firearms, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife is donating $3,500 in additional prizes. Ten fish will be tagged with numbers that will win you a firearm, but the fish with the firearm-winning tags must be caught on January 30, the day of the tournament, in order to win. The tournament is completely free; just show up and catch all the perch you can.

“Bring your fishing poles, tackle, bait, warm clothes and a two-way radio, so you can keep in touch with your group if you split up,” says Heather Talley, regional wildlife recreation coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR). “Also, if you’re 12 years of age or older, you must have a valid Utah fishing or combination license to participate.”

The tournament is on January 30, at Fish Lake in south-central Utah.  You can register at

Check-in on January 30 begins at 7 a.m. The tournament starts at 8 a.m. You can check-in at the Twin Creeks, Lake Side or Joe Bush parking areas at Fish Lake.

“The tournament ends at 2 p.m.,” Talley says. “Make sure you take any tagged fish to the tournament officials before then, so you can qualify for prizes.”

There is no limit on perch in Fish Lake, and a two-pole permit is no longer required to fish with two poles. “Please keep all of the perch you catch,” Talley says.

Items to leave at home are all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles. “Heavy snowfall has restricted parking access at the lake,” she says. “For that reason, we’re asking you to leave your ATVs and snowmobiles at home. The trailers will take up more parking space, which is already scarce.”

More information about the event, including prizes and contest rules, is available at

Yellow perch are abundant in Fish Lake. DWR biologists hope the tournament will help thin the population to make room for the other fish in the lake.

Richard Hepworth, regional aquatics manager for the DWR, says last year’s event was great, and this year’s event will be even better. “What a great way to have fun, win prizes and improve a fishery,” he says, “all at the same time.”

“We are super excited to work with our amazing partners on this fun event,” says Jon Larson with Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. “We encourage you to bring your family out for the day. We have lots of amazing prizes to give away.”

Stephanie Moulton, owner of Fish Lake Resorts, says the resort has been helping the state and U.S. Forest Service plow roads, parking areas and turnouts. “Plowing will continue up to and through the tournament,” Moulton says.

Moulton asks you to be courteous when you park. “Please make sure you don’t park in the way of snow plows,” she says. “And please leave room for others to park.”

DWR, Fish Lake Resorts, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, the Sevier Travel Council, Fish Lake National Forest and the Utah Blue Ribbon Fisheries Advisory Council are among those who put the event together.

If you have questions about the event, call the DWR’s Southern Region office at 435-865-6100.