I often go looking for the nooks and crannies of Utah Lake. A few weeks ago I was on a solo trip checking some places I have never been before. It was very quiet and peaceful. I could hear the distant sound of ducks and other waterfowl chattering as background noise while the sound of my paddle dipping in and out of the water was the dominant melody of the menagerious orchestra. Breaking the calm of this magnificent ensemble was a loud thump on my hull as some beasty lifts me and my kayak out of the water, bringing my paddle to a screeching halt. I looked behind me for an alligator tail moving but didn't see the evidence. I know there are no alligators in Utah Lake but it sure felt like it. Other thoughts that I had were of the Utah Lake monster stories from the late 1800's. All I knew was that something big about knocked me out of my boat.
A week later it happened again but on a much smaller scale. A little scary but I was with my son Tanner and it was not as big a hit as it was previously. We had just run over a shoal of large carp. We laughed and I realized that what hit me before was a very large carp. The world record for the european carp (Cyprinus Carpio) is 75 lbs and is being challenged right now with a 100 pounder. All I can say is that there is a 100 pounder in Utah Lake.
In Search of the Utah Lake Monster:
There have been some monsters found in Utah Lake. Although, the state carp record was caught in Lake Powell (32 lbs). The two records caught in Utah Lake are the White bass and the Channel cat, the larger of the two being a 32 pound 8 ounce catfish.
These are very typical carp specimens that you will find in Utah Lake. However things are changing in the lake. Millions of lbs of these are being removed every year. Over the years I have personally noticed a reduction in the species.
As the competition is being removed other species are doing better and because there are less carp the ones left are getting bigger. Can a new title be claimed from Utah Lake? The current official title for the biggest fish caught in Utah is a 51 lbs 8 oz Lake trout caught in Flaming Gorge Reservoir. There have been other fish that are longer. however, they are "catch and release" records that are more difficult to officially measure. Can the special circumstances of Utah Lake cause a change in the kingdom of bragery? Is it time for a change in the throne? It could be.
A fisherman in France caught a 100 lbs 8 oz European Carp (Cyprinus Carpio) that if approved by the International Game and Fish Association would be the new world record defeating the old 1987 record by nearly 25 lbs.
TEACHER BACKGROUND: “Utah Lake, a 150-square-mile body of water in north-central Utah, has a rich tradition of monsters and other unnatural creatures living in its depths. The Ute Indians told legends about evil dwarfs living in the waters of the Lake. The Indians called these "water babies" because they made sounds like crying babies that lured mortals into the water where they were drowned. The Ute also told of a "Water Indian" who would drag unlucky braves to their deaths. They also told of a creature so large it was able to swallow a man whole.” Other sightings of the Lake monster continued during the 1860s through the 1880s. Around the 1920s the sightings stopped.