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Two-year test will allow Utah anglers to fish with corn

By Cody Penman

The Division of Wildlife Resources may soon allow Utah anglers to try a new bait: corn.

The division plans to launch the experiment in 2017 at selected lakes and reservoirs including Cutler Reservoir, west of Logan.

“Utah is currently the only state in the western states where corn is not allowed,” said Roger Mellenthin, a researcher at the divison’s Fisheries Experiment Station. “The people here are wanting to use it so I guess you could say we are giving in.”

For now, it remains unlawful to use or even possess corn while fishing, according to the 2016 Utah Fishing guidebook. And there are some concerns about bringing it back as a legal bait.

“Our biggest concern right now is that people make a mess,” Mellenthin said. “People fishing on public lands have a tendency to leave their garbage on the shore and nobody wants to see the cans of corn or leftover corn in the water.”

But if anglers clean up after themselves, the study might become a permanent change.

“I can’t speak for everyone but I know that I am excited to try out corn,” said Dan Hughes, an avid catfish fisherman. “I have used corn in Idaho and that seems to be the trick.”

The test will last two years.

“If people don’t like it or we have negative results,” Mellenthin said, “we can end it in 2019.”