There’s a bill before the Utah Legislature which many folks have interpreted as the wholesale elimination of a majority of the state’s fishing waters from public access. That’s simply not the case. But rather than try explaining the issue myself, I turn you over to Mr. Scott Carles, an avid fly fisherman who lives and breaths Utah. He’s done his due diligence (and diligent it was), and has come up with some darn easy to understand points you need to consider before marching to the Utah State Capitol with pitchforks in hand.
Scott and I corresponded just before he acquired the latest information he’s presenting. He noted that he had spoken personally with landowners (that are also frequent anglers) – they described incidents immediately after the Utah Supreme Court ruling in Conatser v. Johnson where people not only ripped apart fences to get into property where gates existed close by, but after one landowner asked nicely to please use a gate and watch out for the irrigation pipes, miscreants destroyed the water implements as well. It’s events such as these which I envisioned when I first heard about Conatser, and then HB 187 – a reaction to a ‘no holes barred we can fish where we like’ mentality. I’m an angler – I want to side with my own kind. But hearing the story from Scott came as no surprise to me. It wasn’t that way before Conatser, and it shouldn’t be that way now.
If you’re a party to this matter, it behooves you to consume the results of Scott’s fine investigative work.