Avid anglers will soon have better luck fishing close to home.
Community ponds in Weber and Davis counties started receiving truckfuls of trout from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources last week. The trout deliveries will continue through the summer, though there's a period of time during hotter temperatures that DWR will deliver catfish instead.
"The big intended benefit, especially the community fishing waters, is to get kids involved in fishing and to have a place where people with disabilities or older folks can have an opportunity to go fish," said Barry Nielson, wildlife biologist for DWR.
The program also benefits anyone who isn't able to travel to a reservoir to fish, he said, and some communities run fishing programs that keep kids occupied and out of trouble.
Some people even fish on their lunch breaks, said Brennan Hannifin, assistant manager of the state fish hatchery in Springville.
According to information shared by Hannifin, ponds in Davis County that have recently been restocked include Steed (500), Jensen (1,000), Adams (1,000), Bountiful (1,000), Kaysville (800), Clinton (545) and Mabey (350).
Two ponds in Weber County have recently been restocked — Smith Family Park (700) and Glassmans (500).
Most ponds in the area will be restocked within the next two weeks, though deliveries always depend on oxygen levels in the ponds and other factors, Hannifin said.
A public record of ponds that have been recently restocked is available on DWR's website, along with a searchable online map of the ponds' locations. Some newer ponds, like the Harrisville Park Pond, don't yet appear on the map, but Nielson said he has delivered fish there.
Most community ponds are manmade, and their creation is usually initiated by cities, Hannifin said.
"It's a very successful program," Nielson said. " ... Since I've been (with DWR), I think they've added probably 15 more ponds ... and that's been in the last 10 years."
These 15 ponds were located across the Wasatch Front, Nielson said.
"We make an agreement with (cities) that we will stock it, but they have to allow the public to fish it," Nielson said. "... It's a really good partnership with the state."
While the primary goal of the ponds is recreation, the fish have some environmental benefits, too, Neilson said — like keeping the water clean and providing food for migrating birds, which are common in areas around the Great Salt Lake.
The biggest fans, however, appear to be the people.
"It's kind of crazy," Hannifin said. "... Say if we miss a week, or something happens where we don't put fish in, we'll start getting calls. ... I feel like there's definitely demand."
There’s a limit of two fish per day of any species at each community pond, and everyone 12 years and older needs a license to fish.