SYRACUSE — Someone recently dumped 260 white bass on a Syracuse roadside, a waste of wildlife that is concerning to local fish and game wardens.
“I’ve never seen anyone dump an amount of fish anywhere near that large,” said Trevor Doman, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conservation officer based in Ogden.
Depending on the circumstances of such a case and how egregious it is, a violator could face charges of wasting of protected wildlife or littering.
Doman has a theory of what happened this time.
Utah Lake produces a lot of white bass, and the last few weeks have been in the prime spawning season when the bass are relatively aggressive, he said.
“Someone easily could catch 50 to 150 fish a day,” Doman said, adding that there are no daily bag or possession limits on white bass catches.
“More than likely, they caught a bunch and decided they didn’t want to deal with cooking and filleting them,” Doman said.
He said there’s a good chance the Syracuse fish dumpers will be found or even turn themselves in once they hear the incident has been publicized.
“It is true that if you do the right thing and step forward maybe we can help them out” on the possible level of citation, he said.
In a press release Wednesday, the wildlife division said the fish were discovered on the side of west Gentile Street on May 18. No attempt had been made to salvage any of the meat.
Even though there are no limits on the daily catch of white bass, they are a commonly consumed fish species and are subject to wasting laws and regulations if steps are not taken to preserve them for consumption, the release said.
Anyone with information regarding the wasting of the white bass in Syracuse or any other illegal wildlife-related activity is encouraged to contact the UTiP hotline at 800-662-3337 or file a report on the division website, the release said.
Specific information about the Syracuse case also can be reported to Doman at 385-242-6357. Rewards are available and requests for confidentiality are respected, the division said.