Corn Bait and Chumming on Utah Waters

Using corn when fishing in Utah has been against the law for several years, however the DWR has determined that corn bait is now allowed on select Utah waters while chumming is still not permitted.

Corn bait

Photo by: Doug Waldron

Corn is an inexpensive, yet effective bait choice for Utah fishermen yet was outlawed until the beginning of 2017 when the Department of Wildlife Resources made changes on the allowance of corn when fishing. It was previously believed that corn and hominy were harmful to fish and could result in gastrointestinal problems such as bloating and intestinal blockage, eventually leading to death. Through extensive research however, it has been determined that the only risk associated with using corn while fishing is an elevated chance of a fish taking the delicious corn bait.

Trial basis

Fishing Guidebook

Photo by: Dennis Sitarevich

In a type of trial run, the DWR is allowing corn bait to be used on select Utah waters known to have carp and kokanee salmon, both of which love corn. The 2017 Fishing Guidebook defines those corn friendly waters as: “Cutler Reservoir, Deer Creek Reservoir, Electric Lake, Fish Lake, Flaming Gorge, Lake Powell, Stateline Reservoir or Utah Lake”. They also note that “throughout the pilot study, Division biologist and law enforcement officers will be monitoring these areas closely to see if the use of corn should be expanded or discontinued.”



Photo by: James Mostert

Although using corn for bait is now allowed on a trial basis, chumming with corn is not. According to the current Fishing Guidebook, “Chumming means dislodging or depositing in the water any substance not attached to a hook, line or trap, which may attract fish.” Throwing a handful of corn or other bait in the water in hopes of attracting fish is a violation of Utah Code 23-20-3 which states “a person may not: ( . . . ) possess or use bait or other attractant to take protected wildlife”. Chumming could result in a class B misdemeanor charge as well as a violation and fine for littering in a waterway. Before heading out fishing this summer, residents are encouraged to read up on the 2017 Fishing Guidebook and contact the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources for any clarifications on current fishing laws.

Obtain Consent before Leaving Animal Remains on Someone Else’s Land

As many Utahn’s head to the hills during the next couple weeks for to enjoy hunting season it is important for them to obtain consent if planning on leaving any animal remains on someone else’s land.

Fall break A.K.A. hunting season

Photo by: M&R Glasgow

Photo by: M&R Glasgow

Fall break or fall recess commences this week in Washington County, Utah with other counties throughout the state following suit in the next couple of weeks. Some Utah residents choose this time of cooler temperatures to enjoy the outdoors hiking and while others save this vacation strictly for hunting season. For many Utah families, hunting during fall break is a long-held tradition.

Hunting on private land

There is an abundance of public area such as designated BLM land that is open for licensed hunters during the season, yet some would rather go on less popular, privately owned property. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has worked out paid agreements with some landowners to allow the public to hunt on their land. According to DWR, “Walk-In-Access (WIA) area is a tract of private land on which the Division of Wildlife Resources has leased hunting, trapping or fishing privileges for public recreation.”

Hunting etiquette- clean up animal remains

Disposing of Animal Remains on Private Land

Photo by: Peter O’Connor aka anemoneprojectors

When hunting on private property, it is important to exhibit proper hunting etiquette by staying in designated areas, not using motor vehicles is prohibited, and cleaning up all animal remains after processing. It is possible to obtain consent before leaving animal remains on site however. Some landowners will agree to let the animal remains stay in the field where scavengers such as vultures will finish off the remains. Others will agree to let the animal remains stay on site as long as they are buried properly.

Criminal charges

Failure to obtain consent from the landowner before leaving animal remains on their property is a violation of Utah Code 4-3-103 and can result in an infraction. For more information and laws regarding hunting in Utah, contact the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. For legal assistance regarding criminal charges contact a defense attorney.