Located about 15 miles west of Beaver and six miles east of Minersville, the Minersville Reservoir is a roughly 900-acre body of water (when full, that is) that’s home to a trout fishery, which produces some really excellent trophy-sized trout fishing.
Anglers can fish for a trout slam of sorts at Minersville. Rainbow trout are the most common species to be caught, but brown, cutthroat, and tiger trout are also possible catches. And Smallmouth bass can also be found in the reservoir.
The water warms at Minersville during the summer months, so it’s probably wise to head for high country lakes and avoid fishing at the reservoir in the dog days of summer. That said, if you do fish Minersville when it is hot, focus on getting the fish to the net quickly and making a quick release. Fish have a hard time recovering in warm water. Also, you’ll have better luck fishing from a boat or tube during the summer months, as the trout tend to congregate in the deeper waters when temperatures heat up. Shore fishing in the summer rarely works.
Most anglers use sinking line and strip olive, brown, or black wooly. Damselfly nymph and leech patterns in dark colors, especially black and brown, are also productive. Bead-head nymphs and wet flies can work. The only real opportunity for dry fly purists comes in June during large but infrequent midge hatches. Smallmouth bass and wipers congregate on rock points and near the dam. They hit plastic baits jigged off the bottom. Topwater lures will work in the early morning and late evening hours. Diving crankbaits are also a good bet.
Regulations & Camping
- Anglers are limited to artificial flies and lures only and can only harvest one trout longer than 22 inches per fishing trip.
- The majority of shoreline at Minersville is managed by the Bureau of Land Management, but there is a small portion of private property that is off limits. There is a campground and boat ramp, managed by Beaver County at Minersville. Fishing is good from shore, boats, and pontoons.
History of the Reservoir
The reservoir itself was formed in 1914 with the creation of an Embankment dam. Throughout the years, a variety of fishing regulations have been attempted at Minersville, and the current rendition appears to be working.
After years of put-and-take regulations, the state wildlife agency, with the support of local anglers, decided to switch tactics and focus on providing a trophy fishery for trout.
The big fish that anglers love to catch also happen to be quite effective at controlling numbers of Utah chub — a small, 15-20 centimeter cyprinid fish native to western North America. Before the 1990’s, a large population of Utah chub competed with trout in Minersville Reservoir.
Chub reproduce quickly and can overtake a fishery. They take up space and food, limiting resources for other species, including young trout. Once trout, and other predatory fish like smallmouth bass and wipers (a hybrid mix between a white bass and a striped bass) get large enough, however, they turn their attention to chub.
The result is a positive feedback loop where trophy-sized fish flourish—feeding on chub, limiting their numbers, and in turn, growing larger and more populous themselves. It’s the perfect recipe for local anglers.
Special regulations are in place to help ensure the fish reach a chub-eating size.
Minersville Reservoir is impacted during low water years. In drought years, like in 2005, for instance, lower water levels led to a decline in trout populations. But for the most part, the reservoir recovers quickly when conditions are good, and plenty of 18-22 inch trout have been caught in recent years.
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