Posted by: cstrohmeyer | May 25, 2008

Fish Lake Utah

I am going back to camping/traveling for this post, which is what most of my posts will likely involve.

Road next to Fish Lake Utah, first week of October 2002

In this post I am looking at one of my favorite spots anywhere that I have visited over my 49 years of life.
I love the more isolated environment, the surrounding countryside, the cool climate even on an otherwise hot July/August day elsewhere. I am not always good as to expressing with words things I see and love (including persons), so I really cannot convey the utter beauty I see at Fish Lake Utah, but what I can say is that I find Fish Lake as well as much of the Colorado Plateau region of Utah a place where I find more inner peace than almost anywhere else.

Bryce Canyon National Park, nearby about 100 miles south
Part of it is the shimmering Aspens which are one of my favorite trees, another aspect is just the drive to this area as some of the most beautiful countryside in the west surrounds this place including Bryce Canyon National Park (which we often visited on our way here when we lived in LA). I also love the crisp alpine air and the simple “peace” of this area. (Click the picture to the left to enlarge)

I will also note that another attraction for me is that I have been to this area during some of the lowest times emotionally in my life and it has lifted my spirit. In fact I find much of Utah inspiring for me and it was my Grandfather who really got me to love it here when he brought me to Panguitch Lake for a week long fishing trip during a time in my life that I was mercilessly ridiculed in school. My father took me to Utah later as well for family trips (but the more intimate fishing trip with my Grandfather really inspired me)

Some Facts about Fish Lake Utah:

Tent camping on the edge of Doctor Creek camp ground, Fishlake Utah

Elevation: 8,848 ft or 2,697 m

Geography: located in the Fishlake/ Southern Wasatch Plateau region of south-central Utah. The lake is five miles long by one and a half miles wide at its widest point (8 by 2.5 km), lies in a valley that is a depressed block of land bordered by parallel faults (a type of “Rift Valley”. Fish Lake is bordered by the Mytoge Mountains on the south-east shore which rise sharply to over 1,000 feet (300 m) above the lake level. Along the north-west shore the lake is bounded by Fish Lake Hightop Plateau which rises to an elevation of 11,600 ft (3,500 m). Fish Lake has an average depth in summer of about 100 ft (30 m) and has been found to be 127 feet (39 m) deep in its deepest known location.

Fish Lake Utah, aerial view Fish Lake is a beautiful turquoise blue, more so than most lakes of it’s depth as normally water owes its intrinsic blueness to selective absorption in the red part of its visible spectrum via water depth thus only allowing the blue light down to the UV light band to be visible.
In the case of Fish Lake (& Bear Lake Utah as well), it is limestone present in the water which helps absorb the red part of the visible spectrum making the turquoise blue color.
My Aquarium/Pond Care article about the use of UV light for sterilization, disease prevention & Redox Balance:

Fishing: Fish Lake is known for it’s large lake trout (also known as Mackinaw Trout). Fish are caught every summer upwards of 25 lb.

Camping: Obviously my main reason for this post. There are several camp grounds on or very close to the lake, both private and operated by the US Forest Service.
My favorite is Doctor Creek (29 sites) even though it is not directly on the lake, I just find this campground more peaceful and less “busy”. This campground is also where the “dump station” is located for the area.
Other National Forest campgrounds include Mackinaw (53 sites) and Bowery (31 sites), both of which are further down the road and more accessible to Fish Lake.

The RV Parks include Bowery Haven (69 full hook up sites) and is lake accessible with boat facilities as well. Fish Lake lodge also has 25 full hook up sites and a marina as well.
Doctor Creek Campground, Fish Lake Utah, first week of October 2002



  1. Hello Grand Lakers!
    I’m still guiding on Lake Fork, in Texas. We’re catching crappie abundantly. Daily limits are the usual instead of the exception.
    Meanwhile, crappie fishing on Grand Lake is improving. As the weather has cooled the water temperature, the crappie are developing tighter schools. They are moving into docks now and can be caught on most gigs or grubs. The key is to fish for them really slowly and deep in the water. They are biting best in water around 17-21 feet with deeper water close by. As usual, the crappie hold closer to docks that have brush or other structure under them.
    The sand bass are still really biting. You can get a limit on most days with a little persistence. The size is still running in the two pound class and with the cooling water temperatures they pull like giant fish. The surface water temperatures are running between 49 and 53 degrees and cooling. This sand bass run to the surface and shore lines has been unprecedented in recent years. I suspect it is now short-lived and in a couple of weeks they will head to their favorite deep water locations and school until their run in the spring.
    Don’t miss out on the action this winter. You can enjoy some fantastic fishing here on Grand Lake.
    It won’t be long until Christmas is here. If you have a special fisherman you want to give something special to you might consider a Martin Guide Service Gift Certificate for a guide trip on Grand.
    See you on the water! Love lake fishing!

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