Overnight camping is no longer allowed on Utah’s East Fork Little Bear River Wildlife Management Area due to abuse by campers. The area is still open for day use and fishing access.
The East Fork Little Bear Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is located just west of Porcupine Reservoir along East Canyon Road in Paradise. The land in Cache County was not originally acquired as a public camping spot. However, the Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) decided to allow camping on the property, hoping those who stayed would respect the area and take good care of it. Most have, but over the years some campers have marred the area to the point that the DWR has decided to close it to camping.
“The misuse of the area by campers has included leaving trash and human excrement scattered across the WMA,” DWR Northern Region Habitat Manager Daniel Olson said. “Wooden fences on the WMA have been broken apart, chopped up and used as firewood. Campers have also left campfires unattended and have built them even when campfire closures were in effect on the WMA. Roads and habitat have also been damaged. We’re going to reclaim and improve the area and make it a great place to fish again.”
Before acquiring the property, the East Fork Little Bear basically ran through it in a straight line. After acquiring it, DWR biologists altered the flow of the river, placing bends and meanders that changed the flow of the water, creating additional pools and riffles for fish. The 1-mile stretch is an especially good place to fish for brown trout in the fall. Cutthroats are another species anglers sometimes catch.