Dad’s Day in Draper 1

Try Fishing at Mehraban Wetlands Park


At the end of the aptly named Riparian Drive is a hidden Draper gem. It’s the Mehraban Wetlands Park where red-winged blackbirds sing, the breeze rattles the cattails, and the rainbow trout bite… if you are lucky.

“Lots of people in town don’t know the park exists, but when they find out, they love it,” says Rhett Ogden, Draper parks and recreation director. He cites the park’s many virtues, first and foremost being Sunset Pond.

“It is a gorgeous pond,” says Ogden, emphasizing its wild setting and well-shaded location. Combine that with easy access and it’s the ideal place for dads and grandpas to introduce children to fishing. And now is the best time. Throughout spring the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources stocks the pond with rainbow trout and catfish. Plus, on Saturday, June 6, the state sponsors Free Fishing Day for folks to try the sport. No license is needed, however, all other state fishing laws and limits still apply.

Chad Dutton, a Draper resident and father of two boys, has taken his kids to Sunset Pond several times. His boys were eager to fish after finishing Draper City’s popular Youth Fishing Club held each spring.

“They were hooked on it,” he says, joking, “A little pun there.”

“It is very handy to take the kids fishing in your own town,” says Dutton. The setting may be in suburbia, he says, but it feels like a pond in the woods. Fishermen can cast off from the large dock or find a place under the trees. “But, look out above you when you cast off,” he warns. Lures and lines adorn many of the pond-side trees.

During his last visit in the fall, he and his boys had no success reeling in that night’s dinner. But, he says, fishing was relaxing, fun and a good past time.

“It just would have been a little bit better if we had caught something,” he says.

His 12-year-old son Jack is more forgiving.

“Don’t tell my dad this,” he says, “but there’s a reason they call it fishing, not catching…”

Mehraban Wetlands Park and Sunset Pond are located at 898 East 11815 South (Riparian Dr.) in Draper.