The Wyoming Game and Fish Department stocked 700 nine-inch golden trout in Crystal Reservoir in late October. The fish are from Ten Sleep Fish Hatchery and were extras from a brood recruitment lot reared for the brood stock at Story Fish Hatchery. The fish culture section retains the extra brood stock into the fall so they can provide unique fishing opportunities in community ponds across the state. This is the first time Crystal Reservoir has been stocked with golden trout.
“These golden trout will provide anglers with an opportunity to catch this unique species close to home without a strenuous hike to an alpine lake,” said Robin Kepple, Laramie Region information specialist with the Game and Fish Department. In 2014, The Game and Fish Department also stocked 1,150 golden trout in 10 ponds in the Pole Mountain area between Laramie and Cheyenne.
Golden trout are native to California and have been introduced to many alpine lakes in Wyoming. A golden trout is distinguished from a cutthroat trout by borders of white on its paired fins, and from rainbow trout by its smaller scales and spotting only on the posterior part of its body. Golden trout are readily caught with spinning, bait, and fly-fishing gear.
The golden trout spawning program at Story Fish Hatchery is unique in that it is the only fish hatchery in the nation that maintains a genetically pure population of golden trout for egg collection purposes. The annual in-state stocking requests for golden trout range from approximately 30,000 to 45,000 three inch fish.