GREEN RIVER--There are some changes to the fishing regulations for waters in southwest Wyoming that take effect January 1, 2014. Wyoming Game and Fish Department personnel want anglers to be aware of the new regulations so they aren't surprised on their next angling trip.
Waters with exceptions to the general fishing provisions are listed under Area 4 in the 2014-2015 Wyoming Fishing Regulations. Green River Fisheries Supervisor Robert Keith said beside the changes to burbot fishing regulations there are some other important changes anglers should be aware of.
“Beginning in January 1, 2014, burbot in the Green River drainage, west of the Continental Divide, will be reclassified as a nongame fish, meaning anglers will be able to kill and legally dispose of the burbot they catch, but do not intend to eat,” said Keith. Also, beginning January 1 the department will reinstate the “must be killed” regulation for the burbot in the Green River drainage. Reclassifying illegally introduced game fish as nongame and adopting “must be killed” regulation are tools being used by the Game and Fish to suppress illegally introduced game fish stocked by bucket biologists.”
As with burbot, three other game fish have been established in southwest Wyoming through illegal stocking. These include northern pike, walleye, and yellow perch populations in Area 4, west of the Continental Divide. To help control these populations the Game and Fish Commission has reclassified these species, in area 4 west of the Continental Divide, as nongame fish and they adopted the “must be killed” regulation to help reduce their numbers. As with burbot these fish are negatively impacting the sport fish in the waters they inhabit.
“Must be killed” regulations pertain to all burbot, regardless of size. Persons improperly disposing of unwanted nongame fish may be subject to Wyoming littering statutes. Appropriate methods of disposal of dead fish include eviscerating and sinking the fish in the water of capture and disposal at home or in any approved landfill.
“Flaming Gorge lake trout anglers will be happy to know, starting in 2014 they will able to fillet lake trout they catch once they are done for the day and off the water or ice,” said Green River Fisheries Biologist Craig Amadio. “Anglers have been asking for this regulation change for several years. We evaluated this request and found it to be biologically sustainable in the Gorge fishery. The new regulation specifies that all lake trout must be kept whole until the angler is off the water or ice and done fishing for the day. Lake trout may be filleted for transportation and storage, but a piece of skin for identification (at least one square inch) shall remain on all fish fillets while in transit or in the field.”
Some other regulation changes anglers should be aware of include:
- Corn is now legal to use as bait.
- Internal organs, eggs, eyes, fins, and skin of game fish are the only portions that may be used legally as bait.
- The use of a spear is now a legal method for taking bait fish, including using a fork for sculpin. No person shall seine, net, trap, or spear baitfish without first obtaining a valid seining license.
- No person may possess or transport stickleback in Wyoming.
- All live mollusks and crustaceans (crayfish) not taken for personal consumption or used as fishing bait shall be confined to aquariums and shall not be released, abandoned, or allowed to escape.
Contact: Robert Keith or Anna Senecal 307-875-3223