CHEYENNE - Runoff from the above average Wyoming snowpack this past winter has now subsided and good fishing is the order of the day on streams and rivers throughout Wyoming…especially in the high country.
With the increased activity on Wyoming’s streams, anglers looking to see some interesting country and experience different fishing opportunities might want to check out and participate in the Game and Fish X-Stream Angler program.
The program was started two years ago by Tom Annear, water management supervisor for the Game and Fish, with the goal to increase the awareness of Wyoming’s instream flow water right filings and encourage anglers to visit streams where instream flow water rights have been secured to protect and maintain fishing opportunities on some of the most important streams in the state – almost all of which are on public land.
Thanks to a law created in 1986, Wyoming has filed instream flow water right applications on over 130 stream segments throughout the state. To create awareness of the importance of this law to anglers and to direct people to places where the law has been used to protect important stream fisheries, the department created the X-Stream Angler program.
“Securing needed flow on these streams under the state’s existing water law is one of the most cost-effective ways to maintain important habitat for native cutthroat trout and other important fish species and provide angling opportunity for future generations.” Annear said.
Only in its third year, anglers are beginning to discover the programs and the fishing opportunities provided.
A fly fisherman from Michigan recently completed the program and said he became interested because he was looking for places to fish in Wyoming.
“The places I went and the scenery, I shall always remember,” the angler said. “Streams in the Green River Lakes areas were my favorite. “I really liked your program because being a fisherman from out of state I was not sure where I could fish. So this helped me a lot and you gave good directions on how to get there.”
Qualifying for X-Stream Angler recognition is fairly simple. Due to the close proximity of instream flow segments in a number of areas, meeting X-Stream Angler criteria could probably be accomplished in a day or two on the same fishing trip. To become an X-Stream Angler, simply fish three of these stream segments, submit a photo of the angler fishing the segment and send in an application.
Information about the X-Stream Angler Program, including the list of instream segments and how to reach them, is available at wgfd.wyo.gov. Anglers fishing three segments will receive a poplin baseball cap with the program logo. Or if they fish seven of the stream segments the Game and Fish Department will send them an upscale oil-cloth cap.
Anglers wanting additional information on any of the waters in the program can call Annear at (307) 777-4555.
(Contact: Tom Annear (307) 777-4555)