LANDER - Blaze orange tags placed on burbot in the upper Wind River drainage can be redeemed for a $10 reward. Researchers with Montana State University, in cooperation with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wind River Tribal Game and Fish, and the U. S. Geological Survey have tagged 1,372 burbot in six lakes: Torrey, Ring, Trail, Upper and Lower Dinwoody, and Bull.
Burbot are an important sport fish and cultural resource for the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe tribes. The Wind River drainage represents the southwestern extent of the burbot’s natural range. “Previous research and declining catch rates indicate that burbot populations in the Wind River drainage may be declining,” said Sean Lewandoski, lead researcher from Montana State University. “The goal of our research is to examine the status of these populations and quantify fishing pressure. Upon completion, this research will further our understanding of this unique fish population and provide information crucial to maintaining a productive burbot fishery.”
Signs describing the research project are posted at each lake along with boxes of return envelopes. If anglers catch a tagged burbot, he or she should clip off the tag, place it in a return envelope, and fill out the information on the back of the envelope. A tagged burbot need not be harvested for the angler to receive the reward. Tags may be returned one of three ways: via mail on the pre-addressed envelopes, information entered online at montana.edu/burbot, or dropped off at the Fish and Wildlife office, the Game and Fish Lander Region office (260 Buena Vista Dr.), or the Tribal Fish and Game office. Rewards will be sent to anglers by mail.
Obtaining data from angler return tags is critical to the success of this study. If you have any questions please contact the Lander regional office at 307-332-2688.