CASPER - The fall months mean school for Wyoming youth but those months also offer some of the best fishing of the year.
Families who wish to take advantage of good fall fishing may participate in the Wyoming Youth Fish Challenge, a new fishing recognition program for youth younger than age 18. The program is a collaboration of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, North Platte Walleyes, Trout Unlimited, 4-H Sportfishing and the Wyoming Fly Casters. Its goal is to provide youth with angling challenges to expand their fishing skills.
Children can complete as many as 10 challenges, including the Trout Trio. To complete the Trout Trio, participants must catch any three separate species of trout found in Wyoming, including brook, brown, rainbow, cutthroats, kokanee, tiger, splake, lake or golden.
In addition to the Trout Trio, there is the Cool Catch, Wyoming’s Wild One, Pan Pair, Habitat Counts, Percid Prize, Bass Battle, and the Hatchery Hop. If children complete five or more challenges, Game and Fish will recognize them as a Master Angler. The program is based on the Cutt Slam, a popular Game and Fish program started in the 1990s.
Young anglers who complete any category will receive a certificate featuring the fish they caught. Program rules are as follows:
• Open to any youth (resident or nonresident, 18 or younger)
• All fish must be caught in Wyoming
• Photos must be taken with the youth and the fish at the body of water of capture
• Fish can be caught over multiple years, prior to the participant’s 19th birthday
• Native fish do not have to be taken from their native range, unless it is for Cutt Slam certification
• Verification sheet must be submitted to the Casper Game and Fish office for authorization
Game and Fish encourages parents to remember this program during fall fishing and even the ice-fishing season. “Several kids have already completed challenges and have been calling to see if their certificates are done yet. It is exciting to see so many youth out there fishing,” said Janet Milek, the public information specialist for the Game and Fish’s Casper region. “I can’t wait to help my own kids get their certificates this winter and next summer!”
Read more about the program or request forms for catch verification at the Casper Game and Fish office, at wgfd.wyo.gov or by calling 307-233-6404. Send completed verification sheets with photos to: Janet Milek, Casper Regional Office, 3030 Energy Lane, Suite 100, Casper, WY 82604).
(Contact: Janet Milek (307) 233-6404)