CHEYENNE - Now that the calendar has turned, fisherman in Wyoming will need to catch up on a few changes to the fishing regulations for 2014. The changes are specific to several of Wyoming’s five drainage areas.
Of note is the whitefish limit in Area 1 has been changed from six to 25 fish. Area 1 includes the Snake River drainage in the western part of the state. A major change in Area 2 in the Cody vicinity is that walleye have been designated as nongame fish on Buffalo Bill Reservoir and any walleye that are caught shall be killed immediately.
A similar regulation is in effect in Area 4 which includes the Green River, Bear River and Little Snake River drainages in the southwestern part of the state. In Area 4, burbot, northern pike, walleye and yellow perch have been classified as nongame fish with unlimited creel and possession limits and must be killed immediately by anglers catching those species. Northern pike have made their way upstream from Colorado into the Little Snake River in Wyoming where they have the potential to impact rare native species. Burbot, perch and walleye, along with the walleye in Buffalo Bill Reservoir are the result of illegal introductions and either have the potential—or are having—a significant negative impact on the trout, kokanee salmon and smallmouth bass in those drainages. It is hoped the mandatory kill regulation will help keep these potentially damaging species in check.
Another change in Area 4 allows lake trout anglers at Flaming Gorge Reservoir to fillet their catch once they are off the water or ice and done fishing for the day. In the past, lake trout captured from Flaming Gorge had to be kept whole while in transit or in the field.
In Area 5, which includes the Platte River drainages in southeast Wyoming, brook trout caught in lakes are now included in the six fish trout limit. Also, the walleye limit in Alcova Reservoir has been increased from six to 12 fish.
Fishing regulations are reviewed every two years with changes occurring at the start of even number years. It is always a good idea to check the regulations prior to fishing, but it is particularly important to check for any changes at the beginning of an even numbered year. Any new or revised regulations and information are highlighted in blue in the regulations booklet. Regulations that apply to a broad geographic area are highlighted in yellow.
New regulations are available at Game and Fish offices, license agents or online at: wgfd.wyo.gov. Anglers are also reminded to purchase a 2014fishing license and conservation stamp before heading out on the first fishing trip of the new year.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)