CODY - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, will tentatively conduct a helicopter fish stocking operation August 13 in the Absaroka Front and Beartooth Plateau areas of the Shoshone National Forest and other non-wilderness lands within the forest boundary.
Many of Wyoming's high country lakes are not capable of supporting a self-sustaining population of fish. Therefore, it becomes necessary to periodically stock these lakes to provide an adequate fishery for backcountry anglers.
Within the wilderness, vehicle travel is both illegal and impractical for hauling fish to these remote waters. The helicopter offers a fast and low impact alternative for stocking fish. The helicopter is available in odd-numbered years to stock wilderness waters on the Shoshone National Forest. Therefore, some of the more heavily fished, remote lakes are stocked only once every other year. Only a small percentage of the wilderness lakes are managed by stocking of fish. Many others have wild, self-sustaining fish populations, or are managed as fishless.
The helicopter and fisheries crew will stage out of the Crandall ranger station northwest of Cody. Flights will begin around 6 a.m. and should be complete by 10 a.m., depending upon weather conditions.
Approximately 14,890 Yellowstone cutthroat trout, 5,570 golden trout, 4,200 lake trout, and 3,810 splake (brook trout-lake trout hybrid) will be stocked during the one-day operation.
The length of the fish will range from two and one-half to four inches. Fish being stocked will not be ready for the creel for at least two years.
(Contact: Tara Teaschner (307) 527-7322, ext. *817)