ASK GAME & FISH

"Brandon, how does the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s fish health lab work to insure Wyoming’s fisheries are healthy?"

The Fish Health program is based in Laramie and our team works with other fish biologists to assure fish populations in Wyoming stay healthy in several ways:

  • In hatcheries. We monitor Wyoming’s hatchery fish populations to confirm they are disease free. Every year inspectors from the lab perform fish health assessments at all ten state aquaculture facilities as well as all privately owned aquaculture facilities.
  • In the wild. Laboratory personnel also inspect wild populations. Samples from fish are analyzed for nationally-designated disease causing organisms. If pathogens of concern (viruses, bacteria and parasites) are confirmed during these inspections, Game and Fish takes action to prevent their spread and eliminate the potential for the disease to impact other fish or hatcheries. Only fish that are disease free are allowed to be moved and stocked in streams and lakes around the state for anglers to catch.
  • In imported fish. The laboratory also tests warmwater and coolwater fish populations that are going to be imported into the state. Only fish that are found to be disease free are approved for importation and stocking in Wyoming’s streams and lakes.  
Through disease prevention. The laboratory also diagnoses common fish diseases in sick fish from wild and hatchery populations and recommends treatment when appropriate. The success of the disease prevention program in Wyoming is attributed to sound and conservative fish health policies, rapid diagnosis, and treatment if needed.

Brandon Taro
Fish Health Program Manager

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