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"John, why is the limit for lake trout in Flaming Gorge eight fish?"

Lake trout fishing is very good this time of year, so this is a question we get a lot. The current lake trout regulation on Flaming Gorge Reservoir is eight fish, and only one may be greater than 28 inches. As fisheries biologist we are concerned the population of small Lake Trout is growing too large. The growth rates of the small Lake Trout will slow because there is not enough food to go around, and the current young Lake Trout will struggle to achieve trophy size. The limit was increased to eight fish in 2006 to encourage anglers to harvest more small lake trout, leaving the remaining fish in the population with more food to sustain better growth and condition.

Additionally, if Lake Trout numbers build too high, it will negatively impact the trout and Kokanee Salmon fishery. The Kokanee population is particularly susceptible since they are the primary food for trophy Lake Trout.  

Angler harvest is the best management tool we have to reduce the numbers of small lake trout. This is a great time of year to pursue small lake trout because they are easier to catch through the ice and are especially tasty this time of year. We are encouraging anglers to do their part by harvesting their limit of Lake Trout less than 28 inches so we can all enjoy healthy populations of Kokanee and Lake Trout in the future.

John Walrath
Green River Fish Biologist

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