All told Game and Fish stocks more than 5 million fish each year. To make sure this happens we start scheduling for stocking fish in your favorite waters two years before the fish are stocked. Here is how we plan in four steps:

Step 1: Game and Fish fisheries field biologists start talking to the public, do sampling and review population objectives. Biologists also decide what species and size of fish would be appropriate and what time of year it would be best to stock them.
Step 2: The biologist’s requests for stocking are entered into a database.
Step 3: Each of the ten fish hatcheries then go through those records and select the waters they can stock. This selection process is completed several times until all of the stocking requests that can be accomplished are selected and is based on:

  • how well a species grows at a particular hatchery,
  • any risks to the genetics of a fish species; this is especially critical for stocking cutthroat in their native drainage.
  • the hatchery’s ability to produce fish to meet the requested size and stocking time of a water, the location of where the fish will be stocked, and the rearing capacities of the hatchery.

Step 4: Once the schedules of fish stocking are completed, hatchery superintendents request the number of eggs for a specific date to meet the requests. Rearing stations that do not have a hatchery building to raise fish from an egg also request at this time for fish to be transferred to their station from a hatchery at a date and size needed. This is planned on a schedule, too, to make sure the fish are the species, quantity and size to meet the stocking requests. All of the requests for the 2019 stocking schedule were completed by April 2017.

To meet the stocking needs of the state, Game and Fish hatcheries stock not only local waters but haul fish throughout the state to provide angling opportunities statewide. We also plan for trading trout and trout eggs with other states to stock species we can’t raise in Wyoming, like catfish and walleye.

Dave Miller
Superintendent, Clark's Fork Fish Hatchery


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