Flaming Gorge Management

2021 Mac Attack Derby

24-25 April, 2021
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
Official Derby Rules and Regulations

  • This is a lake trout only derby.
  • Only lake trout with a total length less than 25 inches are eligible.
  • A team will consist of 2 members.
  • Each member of a team can enter up to 12 lake trout less than 25 inches per day.
  • Each team may enter up to 48 lake trout less than 25 inches for the derby with a maximum of 24 less than 25 inches each day.
  • Online registration only.  See below for details.
Prize categories:
  • Team with the most weight of lake trout less than 25 inches:
    • All lake trout (less than 25-inches) that are entered each day will be placed in a bin and weighed for a team weight.  Team weights from both days will be added together to determine “most weight”. 
    • The tie breaker will be the first team to enter their catch on Sunday.
    • Fish 25 inches or greater will be disqualified and not count towards the total weight.  Derby officials make the final determination.
  • Participation prize:
    • Winners (all places) of the most weight category are not eligible for the participation prize.
    • A team will be drawn from all eligible non-placing teams that check in one or more lake trout during the derby.
  • Buckboard Marina Tagged Lake Trout prize:
    • Only lake trout tagged with an orange or green Buckboard Pupulation Control Contest Floy tag (Figure 1) are eligible.  Sponsored by the owners of Buckboard Marina.
    • Buckboard Pupulation Control Contest is running concurrent with the Mac Attack.  To be eligible for the Pupulation Control Contest prizes anglers must be registered for that contest.  You can register at under the Events tab.
  • Payouts:
    • Team with the most weight of lake trout less than 25 inches from both days:
      • 1st place – 40% entry fees
      • 2nd place – 20% entry fees
      • 3rd place – 15% entry fees
      • 4th place – 10% entry fees
      • 5th place – 5 % entry fees
    • Participation prize:
      • 1st place – 10% entry fees
    • Tagged Lake Trout:
      • Buckboard Marina will pay $250 for each tagged lake trout (green or orange) caught and entered by participants who are registered for the Mac Attack.
  • Winners:  Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce will post winners on their website - and on Facebook - visitflaminggorge.  Prize money will be contingent on entries, minus derby expenses (e.g. insurance, permit fees, advertising, etc.).  Remaining entry fees will be redistributed as prizes, therefore the more anglers that enter the derby, the bigger the prize payouts.  Checks will be mailed to winners.
Derby Rules and Regulations:
  1. A team shall consist of two members.  Each team must designate a captain and a team name.  All team members must fish together (i.e. use the same boat, bank, etc).  Passengers are allowed in the boat.  More than one team can fish from the same boat, but all team members must catch their own fish, and teams must keep fish separate. 
  2. Entry fee: $100.00 per team.  This is a cash-in – cash-out derby. 
  3. Derby registrations:  Teams are required to register online no later than April 18th at the following Website:  Payment of registration will serve as a liability waiver for all team participants.  A team packet (incluing team number) and rules will be emailed to ALL participants.  There will be NO in person registration or packet pickup due to Covid 19 precautions.  Teams that launch and/or fish from a boat in Utah will need to upload a copy of their Boater Aware Certification from Utah Division of Wildlife Resources before they can complete their registration. Complete the certification at the following website:
  4. Any unregistered angler in your party may jeopardize the validity of your team’s catch and be grounds for disqualification.
  5. All of Flaming Gorge Reservoir is considered ‘in-bounds’ in the tournament, except fishing will not be permitted inside of the wakeless buoys at Buckboard, Lucerne and Cedar Springs Marinas.
  6. Official derby fishing hours:  Thirty minutes before sunrise to 3 pm both Saturday and Sunday.
  7. Two fish weigh-in locations will be open from 12 pm to 5 pm both Saturday and Sunday:  Buckboard Marina’s big yellow tent in Wyoming and Lucerne Marina Store parking lot in Utah.  Fish must be checked in each tournament day.  No exceptions.  Fish caught on Saturday cannot be entered again on Sunday.  Weigh-in locations will close promptly at 5 pm.  Any team that is not in line by 5 pm, either day, will not be allowed to enter their fish in the tournament.  Covid rules:  while at the check-in location, participants must wear masks, and adhere by the 6-foot distancing rule.  These requirements will help ensure the safety of tournament staff and participants. 
  8. To ensure fish are not entered both days, participants will be required to remove half of the tail fin after their fish have been checked in and prior to leaving the weigh-in location.
  9. Contestants are reminded that lake trout are a game fish and small lake trout are great table fare.  Take care of them properly and enjoy eating them.  It is unlawful for a person to take and leave, abandon, or allow any game fish or edible portion to intentionally or needlessly go to waste.
  10. The Derby committee claims no responsibility for accidents.  It is highly recommended that all entrants wear life vests while on the water.  The tournament is subject to cancellation or temporary suspension due to weather.  Cancellation will be determined by tournament officials, the US Forest Service (USFS), Daggett County Sheriff’s Department, Sweetwater County Sherriff’s Department, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) or Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD).  Anglers may be notified by Marine Band Radio or text message.
  11. A USFS Recreation Use Pass may be required for anglers using certain areas in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.  It is the participant’s responsibility to be aware of those locations.
  12. If fishing in Wyoming and using an ATV, a Wyoming Off-road Vehicle Permit is required.  It is your responsibility to make sure you are complying with all local, state and federal regulations.
  13. All contestants must observe all US Coast Guard, WGFD, UDWR, Utah State Parks, USFS, and Daggett/Sweetwater County rules and regulations concerning sport fishing and safe boating on Flaming Gorge Reservoir.  This includes UDWR and WGFD Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) regulations.  Participants violating rules or regulations of any of the above will be disqualified.
  14. Per WGFD and UDWR regulations:  Culling is not permitted.  The decision to release a fish or keep it for contest entry must be made immediately upon capture.  Any fish caught that is not to be entered into the contest shall be immediately released to the water with as little injury to the fish as possible.  Once a fish is put on a stringer, in a container or in a live well it cannot be released.  Participants violating this rule will be disqualified.
  15. AIS inspection requirements
    • If fishing in Wyoming – Any contest watercraft coming from another state other than Wyoming by land from March 1 through November 30 is required to undergo a mandatory inspection by an authorized AIS inspector prior to launching.  Participants violating that regulation will be disqualified. 
    • If fishing or launching in Utah – Teams that launch and/or fish from a boat in Utah must have the Boater Aware Certification from UDWR in their possession while boating.  If you plan to launch and/or fish from a boat on the Utah side of Flaming Gorge Reservoir during this contest please complete the certification at the following website prior to registering for the contest:
  16. Violation of regulations:  All contestants must have a valid fishing license and abide by all WGFD and UDWR regulations concerning fishing, AIS and boating.  Any participant found to violate any regulation from thirty minutes before sunrise Saturday, April 24 until 3 pm Sunday, April 25 will be disqualified. 

8th Tagged Fish caught on the Gorge February 2020 in Pup-ulation Control Contest

Southwest Wyoming has a new ice fishing contest and the Buckboard Pup-ulation Control Contest has gotten off to a good start on Flaming Gorge Reservoir.  On December 10, Green River resident Don Phillips caught the first tagged lake trout in Buckboard Bay, while fishing from shore for rainbow trout.  As of February 9, 2020 the 8th tagged fish has been caught. $100 is paid out for each tagged fish, which means $800 has already been paid out. There is much more to this fishing derby, so click this link to read more and go get your ice fishing rod! 

2020 Burbot Bash a huge success!

 WGFD Photos, Ray Hageman

In late January workers with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Utah Division of Natural Resources put out 51 tags for the Burbot Bash. During the recent derby, 5 tags were recaptured. Most tags were from previous years. This year's event had nearly 800 participants and 225 teams. Anglers also set a new record for number of fish removed during the event; 5,565 Burbot. The largest Burbot caught was 34.6 inches and 7.71 pounds.  The smallest was 4.3 inches and 0.02 pounds


Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a year-round fishing Mecca

There are many ice fishing opportunities and or contests to take advantage of this winter, so don't let cold weather keep you inside. Fight back, or even better, fish back! PLEASE USE CAUTION ON ANY ICE OR WATER! IT IS ALSO WISE TO FISH WITH A PARTNER OR PARTNERS-NEVER ALONE.

WGFD fisheries biologists and fisheries biologists with the Utah Department of Natural Resources tagged fish on the Gorge. Fish are tagged for prizes. Caught burbot (a.k.a. ling) helps other fish in the Reservoir, as their numbers decline. Anglers catching and keeping small lake trout are also helping the Gorge fisheries. 



WGFD Photo, Lucy Wold
Green River Fisheries Biologists Troy Laughlin (left in solid green hat) and John Walrath (right) scan burbot for PIT tags during the 2019 Burbot Bash.


Two ice fishing derbies on Flaming Gorge in 2020

Buckboard "Pup"ulation Control Contest
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
November 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020
Hosted by Buckboard Marina at Flaming Gorge LLC
Buckboard "Pup"ulation Control Contest 

Burbot Bash
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
January 24-26, 2020 *ALREADY TOOK PLACE.
Hosted by the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce
020 Burbot Bash  


​Photo: Lucy Wold, WGFD
boater on Flaming Gorge Reservoir


Questions and Answers Regarding Lake Trout in Flaming Gorge Reservoir

Flaming Gorge Reservoir is a magnificent, man-made reservoir, offering so many recreational opportunities, especially fishing and boating. Flaming Gorge Dam stands 502 feet tall and was completed in 1964. The surface area of the reservoir is over 65 sq miles, with varying depths, and is 430 feet deep in its deepest spot,

So many anglers have asked questions about lake trout management in Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Wyoming side that Green River fisheries managers have put together a list of these questions and their answers for anglers to review. Click below to learn more about lake trout management in Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Lake trout management in Flaming Gorge Reservoir

A couple of anglers enjoyed a beautiful December day jigging for Lake Trout ranging from 19 to 22 inches, just out from Buckboard Bay. Fish were caught on 1/2 ounce jigs dressed with a lime green skirt and tipped with a small piece of sculpin.  Anglers caught their limit (8 Lake Trout less than 28 inches) in just over 4 hours.


Photo: Lucy Wold, WGFD

One of the trophy lake trout weighed and measured and released back into the Gorge.


Flaming Gorge Reservoir is known for its trophy lake trout. Currently, the population of smaller lake trout is high and fisheries managers want anglers to catch the smaller lake trout to help maintain the trophy class lake trout. Small lake trout also taste really good. You can learn more about how to catch smaller lake trout and how to cook smaller lake trout by clicking on the attachments below.

Tips on how to catch small lake trout
Recipes for cooking small lake trout


Photo: Lucy Wold, WGFD
​This is just one of the illegally introduced burbot in Flaming Gorge Reservoir. This fish was caught by the Green River Fisheries Crew during annual gill netting operations on the Gorge. The burbot has swallowed a rainbow trout whole. 

Sometime in the late 1990's or early 2000, someone or some persons illegally introduced burbot
, also known as ling, into the Green River Drainage. The invasive species began showing up in WGFD Green River netting surveys in 2003. Their presence as changed area fishing management and opportunities forever. The only way to have some sort of control on burbot is with angler harvest and liberal regulations.

Fishing for illegally transplanted burbot in the Green River drainage has become popular with ice anglers.  Fishery managers have set liberal regulations on burbot to encourage anglers to harvest as many burbot as possible and help suppress these voracious non-native predators.  There is no limit on burbot in the Area 4, which includes all of the Green River drainage including Flaming Gorge, Fontenelle Reservoir and Big Sandy Reservoir.
​You can learn more about how to catch burbot and how to cook burbot by clicking on the attachments below.

Tips on how to catch burbot
Tasty burbot recipes




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