Regional Offices > Green River Region > Green River Region News > Don’t miss the LaBarge “Ding the Ling” fishing contest on Fontenelle Reservoir

Don’t miss the LaBarge “Ding the Ling” fishing contest on Fontenelle Reservoir

February 04, 2021
Upcoming Region Events: No events planned
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Green River - GREEN RIVER – With plenty of winter remaining in southwest Wyoming, now is a great time to get out those fishing poles and get ready for the Ding the Ling burbot derby at Fontenelle Reservoir Feb. 19-21.
The Ding the Ling derby has occurred annually since 2016. Prizes are awarded for most burbot caught, longest burbot for adults, and smallest and largest for the youth category. Door prizes are also available. Again this year there will be two fish sporting insured tags. If either fish is caught they will be worth either $5,000 or $10,000 to the anglers. Additionally, all tagged fish will be in the running for the Ling Cha-Ching payout. Remember the tags are internal, so do yourself a favor and have all your fish scanned – big and small.  Payouts are based on 125 participants, and will increase with additional participation. Registrations start at 11 a.m. on Feb. 19 at the Eagle Bar and Lounge, 219 Main Street in La Barge. Early registrations are welcome. Fish must be checked in from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Feb. 20 and 21 at SOS Well Service Shop, 373 N. Wildcat Road in LaBarge. The winner’s ceremony will be at 10 a.m. on Feb. 21. A valid fishing license is required. More information can be found on Facebook or by calling Jenny at (307) 388-0198, Sadie (307) 390-3052, or Ashley (307) 231-0891.

Covid rules will apply during registration, fish check-in and closing ceremonies, to include social distancing and wearing of masks while around derby officials and other participants. Special thank you to sponsors SOS Well Services, Eagle Bar and Lounge, DOA Bait and Tackle, Old Tulsa, Zero Baits, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Christiansen Lake Shore tackle, D & H Custom Lures, Bomgarrs, and the LaBarge Events Committee. 
Burbot were illegally introduced into the Green River Drainage including Fontenelle and Flaming Gorge reservoirs. They are a prolific and aggressive predator that have depleted the crayfish (forage) in Fontenelle and suppressed the smallmouth bass population. Burbot also regularly prey upon other sportfish such as trout and kokanee. Currently, the best option for reducing burbot numbers is angler harvest. Every burbot removed is a savings in sport fish. The Burbot Bash and LaBarge Ding the Ling ice fishing derbies aim to reduce the number of burbot and thereby the impact burbot are having on local fisheries. The 2021 Burbot Bash on Flaming Gorge Reservoir was a great success with 1345 participants signed up. Teams caught and removed 4661 burbot from the reservoir and caught eight tagged fish.

“These derbies provide a great opportunity to educate the public about the problems burbot are causing, to recruit anglers, and to remove thousands of burbot,” Green River Fisheries Biologist Jessica Dugan said. “Since burbot derbies began on the Gorge in 2010 nearly 50,000 burbot have been removed - this doesn’t include burbot harvested by anglers the rest of the year. The Game and Fish appreciates the time and effort the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce (Burbot Bash) and the La Barge Activities Committee (Ding the Ling) put into hosting these fun and productive derbies. These events require an enormous amount of planning and time to ensure they run safely and smoothly and that everyone has a great time.”

- WGFD -

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