Regional Offices > Green River Region > Green River Region News > Flaming Gorge open houses draw in concerned anglers

Flaming Gorge open houses draw in concerned anglers

November 28, 2023
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Green River - Fisheries managers from Wyoming Game and Fish’s Green River region held open houses in October and November to discuss the status of the Flaming Gorge Reservoir fishery and the challenges it is facing. Anglers who were unable to attend the open houses in person can view the presentation online. Everyone who attended the open house meetings or viewed the presentation online is encouraged to complete a survey after considering the presentation's content. Survey responses will help inform future management actions by the Department.
The open houses were well attended, with over 100 anglers joining fishery managers to learn about the fishery and offer their thoughts and concerns. Many anglers shared the same concerns as the fisheries managers. Anglers in attendance expressed concerns that they have not been as successful catching kokanee and trout in recent years, and they want to know what additional management actions will be proposed beyond those mentioned in the presentation. 
Angler harvest has successfully reduced the population of burbot in the reservoir. The same can be true of the small lake trout if anglers pursue and harvest as many small lake trout (< 25 inches) as they legally can. The improved survival of kokanee and trout next spring depends on how many small lake trout anglers remove from the reservoir this winter. Currently, angler harvest is the only tool managers have to reduce the number of small lake trout in the reservoir while additional management options are being considered.  Flaming Gorge needs the same commitment from all anglers to harvest small lake trout as it did and still does for burbot.
Managers have been concerned about the lake trout population for quite some time and have tried to mitigate the problem by implementing liberal limits on lake trout less than 28 inches, encouraging anglers to harvest small lake trout and committing significant resources to research projects to understand the fishery better and chart a path forward. The liberalization of the creel limit began after 2003 when the daily aggregate creel limit for trout, salmon, and lake trout was six, with the caveats that only four could be lake trout and only one could be over 28 inches. Since then, the creel limit incrementally increased to the current regulation that became law in 2019. The current limit and possession for lake trout in Flaming Gorge Reservoir is 12 fish per day, 24 in possession, and only one over 28 inches in possession. Fortunately, there are some anglers taking advantage of the liberal limits; however, more participation is needed.  
Additional information on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir fishery can be found on the Flaming Gorge management page. The website also provides techniques for catching small lake trout and burbot, maps showing where anglers can target them across the reservoir, and recipes detailing how to prepare them. 

- WGFD -

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