Regional Offices > Lander Region > Lander Region News > Alpine lakes get stocked by helicopter

Alpine lakes get stocked by helicopter

August 09, 2018
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Some alpine lakes in the Lander Region have been stocked with fish recently

Lander - Some backcountry campers may have woken early on the mornings of August 8 and 9 to the loud thumping of rotors overhead.  Helicopter stocking of wilderness lakes in the Lander Region occurred on those days with 28 wilderness alpine lakes being stocked, and an additional 12 lakes were stocked on the Wind River Reservation. 

Many wilderness lakes support wild, naturally reproducing fish populations and do not require periodic stocking.  However, the lakes stocked in early August do not support natural reproduction and must be stocked to maintain these fisheries.  Wilderness lakes are stocked every two to four years on a rotational basis around the state.  Stocking of wilderness waters was historically done by horseback but helicopters have been used for decades and are a much more efficient means of planting fish in remote, roadless areas.  Fish are loaded into a tank with eight separate cylinders that suspends beneath the helicopter.  The pilot then takes off and travels to various waters, hovers over the selected lake, and dumps individual cylinders using controls in the cockpit.  Multiple lakes can be stocked in one flight.

This year a total of 73,635 fish were released in the Region.  Most were golden trout but cutthroat, rainbow, brook, and tiger trout were also stocked.

- WGFD -



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