Regional Offices > Laramie Region > Laramie Region News > Illegally stocked fish discovered in Huck Finn Pond

Illegally stocked fish discovered in Huck Finn Pond

September 08, 2020
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Laramie - After discovering illegally introduced fish in a kids’ fishing pond in Laramie, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds anglers there are harsh penalties for moving live fish in the state.
 
Fisheries biologists received a tip about a possible largemouth bass in Huck Finn Pond in mid-August and sampled the pond with electrofishing equipment. They caught a 15.2-inch largemouth bass at the exact location the tipster reported seeing it, and also caught a brown trout. The bass weighed more than 2 pounds. 
 
While both fish would be excellent catches for one or two children, neither species belongs in Huck Finn Pond. “The Game and Fish Department manages Huck Finn Pond as a catchable trout fishery for youth anglers under the age of 14. Largemouth bass and brown trout should not be present in this pond,” said Steve Gale, fisheries biologist for the Laramie Region. Both species will prey on smaller fish, including native fish and trout stocked for young anglers to catch. Additionally, largemouth bass do not occur in the Laramie River within the upper Laramie Valley and would be detrimental to the fishery there if established through illegal introduction.  
 
Biologists dissected the bass and discovered a native Iowa Darter in its stomach. Scales and otoliths were collected for further study and to help determine where the bass came from. “The bass was either raised in an aquarium until it got too big and was released into the pond, or someone transplanted it from another location. The brown trout most likely was moved from Spring Creek, as there is a wild population in the creek. Both scenarios are illegal,” Gale said. 

Gale thanked Laramie resident Buzz Hettick, chairman of the Wyoming Chapter of Backcountry
Hunters and Anglers, for recognizing and reporting the illegally-stocked fish. Illegal fish introductions can destroy valuable sport fisheries and native fish populations. Penalties may include lifetime revocation of Wyoming hunting and fishing privileges, a fine up to $10,000, up to a year in jail, and penalties incurred by the department in removing the fish. If anyone has information on this illegal fish stocking, please call 1-877-WGFD-TIP to report.   

Anglers are reminded that any fish placed on a stringer, in a container, in a live well, or not released immediately to the water shall be considered reduced to the possession of the angler and must be killed prior to being transported from the water of origin. It is also unlawful to release, abandon or allow to escape any unused baitfish or any fish that has been kept in an aquarium. Wyoming fishing regulations can be found online at https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Fishing-and-Boating/Fishing-Regulations.
                                                                      
 

- WGFD -


 
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