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Soda Lake Surveyed by Game & Fish

October 14, 2019
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Pinedale Fish Biologists brave freezing temps to net Soda Lake recently.

Pinedale - The Pinedale Fish Crew braved recent freezing temperatures to conduct their annual fish survey on Soda Lake north of Pinedale. While the data recorded from the multi-day netting effort won't be analyzed until the field season is over, it was clear that brown trout numbers were down. "Soda Lake brook and brown trout numbers vary annually and it appears that brown trout numbers are down this year," said Pinedale Fish Biologist, Pete Cavalli. "Anglers noted many dead fish this spring, and brown trout appeared to make up the majority of the fish that were observed. On the upside, brook trout are more numerous and as big as ever, with several topping 18 inches in length."  

Even though Soda Lake is considered a phenomenal trout fishery, the chemical and physical characteristics of the lake actually make it marginally suited for trout. It has been noted that dissolved oxygen, water temperature, and magnesium can all reach lethal levels for trout. It has also been noted that hydrogen sulfide concentrations can accumulate to lethal levels in the deepest portions of the lake. In addition, the bacterial disease furunculosis has been documented on several occasions in both brook and brown trout. Even though there are periodic die-offs, Soda Lake is still well-known for producing trophy-class brook and brown trout.
Soda Lake is closed to fishing from November 15 through April 30. The creel limit on trout (including brook trout) is one per day or in possession. The use of personal watercraft is prohibited and the use of internal combustion motors is prohibited from May 1 through May 31. 

- WGFD -

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