Regional Offices > Sheridan Region > Sheridan Region News > Wyoming Game and Fish Department asks anglers to temporarily avoid fishing Muddy Guard Reservoir #1

Wyoming Game and Fish Department asks anglers to temporarily avoid fishing Muddy Guard Reservoir #1

August 17, 2021
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Sheridan -

Due to an extremely low water level and high water temperatures, fish managers with Wyoming Game and Fish Department are asking anglers to refrain from fishing at Muddy Guard #1 in Johnson County. The 27-acre pond, 16 miles southwest of Buffalo, is one of the premiere fisheries in the Sheridan Region. It is managed to offer anglers trophy-sized Snake River cutthroat and rainbow trout.

Recent water temperature readings at Muddy Guard #1 have been as high as 75 degrees Fahrenheit and maximum pool depth was measured at 13 feet, creating unfavorable conditions for trout, which are cold-water species.

When water temperatures approach 70 degrees, trout become stressed due to low oxygen levels. As temperatures approach 75 degrees, most trout are unable to recover from being caught and released by anglers.

By voluntarily reducing angling pressure, anglers can help reduce impacts to the fishery from this year’s unusually low water levels and high temperatures.

“We’re asking anglers to temporarily not fish in Muddy Guard #1 to help protect this trophy fishery,” said Sheridan Region Fisheries Supervisor Paul Mavrakis. “We continue to monitor conditions regularly and will notify the public when conditions improve.”

All of northeast Wyoming is experiencing severe or extreme drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor – creating warmer water temperatures and reduced water availability in many area water bodies.

For other low-elevation fisheries in the Sheridan Region, fish managers are encouraging anglers to consider best practices to reduce unintended fish mortality.

  • Fish for trout early in the morning while the water temperature is cooler.
  • Carry a pocket thermometer to monitor the water temperature.
  • If the water temperature is at or above 65 degrees, consider keeping what you catch within the regulations. 
  • If the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, do not attempt to catch and release trout.
  • Land fish as rapidly as possible to reduce exhaustion stress.  
  • Keep the fish in the water as much as possible.
  • Do not squeeze the fish or place fingers in the gills.
  • Remove the hook gently. If hooked deeply, cut the leader.
  • Flies and lures are recommended whenever many trout are being caught and released.
  • If a fish is exhausted and cannot hold itself upright, and if regulations allow, consider having it for dinner because the fish has a poor chance of surviving.

Anglers needing more information can contact the Game and Fish Sheridan Regional Office at 307-672-7418.

- WGFD -

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