M.J. Wilczewski, 5, gets fishing lessons from dad (Tye) as little sister Hailey plays at water's edge. (Ernie Over photo)

(Cheyenne, Wyo.) – As the warmer weather approaches more and more people from both inside and outside Wyoming are taking advantage of the excellent fishing that is available in the Cowboy State.

But with that increased activity, there also is typically an increase in violations of Wyoming fishing laws. The following are the most common fishing violations that occur every year on Wyoming waters.

Fishing Without a License - According to the Game and Fish, the most common fishing violation by far is fishing without a license. A fishing license is required of anglers age 14 and older. If the license is an annual license a conservation stamp is also required. A conservation stamp is not required for holders of daily licenses. A fishing license is not required for resident youth under 14. Nonresident youth under 14 do not need a license if accompanied by a licensed adult, but the catch of nonresident youth must be applied to the creel limit of the licensed adult in his/her company.  Resident youth can catch their own full creel limit.

Overlimit of Fish – The general statewide creel and possession limits are found on page 4 of the Wyoming Fishing Regulations booklet. In addition to the general creel limit, some waters have restrictions on the numbers and species of fish that can be kept. Anglers are advised to pay attention to the number of trout that can be kept in lakes and reservoirs as opposed to the generally reduced creel limit for most streams.  Exceptions to the general statewide regulations for specific streams and lakes are found in drainage area sections of the fishing regulations.

Violation of Regulations That Apply to Specific Waters – There are a number of waters in Wyoming that have regulations that differ from the general statewide regulations. For example, some waters require the use of artificial flies or lures only, other waters may restrict the size and number of fish or a particular species that can be kept. Still others may have closed seasons during certain portions of the year or have watercraft restrictions. Definition of what constitutes artificial lures or flies or bait is found on page 5 of the fishing regulations. Waters which have bait, boating or season restrictions are found in the “exceptions” section following each drainage in the fishing regulations.

Before going fishing, anglers are advised to check the regulations to see if any special regulations apply to the water where their fishing activity will take place.

–Wyoming Game & Fish Department