Sauger captured on the Little Wind River for the spawning operation. Photo by Joe Deromedi.

(Lander, Wyo.) – Wyoming Game & Fish Fisheries personnel spent much of May on the lower Popo Agie and Little Wind rivers collecting and spawning sauger, the department reports. This is the second year personnel have collected fertilized sauger eggs for rearing and stocking back into the system.

“The need for intervening on behalf of this native fish was prompted by over a decade of declining sauger populations in the Wind River drainage,” the department reports in its monthly newsletter. “The current plan calls for a total of five years of artificial spawning and stocking with the hopes that the population can be bolstered to the point that it can again maintain a sustainable and stable population on its own.”

A total of 58 female saugers were spawned, and officials collected approximately four million eggs. The eggs will be hatched at the Speas Rearing Station near Casper. By mid-summer, once the fish are fingerling size, they will be stocked back into the Wind River system in mid-summer.

The project is in cooperation with the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho tribes and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Fisheries Technician Brain Jeide (left) and Fisheries Supervisor Kevin Johnson tagging a sauger. Photo by Paul Gerrity.

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Fisheries Technician Brain Jeide (left) and Fisheries Supervisor Kevin Johnson tagging a sauger. Photo by Paul Gerrity.