Spring signals increased fish stocking efforts

County 10 Photo - Big Bend Ponds

(Cheyenne, WY) – It’s spring in Wyoming and that means the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is amping up fish stocking throughout the state. 

Over 1,500 Eagle Lake rainbow trout were stocked in 4 of Riverton’s Big Bend Ponds in March. So far, this is the only fish stocking that has happened in Fremont County this year.

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Travis Trimble, Game and Fish assistant fish culture supervisor, said this year’s stocking plans are similar to 2020 when Game and Fish stocked 7.1 million fish in Wyoming waters.

About two-thirds of those 7.1 million fish were trout and kokanee salmon raised in Wyoming’s 10 fish hatcheries and rearing stations. The rest were cool and warm-water fish brought in from out of state. Some of those species include walleye, channel catfish, and crappie.

The majority of fish stocked in Wyoming are in large reservoirs and other standing waters. Game and Fish is planning to stock more than 300 standing waters this year.

“Stream and river stocking is limited to larger rivers where habitat and water flow are impacted by dams,” said Dave Zafft, Game and Fish fisheries management coordinator. “Although stocking is vital for large rivers, reservoirs and some lakes, anglers should know that when fishing most rivers and streams around the state they are pursuing wild trout.”

Zafft said Game and Fish stocks about 400,000 trout per year in Wyoming streams, and 80 percent of those go into sections of four major rivers: North Platte River downstream of Seminoe Reservoir, Bighorn River downstream from Thermopolis, Shoshone River downstream from Cody and the Green River downstream from Fontenelle Reservoir and upstream of Warren Bridge near Daniel.

Zafft said Game and Fish stocks about 40 reaches of smaller streams and rivers that have proven to be incapable of supporting enough trout to satisfy angling pressure. He added there are 24,500 miles of rivers and streams in Wyoming that have game fish populations. Out of those, Game and Fish stocks fewer than 900 miles, less than 4%.

Fish stocking plays an important role in providing anglers opportunities to catch fish and for Game and Fish to maintain populations around Wyoming.

Want to know more about fish stocking in your area? Game and Fish’s fish stocking app has you covered. The app provides information on where, when, size, species and amount of fish stocked. Anglers can search for current stocking data and view past reports dating back to 1985. The easy-to-use search function allows viewers to narrow their search by year, species of fish, county, and name of the waterway. 

Check out the fish stocking app online.

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