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Unlimited Fishing With No Catch Limits Allowed At Saratoga Lake

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Unlimited fishing will be temporarily allowed at Saratoga Lake in advance of plans to kill all of the lake’s fish, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced on Wednesday.

The creel and possession limits were lifted Wednesday due to the department’s plans to chemically treat the lake in September, killing any fish left in the water.

Typical Wyoming regulations allow anglers at the lake to keep six trout per day.

Earlier this month, the Game and Fish Department announced it would kill all the fish in Saratoga Lake because of the illegal introduction of yellow perch. The decision forced the cancelation of Saratoga’s annual Ice Fishing Derby because there will be no live fish in the lake by January.

The fish will be poisoned using “rotenone” at the lake in mid-September, so anglers have at least two months to fish for trout and yellow perch to their stomach’s delight. There are rainbow, tiger and brown trout in the lake.

The perch are actually not native to the lake and are the reason the lake’s population must be wiped out.

“Last summer, we discovered [yellow] perch in the lake during routine university sampling,” Alan Osterland, Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s fisheries chief, told Cowboy State Daily this month. “We manage that as a trout fishery, so having perch so high up in the system could be a problem for many reasons.”

Osterland said the plan is to restock the lake with trout next summer.

Although the fish kill has caused the cancellation of the popular and long-running Saratoga Ice Fishing Derby, which was set to celebrate its 40th year in 2023, the event is planned to return in 2024 without yellow perch in the water.

The fishing derby was started in the 1980s by Wyoming author C.J. Box, who has since become a household name for his series of Joe Pickett and Cassie Dewell novels.

This is not the first time the department has had to treat Saratoga Lake, but Osterland said it has been many years since this last occurred.

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Wyo Game And Fish Considering Unlimited Trout Fishing At Saratoga Lake Before Killing All Fish

in Wyoming Game and Fish/Fishing/News
21084

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

In the angling world, ‘catch-and-release’ is a common practice as it allows for the sport of fishing to occur while keeping fish populations at a sustainable level.

The opposite of ‘catch-and-release,’ call it ‘catch-and-keep-every-fish-possible,’ may happen at Saratoga Lake later this year if a proposed special regulation is approved by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Gov. Mark Gordon.

The Game and Fish Department recently announced it would kill all the fish in Saratoga Lake because of the illegal introduction of yellow perch. The decision forced the cancelation of Saratoga’s annual Ice Fishing Derby because there will be no more life fish in the lake.

However, a Game and Fish Department fisheries biologist suggested at a public meeting that the department first allow people to fish the lake — and keep as many fish as they want.

What this could mean for the public is unlimited fishing at the lake. An angling jackpot. A fishing fiesta. Yee-haw.

Not Allowed Yet

Currently, Wyoming regulations allow anglers at the lake to keep six trout per day.

Department spokeswoman Sara DiRienzo told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday that the emergency regulation has not yet been signed by Gordon, who must authorize this move, but once it is, unlimited fishing will be allowed.

The fish will be poisoned using “rotenone” at the lake in mid-September, so anglers would have at least two months to fish for trout and yellow perch to their stomach’s delight. There are rainbow, tiger and brown trout in the lake.

The perch are actually not native to the lake and are the reason the lake’s population must be wiped out.

“Last summer, we discovered [yellow] perch in the lake during routine university sampling,” Alan Osterland, Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s fisheries chief, told Cowboy State Daily on Monday. “We manage that as a trout fishery, so having perch so high up in the system could be a problem for many reasons.”

Osterland said the plan is to restock the lake with trout next summer.

The fish kill has caused the cancellation of the popular and long-running Saratoga Ice Fishing Derby, which was set to celebrate its 40th year in 2023. However, it is planned to return in 2024, without yellow perch in the water.

C.J. Box

The fishing derby was started in the 1980s by Wyoming author C.J. Box, who has since become a household name for his series of Joe Pickett and Cassie Dewell novels.

“The chamber of commerce didn’t have any money, so … C.J. started the fishing derby,” former legislator and fourth-generation Wyomingite Teense Willford told Cowboy State Daily on Monday.

Willford said that back in the early days of the derby, the organizers would do silly things such as give out prizes for the best “hard luck” story or send out official invitations to famous people, such as Prince Charles and Princess Diana or U.S. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, to serve as the “king” or “queen” of the derby.

While none of the invited celebrities ever attended the derby, Willford believes if they had, the Saratoga community would have shown them a good time.

Osterland said the department is still investigating who was involved in stocking the lake with the illegal yellow perch, but he believes it is someone who enjoyed fishing for perch and wanted to do it locally.

“Stocking” could be a strong word, however, as Osterland said the person could have brought in as few as two yellow perch and the fish mate quickly and at a young age.

This is not the first time the department has had to treat Saratoga Lake for illegally stocked fish, but Osterland said it has been many years since this last occurred.

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Four-Year-Old Sets World Fishing Record in Wind River Mountains

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

Move over Josh Allen. You’re not the only person with Wyoming ties to make the big time.

Four-year-old Caroline May Evans recently set the world record for golden trout in the International Game Fish Association’s “female smallfry” category — the category for anglers under the age of 10.

The association, in the latest edition of its book listing world record fish catches, said Caroline caught the 2-pound golden trout in the Wind River Mountains in July.

“Caroline caught this beautiful trout on a worm while fishing the mouth of a creek entering a lake,” the IGFA wrote. “With the guidance of her father, she was able to successfully land this amazing fish.”

Where she was specifically?  True anglers won’t tell you. 

The Wind River Mountains is all the association is giving up.

The IGFA reports that Evans’ family weighed the fish, took some photos of the catch, and then released it to live another day.

“Congratulations to Caroline and her family for a spectacular catch-and-release and an unforgettable day,” the association wrote.

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Rock Springs Angler Catches Gigantic 44-Inch Lake Trout At Flaming Gorge

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Now that’s a fish!

Summer and fall may have the reputation in Wyoming as prime fishing season but don’t tell that to Rock Springs fisherman Shane Dubois.

The professional fishing guide showed off his talents last week when he caught a gargantuan lake trout at Flaming Gorge.

“Damn, did you put a saddle on that beast?” asked one of his friends on Facebook.

“I thought about it,” Dubois said. “All I could do to just hold it with my elbows at my side for a decent pic.”

“That must have felt like you were hauling in a piano!” another friend wrote.

The monstrous fish looks about as large as Dubois. 

In reality, the fish measured 44 inches long and weighed 39 pounds.

A record? Nope. The record is 48 inches long and 50 pounds. It was caught in 1995, also at Flaming Gorge

Maybe it’s the same fish. After all, DuBois said he safely released this one back to the reservoir. 

People lose height as they grow older. Maybe fish do too. And he could have gone on a diet.

Regardless, this is nothing new for DuBois. His Facebook page is filled with gigantic monster fish he’s nabbed over the years. Some fish so large that two people are needed to hold them up.

Interested in catching gigantic, prehistoric monsters like Shane? He gives out free fishing tips on his numerous Facebook Live chats.

Nice job, Mr. DuBois!

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Wyoming Angler Obliterates “White Sucker” Fishing Record

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Although suckers may not be the sexiest fish in the world, like a great white shark or a barracuda, a record is a record is a record.

And Riverton’s Patrick Edwards now holds the state record for the largest “white sucker” caught in Wyoming.

The 5.6-pound fish annihilated the old record of 4.4 pounds and was caught by Edwards on March 20 in the Wind River.

How’d he catch it? A basic “pickle rig” with a weight, two hooks and two three-way swivels.

“I put a piece of nightcrawler on each hook, cast it out and let it sit right on the bottom near the seam of the fast and slower moving water in the river,” Edwards told the Wyoming Game & Fish Department.

Edwards said he weighed the fish at the Riverton Post Office, which was able to certify the size.

The official measurements were: 5 pounds, 6.45 ounces, 22 inches long with a girth of 13.5 inches.

Did he celebrate by having a white sucker sandwich?

Nope. But he did eat the record holder.

“The other cool thing we learned is that they do actually taste very good pickled,” Edwards said.

By the way, he’s not going to be in trouble for any social distancing violation.

He didn’t go with a group of buddies like the Billy Ray Cyrus masterpiece “Bait Shop.”

Rather, he was just out with his kids trying to get some fresh air.

I received something pretty special in the mail today. I never thought I’d hold a state record catch. It’s pretty cool….

Posted by Patrick Edwards on Wednesday, May 6, 2020

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