GREEN RIVER – Green River Fisheries Biologists from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently completed the annual spring netting at Flaming Gorge Reservoir and are still concerned about the number of small lake trout in the reservoir.
For this reason, they are encouraging anglers to register for the Hell on Reels Fishing Derby sponsored by Buckboard Marina on June 11-12. The contest is a multi-species contest with multiple categories for lake trout under twenty-five inches that will be fun and challenging for entrants to win.
“Overall lake trout catch rates have increased this spring by 25% compared to 2021, this is partly due to an increase in the number of lake trout over twenty-eight inches sampled this year,” according to fisheries biologist John Walrath “The majority of small lake trout caught were from the north end of the reservoir – north of Brinegar to the confluence. The average size of lake trout caught increased by about four inches and overall the body condition of trout caught has also improved since 2021.”
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“The majority of small lake trout caught were from the north end of the reservoir – north of Brinegar to the confluence,” Walrath continued. “The average size of lake trout caught has increased by about four inches, and overall the body condition of trout caught has also improved since 2021.”
“Many of the lake trout sampled along the shore strongly preyed on newly stocked rainbow trout. Lake trout made up 50% of all fish sampled in shoreline sets. that we caught more rainbow trout and cutthroat trout from Bear River,” Walrath said.
Fisheries managers have encouraged the harvest of small lake trout or calves for several years due to concerns about the abundance of small lake trout and the impacts that large numbers of small predators have on wild and stocked salmon and stocked trout.
Fisheries supervisor Robb Keith said: ‘It is well documented in western fisheries that lake trout under 25 inches can consume a lot of juvenile trout and salmon, especially when their numbers get very high. The abundance of small lake trout is the reason that fisheries managers have increased the bag limit and possession limits for small lake trout and continue to encourage participation in fishing derbies that encourage the targeting of small lake trout.