The Wyoming Game and Fish Department asks anglers fishing the North Fork of the Shoshone River and Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody to report tagged trout.
Recently, G&F officials captured, tagged and released trout in the North Fork of the Shoshone River in an effort to better understand seasonal distribution of trout in the North Fork and Buffalo Bill Reservoir and to help generate an estimate of the angler catch and harvest rate.
By reporting tagged fish, anglers play a crucial part in local research that will help fisheries biologists better understand the migratory nature of trout in this unique fishery, G&F said.
It will allow officials to better evaluate the effectiveness of current regulations in place to protect migrating fish.
“The more people who report tagged fish, the better quality our data will be and the more information we will get out of this important study,” said fisheries supervisor Sam Hochhalter. “To take the time to call in and report tagged fish is a huge ask of anglers, but this is important information that will ultimately benefit this cherished fishery.”
Anglers can report tagged fish by calling (307) 527-7125 or (800) 654-1178.
Most fish will have two different tags. G&F asks anglers to report each tag number and color, the date and location where the fish was caught and if the fish was harvested or released.
For each tagged fish reported, anglers will be entered into a raffle to win a Traeger grill, a Yeti cooler and cash prizes. The raffle is sponsored by the Adiposse Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
As part of this effort, fisheries biologists plan to tag up to 2,000 rainbow, rainbow/cutthroat hybrid and cutthroat trout each year for the next 4-5 years.
In addition to anglers reporting tagged fish throughout the year, Game and Fish will conduct surveys in June/July of the North Fork River corridor from Pahaska downstream to Gibbs Bridge to document the distribution of tagged fish.
“This is our chance to learn a lot and have data that informs present and future management,” said Hochhalter. “We appreciate the support from the angling community to help us collect this valuable information.”
Anglers are reminded that seasonal closures to fishing are in place April 1-June 30 for the North Fork drainage from and including Newton Creek downstream to Gibbs Bridge.
Fishing is also closed from April 1 thru July 14 on a section of Buffalo Bill Reservoir which includes Gibbs Bridge to that portion of Buffalo Bill Reservoir that lies west of a straight line connecting the mouths of Rattlesnake Creek and Sheep Creek (commonly known as Spring Creek).