Public meetings on 2008-09 Fish & Bait Regs
March 5 in Pinedale, March 9 in Big Piney
by Wyoming Game & Fish
February 12, 2007
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department will be hosting seven scoping meetings within Fish Management Area 4 (Bear River, Green River and Little Snake drainages) to discuss recommendations for the 2008-09 fish and bait fish regulations.
Each meeting will begin at 7:00 pm. and conclude at 9:00 pm. A Power Point presentation, which includes a detailed overview of the fishing and baitfish regulation recommendations, will start the meeting followed by a question and answer session.
The meetings are scheduled at the following locations and times.
February 21, Green River: Wyoming Game & Fish Department, Green River Regional Office, 351 Astle Avenue, 7-9 pm
February 22, Evanston: Uinta County Library, 701 Main St, 7-9 pm
March 1, Kemmerer: Lincoln County Library, 519 Emerald St, 7-9 pm
March 5, Pinedale: Sublette County Library, 155 S Tyler Ave, 7-9 pm
March 6, Cokeville: Town Hall, 110 Pine St, 7-9 pm
March 9, Big Piney: Sublette County Library, 106 S Fish St, 7-9 pm
March 12, Rawlins: Jeffrey Center315 W. Pine St, 7-9 pm
According to Green River Fisheries Supervisor Robert Keith several proposed changes will be very different from those regulations currently in place.
"We are proposing separate creel limits for trout caught from rivers and streams versus lakes and reservoirs," Keith said. "For example, in Area 4, which includes the Bear, Green and Little Snake River drainages, anglers will have a daily creel limit of 3 trout when fishing rivers and streams. The daily limit on lakes and reservoirs will remain at 6 trout. This proposal is based on the reduced productivity (ability to support trout) of rivers and streams versus lakes and reservoirs. In addition, if the reduced limit is adopted we are proposing to eliminate numerous special regulations on individual rivers and streams."
Keith says one of the proposals is to liberalize the possession limits for many fish categories. "We are recommending that possession limits be double the daily creel limit on some fish categories, for example, an angler would be able to retain two daily limits of trout if they fish more than one day on most reservoirs across the state. One exception will be Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Flaming Gorge fishery is jointly managed with Utah, who does not allow such liberal possession limit."
Pinedale Fisheries Supervisor Hilda Sexauer says anglers will still need to review the special regulations for specific waters. "There are several lakes in the Pinedale area, for example, Half Moon Lake, Green River Lakes and Soda Lake, that would not allow for the area wide daily creel and possession limits," Sexauer said.
A big change in the Pinedale Area is a proposal to remove many of the cutthroat trout catch and release special regulations. "We are proposing a one (1) cutthroat trout limit in the Green River Drainage above Fontenelle Reservoir. This will simplify the regulations and allow for limited harvest of cutthroat trout in the streams/rivers. The Pinedale Fish Management crew would closely monitoring the Wyoming Range Colorado River cutthroat trout streams to document changes this regulation would have on this species of special concern. Artificial flies and lures would still be required for most of those streams," Sexauer said.
With the new area wide regulations for streams/rivers we will be able to remove several special regulations areas on the Green and New Fork rivers. Though sections of these rivers will continue to have tackle restrictions, the Game and Fish is proposing a three (3) trout limit, only one (1) over 16 inches, and only one shall be a cutthroat trout, for the entire drainage above Fontenelle Reservoir.
Keith also stated that several changes are being recommended to bait fish regulations. "Most of the proposed bait fish regulations govern live bait fish. The use of live bait fish is not allowed in Area 4, therefore few of the changes will impact anglers in this area. The changes to the live bait fish regulations will predominantly be of interest to anglers on the east side of the continental divide."
Another proposal would eliminate the use of Cisco as bait in Wyoming. "Cisco can potentially carry fish diseases, even as frozen bait, which could infect other fish and become established in Wyoming's trout fisheries, Keith said. "This so concerns us that we are recommending it be illegal to use Cisco as bait. Fisheries managers are also interested in broadening the gear types people with seining permits may use to collect minnows and relaxing the restrictions on the number of traps that may be set."
Because of the substantial regulation proposals Game and Fish has afforded anglers plenty of time to review, digest and provide input on the proposed changes before any formal meetings take place.
Anglers may comment on the preliminary regulation proposals during February and March, prior to the formal commenting period. Public input collected during this preliminary commenting period will be used to update the proposals prior to starting the formal commenting or formal rules making period.
The formal commenting period will begin April 30. Written comments will be received through 5 PM on June 13 and should be mailed to Fish Division, Attn: Regulation Comments, 5400 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82006.
The State of Wyoming supports the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Anyone requiring auxiliary aids, regarding this Public Notice, should contact the Wyoming Game and Fish Department at 307-777-4586. Every effort will be made for reasonable accommodations.