Wyoming Game and Fish Department Green River Fisheries Biologist John Walrath said fish are typically aggressive, as soon as the ice comes off, and continue to be aggressive well into spring. Fish also move in shallower this time of year, which makes them more susceptible to shore angling.
“Reports are coming in from anglers that shore fishing is hot right now on Flaming Gorge Reservoir,” Walrath said. “Rainbow trout and Bear River cutthroat trout are typically caught from shore, but anglers are also having success for kokanee salmon and lake trout. The longer and warmer days we’ve been experiencing has the ice retreating. Productivity increases after ice-off with an increase in sunlight and runoff that brings with it a surge of nutrients into the bays, which attracts fish. There are a variety of fishing lures that are effective this time of year, but perhaps the most common is a casting spoon or Kastmaster, with a slow retrieve.”
“Catching multiple species of fish in one outing can also make following regulations more challenging,” said Robert Keith, Green River Fisheries Supervisor. “We remind anglers to read up on the 2017 Wyoming Fishing Regulations before heading out to fish. One recent change that went into effect January 1, 2017 is that smallmouth bass shall be released to the water immediately. Anglers are still allowed to keep four trout, with no more than three to be kokanee salmon, and lake trout have their own regulation, in which anglers can harvest eight with one greater than 28 inches in length.”
“Since Flaming Gorge Reservoir has an over abundant population of lake trout less than 28 inches, this is a great time for anglers to get out and harvest them,” Walrath said. “Small lake trout are especially tasty from now through June, while water temperatures are still cold. Anglers are our most effective tool for controlling fish populations. Wyoming and Utah fisheries biologists encourage anglers to harvest small lake trout to minimize their impact on the trout and kokanee salmon fishery. A reduction of small lake trout would help ensure healthy populations of trout and kokanee, while producing trophy lake trout.”
Anglers can acquire a copy of the 2017 Wyoming Fishing Regulations at any Game and Fish regional office, most license selling vendors, or at wgfd.wyo.gov.
For questions and or more information call the Game and Fish Green River Regional Office at 307-875-3223.