CHEYENNE – At least every two years the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission updates its fishing regulations. After 13 public meetings and considering 93 written comments the Commission approved new regulations that would go into effect on January 1, 2019. These new regulations mostly aim to reduce the number of regional exceptions to harvest limits in streams and update live baitfish regulations.
Each year about 100,000 Wyoming residents and another 120,000 nonresidents buy a fishing license here. These regulations do aim to clarify and simplify the regulations to make it easier for people to participate.
“We feel like the Commission-approved changes improve the fishing regulations and we look forward to helping more people enjoy the incredible fishing Wyoming offers,” said Alan Osterland, chief of the fish division. The regulations passed today reflect some public input that came up during the process. There had been proposals related to using only artificial flies on the entire Clark’s Fork and on changing harvest limits for cutthroat trout near Jackson. Commenters opposed those ideas and they were taken out of the final regulations.
The Commission also approved updates to regulations for wolf hunting in 2018. Those regulations continue to align with Wyoming’s wolf management plan and population goal set several years ago. This is 160 wolves outside of the national parks and the Wind River Reservation but inside the trophy game management area. That management area is where most of Wyoming’s wolves live. The Commission set a quota for regulated wolf hunting in 2018 of 58.
Additionally, the Commission made paddleboards a designated non-motorized watercraft and exempted them from requiring an aquatic invasive species decal. So, paddleboards do not need a decal as they do not carry water or aquatic invasive species.
Other action items of the Commission included final approval of a budget for the fiscal year 2019, support a foundation focused on wildlife across Wyoming, implemented regulations following legislative passage of a new law to have a women’s antelope hunt event, among other action items.