CHEYENNE – If you haven’t been fishing yet this summer, it’s time to pack your gear. The fishing in Wyoming is about to take off as the last snow melts and the rivers clear.
“Fishing should be good everywhere in Wyoming soon,” said Dirk Miller, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department deputy chief of fisheries. “Wyoming has some of the most incredible fishing opportunities around. There are outstanding stream and river fisheries, reservoirs and ponds that are excellent and many communities around the state have easy to access community fishing spots.”
At this point in the summer, lakes, ponds and reservoirs have been clear and are fishing well. Anglers, like Rock Springs’ Christian Cosby, are already catching record-setting fish in these types of waters. With the rising July temperatures, snow from the mountains is melting fast. In a few weeks, most rivers are predicted to be running clear and be fishing well.
But, if you need another reason to finally head outside with a rod, fishing can be good for your health, too.
“Fishing is a great way to get out of the house, away from electronics, and enjoy a day outdoors with family and friends,” said Miller.
According to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF), a fishing hobby can contribute to overall mental health and wellbeing. Sharing a day fishing with friends and family can boost relationships through socializing outdoors while mentoring or bonding with other anglers. Fishing has also been shown to lower stress level. Simply being near the water can help lower anxiety levels, and RBFF says that can lead to a healthier and more relaxed lifestyle. To make all of this possible the Wyoming Game and Fish Department stocks over 5 million fish each year and manages wild populations to provide a wide variety of fishing opportunities.
Besides fishing being good for your mental health, eating what you catch is also good for your physical health. A well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fish can contribute to heart health and children’s proper growth and development. Fish contain high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat and contain omega-3 fatty acids.
While adding fish to your diet is a healthy choice, it is important to be aware of mercury levels. The Game and Fish and the Wyoming Department of Health recommend keeping smaller Wyoming-caught fish for eating. Smaller fish have less methyl mercury. Pregnant women, women of childbearing age and children should be most aware of mercury levels. So, if you’re planning to cook the fish you catch, Please see the Game and Fish website for additional information and Fish Consumption Advice for specific waters.
“Some commonly eaten fish low in mercury are Wyoming-caught brook trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon,” said Miller.
Now is the perfect time to get your fishing license and start planning some summer, or even fall, trips. Wyoming residents under the age of 14 can fish for free; non-residents under 14 must be with a licensed adult. Explore places to fish near you with the Wyoming Fishing Guide, the X-Stream Angler fishing challenge, the Cutt-Slam fishing challenge and the walk-in fishing map. You can purchase a license on the Game and Fish website.