Game and Fish tags trout to estimate pup population

Fisheries managers from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department are concerned about the number of lake trout pups in Flaming Gorge Reservoir. In partnership with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the fisheries managers have begun efforts to tag 1,000 lake trout in the reservoir. 

The tagging will help estimate the population of lake trout under 28 inches long, according to press releases from the Game and Fish. Despite increased creel limits on lake trout under 28 inches, there continues to be an abundance of these small fish in the reservoir. 

Anglers can help the Game and Fish generate a better population estimate simply by fishing.

Fisheries biologist John Walrath said, "Tagged lake trout from either Wyoming or Utah are valid for a potential reward. Anglers only need to have a valid fishing license as required by law."  

If anglers catch a lake trout with a tag, they have a chance at being awarded $50. Tags are located directly beneath the dorsal fin, are a couple inches long and are orange in color. Each tag is two-sided; one side has a tag number and the other, a phone number to the Green River regional office. Participating in this population study is easy, and could mean a payout for lucky anglers who turn in tagged trout.  

Anglers are asked to call in any tag caught between now and Aug. 2023 to see if the fish they caught is worth $50. Anglers will not be able to tell if a tag has an associated-reward without calling it in. In order to receive payment once a reward tag is confirmed, the tag must be physically returned to the Green River regional office or mailed to the office.

"Any angler who catches and reports a tagged fish will receive a letter from the Department detailing when and where the fish was tagged and its length at tagging. If the fish was one of the 200 randomly selected for a $50 reward, a check will also be mailed to the angler from the Game and Fish," Walrath said.   

Anglers could see other similar tags affixed to their catches. Within the past three years, 100 lake trout were tagged as part of Buckboard Marina's "Pupulation Control" fishing derby. Many of these tags are still swimming around the reservoir, and if an angler catches one of these fish the tag will read Buckboard Marina and the phone number listed will be to Buckboard Marina. If you catch a fish with one of these tags please report it to either Buckboard Marina or the Green River Office of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.


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