Cody – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reminds anglers fishing the North Fork of the Shoshone River and Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody to report tagged trout.
As the July 1 and July 15 opener to fishing on the lower portion of the North Fork of the Shoshone River and North Fork arm of Buffalo Bill Reservoir approaches, Game and Fish asks anglers to report tag colors and numbers, the date and location where the fish was caught and if the fish was harvested or released.
For two consecutive years, Game and Fish captured, tagged and released trout in the North Fork of the Shoshone River in an effort to better understand seasonal distribution of trout in the North Fork and Buffalo Bill Reservoir and to help generate estimates of angler catch and harvest rate.
By reporting tagged fish, anglers play a crucial part in local research that will help fisheries biologists better understand the migratory nature of trout in this unique fishery and better evaluate the effectiveness of current regulations in place to protect migrating fish.
“The more people who report tagged fish, the better quality our data will be and the more information we will get out of this important study,” said Fisheries Supervisor Sam Hochhalter. “To take the time to call-in and report tagged fish is a huge ask of anglers, but this is important information that will ultimately benefit this cherished fishery.”
Anglers can report tagged fish by calling 307-527-7125. Most fish will have two different tags. Game and Fish asks anglers to report each tag number and color, the date and location where the fish was caught and if the fish was harvested or released. Anglers should not remove tags from released fish. Many anglers have found that simply taking a close up photo of the tags with their cell phone is an easy way to record and read the tag numbers. For each tagged fish reported, anglers will be entered into a raffle to win a Traeger grill or a Yeti cooler. The raffle is sponsored by the Adiposse Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
As part of this effort, fisheries biologists plan to tag up to 2,000 rainbow, rainbow/cutthroat hybrid and cutthroat trout each year for the next 3-4 years. In addition to anglers reporting tagged fish throughout the year, Game and Fish will conduct surveys in June/July of the North Fork River corridor from Pahaska downstream to Gibbs Bridge to document the distribution of tagged fish.
“This is our chance to learn a lot and have data that informs present and future management,” said Hochhalter. “We appreciate the support from the angling community to help us collect this valuable information.”
Most trout will have two different tags located near the dorsal fin. Anglers are asked to report each tag number and color, the date and location where the fish was caught and if the fish was harvested or released by calling 307-527-7125. Taking a photo is a quick and easy way to document this information.