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Try for the Wyoming Cutt-Slam This Summer

Wyoming’s Cutt-Slam program continues to be a very popular program. Sixty-five anglers received Cutt-Slam certificates in 2011. A total of 892 anglers have qualified for the Cutt-Slam since the program was started in 1996.

Anglers who complete the Cutt-Slam are recognized for catching Wyoming’s four subspecies of cutthroat in their native range in Wyoming. The four subspecies are the Yellowstone, Snake River, Bonneville, and Colorado River cutthroat trout. Successful anglers receive a certificate listing the name of the angler, color artwork of the four subspecies, and notation on the date and location of each catch. The Cutt-Slam program has been featured in national outdoor magazines, most recently the June 2012 issue of Field & Stream, and on several television programs.

The program continues to grow in popularity as more and more anglers take advantage of visiting the unique country specific to the native environment of each cutthroat subspecies. Typically, most entries are received in late summer and fall following the spring runoff as anglers take advantage of improved fishing conditions.

The Cutt-Slam was the idea of the late Pinedale area Fisheries Supervisor Ron Remmick, who wanted to draw attention to the management efforts being done on behalf of the cutthroat. He looked at Wyoming’s four cutthroat subspecies and the Cutt-Slam was born.

Rules for completing the Cutt-Slam are quite simple. To qualify, an angler needs to provide a photograph of each fish and information on the date of catch and water where it was caught. There is no minimum size requirement. Releasing of fish is encouraged and may be required depending on the regulations for different waters.

One of the key components of the Cutt-Slam is that each of the fish must be caught in their native range in Wyoming. Over the years, several of the cutthroat subspecies have been stocked in waters outside of their native drainages. Cutthroat caught in these waters do not qualify for the Cutt-Slam’s native range requirement. A map showing the native range of the different drainages where the four subspecies can be found is on the Game and Fish website. Click on “Fishing” then on “fish of Wyoming” then on “Cutt-Slam.” In addition to the map, the different native drainages of these fish are listed along with phone numbers of the regional Game and Fish offices responsible for fisheries management in each drainage. Anglers can also view the Cutt-Slam certificate and obtain applications on the Game and Fish website.

The Cutt-Slam has enjoyed nationwide popularity. Anglers completing the Cutt-Slam come from most states and several foreign countries.

With the low snowpack in most areas this year, it is likely most cutthroat waters will be in good fishable condition much earlier than the past few years of heavy snowpack. It is expected that many waters will be in good shape by early summer.