Fishing activity will increase during the coming months, and 2013 is already shaping up to be one of Wyoming’s biggest years for new fish records.
Anglers have already set five new records this year. Some records are not likely to be beat, such as the 11-pound, 4-ouncegolden trout caught in 1948, but a glance at the records shows that half of Wyoming’s entries have been caught since 2000.
Over the years there have been numerous reports of anglers catching large fish that,for one reason or another, were never entered into the state record book.Entering a fish for consideration for a record is quite easy, but these rules must be followed.
- The fish must be weighed on a scale certified for legal trade. Scales in post offices or places of commerce are usually all certified. The scale in your tackle box is not. The weighing must be witnessed by two people other than the applicant.
- Fish caught at private clubs, from fish hatchery waters, or on private ponds not accessible to the public for angling are ineligible.
- Fish must be caught on rod, reel, and line; or pole and line; and hooked (no snagging) using legal methods.
- The species must be verified by the Game and Fish Department. The identity of most fish is usually obvious, but there are certain species such as lake trout, splake, brook trout, walleye, sauger, and some of the sunfish species that could easily be mistaken.
- Fish must be taken during the legal open season of the water where caught.
The department advises having the fish officially weighed as quickly as possible. Over the years, several fish have been submitted as possible state records that were not officially weighed until a number of days after they were caught. A large fish will lose moisture over time which can add up to enough weight loss to keep a fish from becoming anew state record.
Record entry forms are found on the Game and Fish website wgfd.wyo.gov. Anglers can contact Game and Fish regional offices or headquarters (307-777-4600) for more information.
Wyoming does not keep separate record categories for line class, fly-fishing, or catch and release. Visit wgfd.wyo.gov for a listing of Wyoming’s fish records.
Logo courtesy Wyoming Game and Fish Department