|WGFD Photo: The FLOY TAGS inserted into lake trout for the new fishing contest.
GREEN RIVER— In cooperation with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Buckboard Marina at Flaming Gorge LLC, the new owners of Buckboard Marina, hatched an idea to allow anglers opportunity to participate in a new fishing contest on Flaming Gorge Reservoir from November through March. The goal of the new contest, Buckboard Pup-u-lation Control Contest, is to draw attention to the abundance of small lake trout (<25 inches) in Flaming Gorge Reservoir and encourage anglers to harvest more lake trout less than 25 inches.
“Flaming Gorge Reservoir is experiencing its highest densities of small lake trout or “pups”, those less than 25 inches in total length, on record,” Game and Fish Green River Fisheries Biologist John Walrath said. “So far, we know that lake trout are currently growing at half the rate as they were in the 80s and early 90s. For those lake trout under 28 inches, this means there is twice the number of mouths to feed. The addition of mouths can put strain on prey populations. The main prey for lake trout in the Gorge is Kokanee salmon, a prized sport fish for many anglers. In order to maintain our other sport fisheries, we need to harvest small lake trout, especially those less than 25 inches, to bring their population back into balance with the available prey base.”
Walrath said there are many fish in the population that are simply not growing and lack the ability to achieve a trophy size. This is why in January of this year, regulations were changed reservoir-wide to encourage anglers to harvest lake trout less than 28 inches in length.
The new Buckboard Pup-u-lation Control Contest encourages anglers to target small lake trout in hopes of catching one of 100 tagged fish. Registered anglers who catch a ‘tagged’ lake trout will receive $100 instantly when the tag is presented to a Buckboard Marina employee and they will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win one of three grand prizes: a 16’ boat with a motor, a 14’ boat with a motor, or a guided kokanee fishing trip. When anglers catch a full limit of lake trout they can enter themselves into a drawing for best photo. There is also a youth best photo category. Check out the rules at Buckboardmarina.net for detailed information on the prize categories you can enter. Just for registering for this contest and going fishing anglers will be entered into a drawing for prizes.
While the new owners of Buckboard Marina have been busy working in preparation for the upcoming ice fishing and boating seasons, they are committed to doing what they can to help enhance the fishery in Flaming Gorge Reservoir and this contest is part of that commitment. There are multiple prize categories and, most importantly, it is ‘free’ to register, but you must be registered to qualify for most of the prizes. You can find more information about the contest including rules at Buckboardmarina.net.
Anglers can learn more about why biologists are concerned about the abundance of small lake trout and find tips on how to catch lake trout less than 28 inches on the Flaming Gorge page of the Department’s Green River webpage at https://wgfd.wyo.gov/Regional-Offices/Green-River-Region/Flaming-Gorge-Management.
Anglers can acquire a copy of the 2019 Wyoming Fishing Regulations at any Game and Fish regional office, most license selling vendors, or at wgfd.wyo.gov. For questions and or more information call the Game and Fish Green River Regional Office at 307- 875-3223.