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Frequently Asked Questions
Fishing
Q. Is there any bass fishing in Wyoming?

A. Although trout are Wyoming’s headliner, Wyoming also provides some pretty good bass fishing. For smallmouths, Flaming Gorge, Grayrocks and Keyhole Reseervoirs are good bets. Renner Reservoir north of Ten Sleep and Hawk Springs can host some good largemouth angling. For more waters, consult a Wyoming Fishing Guide or contact a Game and Fish Department Officer. Anglers are always advised to consult the current Wyoming Fishing Regulations for specific limits and size restrictions.

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Q. I've already purchased a youth fishing license for this year. Do I need to purchase a regular fishing license when I turn 18 later in
the year?

A. Hunting and fishing licenses do not expire on birthdays. Your youth license is good for the calendar year. Once the new year begins, you will need to purchase the regular adult license.

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Q. Is it legal to chum fish in Wyoming?

A. There is no law prohibiting the practice of chumming (placing extra bait in the water) to attract fish.

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Q. Do I need to wear a life jacket when fishing from a float tube?

A. ONo. Under Wyoming law, float tubes, inner tubes, air mattresses, sail boards and even logs are classified as "water sport toys" and are exempt from the life jacket requirement for watercraft. The exception is if the water toy has a motor, or if it is being towed by a boat. Then an approved personal flotation device (PFD), or life jacket, must be worn.

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Q. I see in the fishing regulations that a person may fish with two
poles provided the angler is in attendance. How close do I have to
be to my poles to satisfy this law?

A. The belief that "in attendance" means you are OK if you can beat the game warden to your fishing pole is not true. There is no defined distance, however, in general terms if you are close enough to get to your pole when you have a bite to set the hook, that is sufficient. With a law like this you must consider the intent which in this instance is to allow an angler to fish without continually holding his fishing pole. It is not intended to allow a person to cast out baits, take a hike around the lake and come back and see if a fish is on the line.

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Q. Where can I find a listing of Wyoming's record fish?

A. For an up-to-date listing, visit the Fish Deparment Record Fish page by clicking here.

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Q. What is the procedure for entering a possible state record fish?

A. The first task is to get the fish weighed on a scale certified for legal trade. These are the types of scales found in grocery stores, meat processing plants and post offices. The weighing must be witnessed and the fish then identified by a Game and Fish fisheries biologist. You can print the application form off the Game and Fish Web site, by clicking here and fill it out with the appropriate information. If your catch qualifies, an article will be written about the event and distributed to all Wyoming media. You will also receive a state record fish certificate.

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Q. Can I help another person catch his limit of fish?

A. Fishing regulations specify that it is illegal to take game fish for another person. The practice of taking an animal for another hunter is called party hunting, and that this practice is illegal. The same is true with fishing. The mere presence of a license does not give people other than license holders the right to fill that license.

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Q. Is there a law restricting the number of fish I can keep in my freezer?

A. The daily creel limit in Wyoming is also the possession limit. This means that according to Wyoming law no person may have in their possession more than the number and length of fish specified as the creel limit. The law stipulates that possession limit includes fish in transit or storage. In other words, if you catch your limit of fish, you should eat some before catching more.

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Q. How come some waters aren't listed in the fishing regulations?

A. The only waters listed in the regulations are those with restrictions differing from statewide regulations. Slot limits, species, bait or boating restrictions are a few examples of regulations which will get specific waters mentioned in the booklet. If the water you want to fish isn't listed, then the general statewide regulations listed on pages 2-10 of the regulations apply.

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Q. Do you allow night fishing?

A. There is no general regulation prohibiting night fishing in Wyoming. In fact, night fishing is a favored time especially in waters which have catfish, and sometimes bass and large trout.

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Q. Is it legal to shoot carp?

A. It is illegal to take any fish with a firearm whether the fish is classified as a game or nongame species. However, nongame fish such as carp may be taken by bow and arrow or crossbow. No license is required to take nongame species using archery equipment.

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Q. How soon do you start stocking fish after ice-out?

A. It all depends on the water. We do stock some waters with fish in March with catchable (7-9") trout. Other waters are stocked with catchables in April and May and in the summer. The important thing to realize is that most of our waters are stocked with smaller fish which are always growing. So except for the relatively few waters which depend on catchables to maintain the fishery, you can go fishing in most waters and be assured there are fish of various sizes awaiting anglers.

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Q. How many poles can I use for ice fishing?

A. Wyoming regulation permits two poles whether fishing through the ice or in open water. But there are some waters reservoirs and lakes, 21 in all, where six lines are permitted when ice fishing. These special winter ice fishing regulations are listed on page 8 in the 2008-2009 Wyoming Fishing Regulations.

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Q. Can I get my own minnows to use as fish bait?

A. Yes you can, however you must have a seining license. The license may be obtained from Game and Fish offices. Waters where live bait fish may be seined and used for bait are listed in the Wyoming Fishing Regulations at the end of the sections pertaining to each drainage area.

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Q. What are your rules for fishing with minnows?

A. Waters where live bait fish may be used are listed in the fishing regulations. Bait fish regulations vary by drainage and water across the state. The regulations have a live bait fish section for each drainage. The section lists waters where minnows may be used and other bait fish regulations. In addition, the Game and Fish requests that anglers do not release minnows to the wild. Anglers are also reminded it is against regulations to use live minnows outside the drainage. For example, minnows captured in area 2 cannot be used in area 4. These regulations were enacted to prevent fish species from being introduced in waters where they might damage the fishing.

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Q. Are plastic salmon eggs legal in waters restricted to
artificial lures and flies?

A. Yes. As defined in the Wyoming Fishing Regulations, artificial means man-made. This means that plastic worms, eggs, fish, spinners and plugs and other lures made from plastic, metal, wood and other non-edible materials are legal.

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Q. Can I spray "juice" on my lure and use it in waters which are restricted to artificial lures and flies only?

A. No. If you mean one of the many chemical attractants on the market, they are against regulations. See the definition of artificial flies and lures on page 7 of the Wyoming Fishing Regulations. If you want to use "juice," you'll have to use it where bait is permitted.

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Q. Does the Game and Fish offer a short-term fishing license?

A. Yes. A daily resident fishing license costs $6, non-resident $14. No conservation stamp is required when fishing with a daily license. The license was created to make it more economical for the occasional angler who only fishes once or twice a year. These licenses can be purchased at license agents or Wyoming Game and Fish Department offices.

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Q. Where can I get information on fishing in the Wind River Indian Reservation?

A. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department does not manage reservation fishing. That task is a tribal responsibility. For more information contact: Wind River Indian Reservation, Fort Washakie WY 82513; (307) 332-7207.

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Q. I've heard the Game and Fish has an award called the
"Cutt-Slam." What is it?

A. The Cutt-Slam is a program started by the Game and Fish in 1996 to recognize anglers for catching the four subspecies of cutthroat trout in their native range in Wyoming. The subspecies are the Bonneville, Colorado River, Yellowstone and Snake River cutthroat. All that is required is that you catch these fish and submit a photograph to a Game and Fish biologist with the date and location caught. It is not necessary to present the fish, because the Game and Fish is not looking to promote harvest. Once all four subspecies have been recorded, the Game and Fish will provide the angler with a certificate featuring color artwork of all four subspecies. The goal of the program is to encourage anglers to learn more about Wyoming's cutthroat trout and the associated management programs needed to maintain the fisheries. Anglers can contact Game and Fish offices for more information on the program and for a list of waters where the fish can be found.

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