Cody-area anglers asked to report tagged fish

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Tagged trout

Cody-area anglers are being asked to report tagged fish they catch, along with the location and date, as the Wyoming Game and Fish Department attempts to understand fish movement above Buffalo Bill Reservoir.

CODY, Wyo. — Anglers fishing the North Fork of the Shoshone River and Buffalo Bill Reservoir west of Cody are being reminded to report tagged trout.

The lower portion of the North Fork of the Shoshone River and North Fork arm of Buffalo Bill Reservoir open to angling on July 1 and July 15, respectively. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department 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.

Earlier this year, 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 an estimate of angler catch and harvest rate.

Two tags

The tags are placed near the fish’s dorsal fin.

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 four to five 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 Fisheries Supervisor Sam Hochhalter. “We appreciate the support from the angling community to help us collect this valuable information.”

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,” Hochhalter said. “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 or 1-800-654-1178. Anglers need not remove tags from released fish. For each tagged fish reported, anglers will be entered into a raffle to win a Traeger grill, a Yeti cooler and cash prizes. The raffle is sponsored by the Adipose Chapter of Trout Unlimited.