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Wyoming

Fishing


Welcome to the Wyoming Fishing Regulations

Stream Access and Trespass

Wyoming’s trespass law states that a member of the public has the privilege to enter private land only with the explicit permission of the landowner. It is legal to float through private land but it is the responsibility of the floater to know if the land is public or private. If you are floating through private land you must stay in your boat at all times unless permission has been obtained from the landowner. State law only allows you to leave your craft for short portages around non-navigable obstacles. The streambed is the property of the landowner. Wading or anchoring without permission is trespassing. Access to public lands for public use is only permitted if these lands are accessed by floating on a navigable water or if the lands are accessible from an existing public road or border other public lands that you can access without crossing private lands. If you are unsure, check with the land management agency responsible for the land in question. Public land maps, available from the Bureau of Land Management, are excellent guides for avoiding a $420 trespassing ticket. In all cases, respect the land, the landowner, and those who come after you by removing litter and minimizing evidence of your presence and the evidence of others who have not been so considerate. Treating your access as a privilege goes a long way in gaining more access for fishing and hunting in Wyoming.

Releasing Fish in the Summer

As water temperatures increase during summer months, using the proper techniques to catch and release fish become increasingly important to help ensure the fish will survive. The Game and Fish asks anglers practicing catch and release, to consider the following:
  • Fish early in the morning while the water temperature is cooler and carry a pocket thermometer to monitor the water temperature as the day warms.
  • If the water temperature is at or above 65 degrees, consider keeping what you catch within the regulations. If the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, do not attempt to catch and release fish.
  • Use flies and lures whenever many fish are being caught and released. Survival of released fish is five to ten times greater when using artificial rather than natural baits.
  • Play and land fish as rapidly as possible.
  • Keep the fish in the water as much as possible.
  • Do not squeeze the fish or place fingers in the gills.
  • Remove hooks gently. Barbless hooks allow easier hook removal. If hooked deeply, cut the leader.
  • If a fish is so exhausted it cannot hold itself upright, and if regulations allow, consider harvesting it because the fish has a poor chance of surviving.

Mercury Advisory

Most fish are good to eat and good for your health. Fish are high in protein and other nutrients, low in fat, and have omega-3 fatty acids needed for a healthy heart and brain development. Some fish contain high levels of mercury that pose human health risks. People, particularly children and some women, should avoid eating too many of those fish. At high levels, mercury can affect developing fetuses and the growing brains of children. To help you make the healthiest choices, the Wyoming Department of Health, in cooperation with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, continues to update advisories and provide fish consumption guidelines as new mercury testing results become available. Women who are pregnant, who might become pregnant, nursing mothers and children under 15 should pay special attention to the mercury consumption guidelines below. Women and young children will receive the health benefits of eating fish without undue exposure to the harmful effects of mercury by eating up to 2 meals per week (8 ounces per meal before cooking) of a variety of fish and shellfish that are low in mercury. Some commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, and kokanee caught in Wyoming and shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, Pollock and catfish from stores and restaurants. The 2 meals per week include fish from all sources, and should be the total of Wyoming caught fish and fish purchased at stores and restaurants. Mercury contamination increases as fish get larger and older, so as a general rule, keep smaller Wyoming caught fish for eating. Rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and kokanee salmon contain less mercury than species that prey primarily on other fish, such as walleye, brown trout, lake trout, catfish and burbot. Some Wyoming waters contain these and other species that have been found to be higher in mercury. Tighter consumption guidelines for what is okay to eat have been provided for some of these species in the waters listed below. Visit the Fish Consumption Advisory website below for detailed and up-to-date consumption guidelines and additional fish consumption information; wgfd.wyo.gov/Fishing-and-Boating/Fish-Consumption-Advice