So you think you caught a record-breaking fish and want to report it. Hannah Stepenoff has the details on how to get your fish on the books.
As summer creeps closer and temperatures go up, Information Specialist for Wyoming Game and Fish Al Langston wants to set the record straight for how reporting fishing records works in the state.
He expects this year will bring several new records, but there are some longstanding ones that may be tough to beat, including an 11-pound, 4-ounce golden trout caught in 1948 and a 23-pound rainbow trout caught in 1969. And now, he said, in these connected days, people are able to check their fish against the records more quickly.
There are record fish across the state waiting to be caught, he said, and around half of Wyoming’s entries have been caught since 2000.
So what do you do if you catch a record breaking fish? Entering a fish for consideration is easy, he said, but there are rules that 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, he said, but 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 using legal methods.
• Fish must be taken during the legal open season of the water where caught.
And the most important step,he said, is that the fish must be properly identified by a department biologist.
Make sure you get your fish weighed immediately, he said, because as they dry out they will lose some weight which could affect their official weigh-in.
Record entry forms are found on the Game and Fish website wgfd.wyo.gov. Contact Game and Fish Sheridan Office at 307- 672-7418 or state headquarters at 307-777-4600 for more information.