Major changes to live bait fish regulations at Lake DeSmet, Healy Reservoir, and the Tongue River below Interstate 90 will take effect on January 1st, 2012.
At the beginning of 2012, anglers will be allowed to use live minnows at Lake DeSmet and Healy Reservoir. To accommodate using minnows while also keeping unwanted species out of the two waters, only commercially produced fathead minnows produced at a private Wyoming commercial hatchery will be allowed.
Seined minnows will not be allowed at DeSmet or Healy.
This new regulation comes in response to the many anglers who requested this change over the last several years and will provide another option for walleye and perch anglers fishing these waters.
Sheridan Regional Fisheries Supervisor Paul Mavrakis said, “Discussions with area bait dealers indicate fathead minnows will be available at some dealers in Sheridan, Buffalo and Gillette. Anglers using live minnows at Lake DeSmet or Healy Reservoir must be in possession of a receipt showing the source of their minnows from a licensed bait dealer.”
Also with the start of 2012, seining and live minnows will no longer be permitted in the Tongue River drainage downstream of Interstate 90, which includes the Kleenburn Ponds.
Mavrakis said that few anglers will be affected by this change, as very few seining licenses were sold after Montana prohibited using minnows from Wyoming.
Wyoming hunters and anglers are reminded that 2011 licenses expire Friday, December 31st.
The new 2012 regulations, as well as fishing, hunting, and trapping licenses and conservation stamps are available at local license selling agents or online at https://gf.state.wy.us