JACKSON, Wyo. — The Jackson fish crew for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently sampled a section of Flat Creek to keep an eye on its renowned trophy-class cutthroat trout.
During the department’s time there, a number of trophy-class cutthroat were netted. And after reviewing the data, Jackson fish biologist Diana Miller confirmed her initial thoughts that they had gotten more big fish than any year in recent memory.
Each fish is weighed, measured and inspected for maladies such as gill lice and hooking scars before being returned back to their haunts in the waterway. This year’s calculated number of fish/mile easily eclipsed the previous ten-year high that was recorded in 2018, for both fish in the 13-16-inch range and for those over 16-inches. There were a number of fish in the 20-inch range with the largest being just over 21-inches and 3 pounds.
On another positive note, Miller reported this was the first year they did not capture any of the non-native brook trout. Fish managers have been asking anglers to keep any brook trout they catch from Flat Creek to reduce competition with the native cutthroats.
In addition, Game and Fish also recently completed an exclosure fence along Flat Creek to keep wintering elk from browsing willows along the riparian area. Willows provide valuable bank stabilization to reduce sediment loads in the water and provide shading to maintain cooler water temperatures and protection from predators. Songbirds will also take advantage of the added willow habitat as well.
“By all accounts, things are looking good for the fine-spotted Snake River cutthroat in Flat Creek,” said Game and Fish. “Anglers are encouraged to get out and try their luck in the coming weeks, as the annual fishing closure will begin November 1.”