JACKSON, Wyo — With water temperatures on the rise, Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) Jackson Regional Office, is suggesting that anglers avoid fishing past 2 p.m.
“As the water warms up there is less oxygen in the water, fish tend to stress,” Public Information Specialist Mark Gocke said.
While Game and Fish is making recommendations, the department does not predict any regulations will be implemented on WGFD managed waters. Flat Creek on the National Elk Refuge will still open on Aug.1 with the regular mandatory catch-and-release regulations for trout.
“We have not done a delayed opener or any regulation changes due to water temperatures in the past,” Gocke said. Adding, “Part of that reason is that if our waters do hit 70 degrees, it is typically not for very long. When waters reach those temps the fish usually don’t feed as much and anglers often don’t fish as much. We have never really seen significant impacts to our fish population. At the same time, we think that a voluntary avoidance of fishing is still a good practice.”
Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks recently issued fishing restrictions on several Montana rivers due to high temperatures. The agency issued full closures as well as “hoot owl” restrictions, which means fishing is closed from 2 p.m. to midnight daily.
Yellowstone National Park also recently issued fishing restrictions on park-managed waters. Effective Saturday, July 24, streams and rivers will close at 2 p.m. every afternoon and remain closed until sunrise to protect the trout population.
In addition to not fishing past 2 p.m., anglers are urged to play and land fish as quickly as possible to reduce exhaustion, keep fish in the water as much as possible and cut the leader if the fish is hooked deep.
Gocke also suggested that anglers should carry a thermometer to check the water before fishing. Grand Teton National Park says that anglers should stop fishing when the water temperature is above 68 degrees.