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Author Topic: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH  (Read 118188 times)

Offline MountainMan

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ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« on: Jan 20, 2011, 05:27 PM »
Our Wyoming Game and Fish has offered to volunteer their valuable time to answer our questions. Please keep in mind that their time on the site is very limited, and that not all questions may be answered. Hopefully this thread can be used by both sides to gain valuable insight. Please maintain the Q&A nature of the thread by reserving discussion for separate threads.

All G&F employees are invited to use the thread as a resource to share information, news and events affecting Wyoming sportsmen.

On behalf of our members, I thank the Wyoming G&F for taking the time to contribute to the site and it's members.  :clap:

Offline LT

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #1 on: Jan 20, 2011, 07:20 PM »
Nice touch Z-man, "Build it, they (G&F) will come."  ;)    Don
         

Offline er-e-is

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #2 on: Jan 20, 2011, 09:35 PM »
What is WG&F's opinion of "Fizzing". I have done it with lakers, now I have a weight that I hook through the fish's gillplate and lower them back down. I seems to work. I try and land them slowly and let them naturally release their air bladder, sometimes they don't, sometimes friends retrieve them too fast. Thanks for agreeing to participate in this forum.

Offline WYeyes

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #3 on: Jan 21, 2011, 07:54 AM »
I have heard that large female walleyes contribute little if any to the spawning efforts of the walleyes in any body of water, that their spawn is not viable. So what are the facts ? Do large females, say 28" and up, contribute in any meaningfull way to the spawn in a body of water where natural reproduction is successfull ?

Offline WGFFishBio

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #4 on: Jan 21, 2011, 08:34 AM »
What is WG&F's opinion of "Fizzing". I have done it with lakers, now I have a weight that I hook through the fish's gillplate and lower them back down. I seems to work. I try and land them slowly and let them naturally release their air bladder, sometimes they don't, sometimes friends retrieve them too fast. Thanks for agreeing to participate in this forum.
I honestly don't know much about it and have only experienced it a few times. When I have encounted blown air bladders (fishing Boysen) I end up keeping the fish anyway. Hopefully someone will have better expertise on this compared with me.

Offline WGFFishBio

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #5 on: Jan 21, 2011, 09:04 AM »
Walleye spawning, do they stop after a certain age / size or decrease the hatch rate as they get older?   

There has been quite the heated topic on keyhole about people taking bigger walleyes and not letting them go. 

If you could start a thread, or even pm me back links to wy fish and game where it says how it goes for when they get older I will post it.

This is a question I received and a question that a lot of you had on the Keyhole Slaughter. I did a search and found some good info. Keep in mind every water is different, every population is different, thus every study was different. This is just a synopsis of some of their findings.

From studies that I've reviewed: there is no significant variation in egg viability among sizes of females. Both large and small walleye females have the potential to reproduce successfully.

Egg size is strongly correlated with maternal size (female) in walleye populations in the North and South latitudes, not nearly as strongly correlated within the Mid-latitude populations. Egg size has and hasn't been correlated with suvivorship (depends on the study)

The high metabolic energy demand of older larger females may reduce the quality of the eggs

If quality can be correlated with size, it's logical to assume that mid-size females should produce the highest quality

Fecundity - the capacity to produce offspring

14 to 15 inch walleye 25,500 eggs
19 to 20 inch walleye 64,000 eggs
28 to 29 inch walleye 191,000 eggs

Because recruitment is affected by such a large suite of factors (density-dependent = spawner density, predator-prey relationships, available habitat ect... and density-independent = environmental factors, springtime water temps ect...) the important factors operating on recruitment may vary from one system to another, from year to year, for a given fish species.

Clear as Mud? It appears through my literature search and as you might guess, every walleye population is different. There is no clear-cut given rule on what size of fish is the best spawner. Some say (as mentioned above) that a mid-size fish may have the best quality of egg, but look at the egg numbers, a big fish may have double the egg capacity of a mid-size fish. Might work out to be a "wash". More eggs, more chance to survive, fewer high quality eggs perhaps a better chance to survive.

I really don't have a strong opinion either way as far as what fish to keep and what fish to let go. Natural recruitment is a limiting factor within Keyhole, that's why we stock. But with the increase in water levels the last few years, we have seen lots of natural recruitment (about 50%). Perhaps some self-regulation and by that I mean, keep a good one from time to time (for the wall ect..), keep some smaller ones for the frying pan from time to time. Got fish in the feezer already, let some go. Just my thoughts.

Hope this helps




 

Offline WYeyes

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #6 on: Jan 21, 2011, 10:16 AM »
Perhaps some self-regulation and by that I mean, keep a good one from time to time (for the wall ect..), keep some smaller ones for the frying pan from time to time. Got fish in the feezer already, let some go.


Thanks for your reply and your time. The above quote is pretty much how I do things. The question was not necessarily aimed at Keyhole,I have never fished there, just more of a general question. Just have often seen it claimed that large walleye do not have viable eggs. From your answer I see that large females have the potential to greatly impact a spawn cycle with other factors having more of a effect on the success of the spawn.


My next question: How would a limit on walleye of only one fish over 24",as part of the regular limit, effect a fishery ? Could it have a negative impact or would it just increase the trophy potential of a given body of water ? In general.

Offline jopes

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #7 on: Jan 21, 2011, 10:31 AM »
Thank you on the spawning information.
Don

Offline olefish

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #8 on: Jan 21, 2011, 11:54 AM »
Because of the type of fishing we do in the winter, tip-up lines and live bait, fish have the opportunity to swallow baits to so deep that at times you can not even see the eye of the hook.. So how much chance do they have to survive  with the hook left in them?  I know you can not retrieve the hook with out causing some damage.

 In the summer on a Friday before the Wyoming walleye governors cup tournament I found 4 large walleyes floating on the surface dead. I am quite sure they were catch and released fish and the fisherman were trying to do the right thing, still a big shame. Some times say I let it go was the wrong thing to do.
olefish

Offline WGFDFishBioLaramie

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #9 on: Jan 21, 2011, 05:21 PM »
Thanks for opening this thread to the WGFD.  I look forward to answering questions pertaining to the management of waters within the Laramie Fisheries Management Region.  I will be happy to address all issues on fish management of waters you might frequent.  When appropriate, I will provide answers based on sound science and professional judgment and look forward to the opportunity to have thoughtful discussions on fisheries issues in southeast Wyoming.  I am excited about participating in the Ice Shanty community. 

Offline WYeyes

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #10 on: Jan 21, 2011, 05:25 PM »
Thanks for opening this thread to the WGFD.  I look forward to answering questions pertaining to the management of waters within the Laramie Fisheries Management Region.  I will be happy to address all issues on fish management of waters you might frequent.  When appropriate, I will provide answers based on sound science and professional judgment and look forward to the opportunity to have thoughtful discussions on fisheries issues in southeast Wyoming.  I am excited about participating in the Ice Shanty community. 


Welcome to Iceshanty, good to have you on board

Offline Matt R.

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #11 on: Jan 21, 2011, 08:48 PM »
I have a question about Glendo,
Why does it seem like there is a smaller population of larger walleye in it? ( 24"- 32")

There is sooooo much food, cover, lack of competition, etc...
And yet we rarely here of any fish breaking the 3lb mark. Compared to other lakes in Wyoming with fewer walleye and less available food.

Thanks for your time guys. This is great having you on here!

Offline LT

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #12 on: Jan 21, 2011, 09:37 PM »
Thanks for opening this thread to the WGFD.  I look forward to answering questions pertaining to the management of waters within the Laramie Fisheries Management Region.  I will be happy to address all issues on fish management of waters you might frequent.  When appropriate, I will provide answers based on sound science and professional judgment and look forward to the opportunity to have thoughtful discussions on fisheries issues in southeast Wyoming.  I am excited about participating in the Ice Shanty community. 
This is great, having you guys here will be a fantastic learning experience, thanks much for joining...btw, just fyi, you won't be able to answer pm's until you have five posts, so if you answer all your "welcomes", you'll be there, well...tonight probably. Don  :tipup:
         

Offline stinkypete

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #13 on: Jan 21, 2011, 10:04 PM »
Thanks for getting the WGFD involved in IS!  I look forward to reading the questions and answers. 


Offline wyohikeit

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #14 on: Jan 22, 2011, 12:06 AM »
SO here is a new Question


  Why is there so much water being let out of Upper Sunshine now?
Time on the ice is always worth more than money

Offline mtelkhunter

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #15 on: Jan 22, 2011, 08:05 AM »
Kudos to you Wyoming guys, this is one of the best thread ideas out there, and I will watch it closely.  Much of the information these G&F guys are dispensing crosses state lines and helps me understand what our guys are doing over here in SoDak.

Thank you WY!

Offline 4cator

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #16 on: Jan 22, 2011, 08:09 AM »

Welcome to Iceshanty, good to have you on board

Well said, indeed. 
welcome to the shanty, I am sure you will get much attention and questions.  Great job and thanks again for being here for us

laters
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All tyranny needs to succeed, is for men of good conscience to remain silent.    Thomas Jefferson.

Offline gulp

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #17 on: Jan 22, 2011, 05:43 PM »
I too would like to thank you for taking the time to join the sight. It is great that you take the time out to help us all out, and WELCOME TO IS.
Take a kid fishing,they make great pack mules.
Put the big ones back for another day eat the small ones.

Offline duckman111

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #18 on: Jan 22, 2011, 09:29 PM »
Now this is what we need more of!! I think sometimes all the work you guys do is very under appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to join ice shanty and give all of us some very valuable and usefull info.

Offline wyo700

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #19 on: Jan 22, 2011, 10:53 PM »
is it required to carry a picture id with your fishing liscence? 
 

Offline HARDTOP

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #20 on: Jan 22, 2011, 11:05 PM »
Glad to have you on the shanty my question is it legal to have or use for bait cisco from bear lake? I know some old boys from jackson that use to fish with them and swear that it's the only bate for BIG macks. They have since passed on but is it now legal??? Thanks for your report.

Offline er-e-is

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #21 on: Jan 23, 2011, 07:17 AM »
No, they are not legal, pg. 9 in the reg book, under "Methods" states only the eggs may be used.

Offline HARDTOP

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #22 on: Jan 23, 2011, 11:51 AM »
I see in the regs. it is legal to chum with fish parts are cisco included???

Offline WGFFishBio

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #23 on: Jan 24, 2011, 09:39 AM »
Perhaps some self-regulation and by that I mean, keep a good one from time to time (for the wall ect..), keep some smaller ones for the frying pan from time to time. Got fish in the feezer already, let some go.


Thanks for your reply and your time. The above quote is pretty much how I do things. The question was not necessarily aimed at Keyhole,I have never fished there, just more of a general question. Just have often seen it claimed that large walleye do not have viable eggs. From your answer I see that large females have the potential to greatly impact a spawn cycle with other factors having more of a effect on the success of the spawn.


My next question: How would a limit on walleye of only one fish over 24",as part of the regular limit, effect a fishery ? Could it have a negative impact or would it just increase the trophy potential of a given body of water ? In general.
Good question. This is pretty much refered to as a "maximum" size limit, whereas only one walleye over 24" and the rest under 24". These regulations are used when: it's necessary to protect the broodstock, the walleye population is a highly exploited population, there is a low density of mature fish, and there is low recruitment. This could, over time, increase to trophy potential. But keep in mind, the fishery must be highly exploited for any regulation to take affect. To my knowledge (other WGF'ers can help me out here) Glendo is the only walleye fishery with a high enough harvest for a regulation to work (that's why there is a minimum reg). So possibly over time, with any type of regulation (max length,  minimum, or slot limit), the risk of "bunching" (most fish are of one or two size classes) exists (unless it's been determined, like Glendo, that there is enough harvest for the reg to work). Hope this helps.   

Offline WGFFishBio

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #24 on: Jan 24, 2011, 09:53 AM »
Because of the type of fishing we do in the winter, tip-up lines and live bait, fish have the opportunity to swallow baits to so deep that at times you can not even see the eye of the hook.. So how much chance do they have to survive  with the hook left in them?  I know you can not retrieve the hook with out causing some damage.

 In the summer on a Friday before the Wyoming walleye governors cup tournament I found 4 large walleyes floating on the surface dead. I am quite sure they were catch and released fish and the fisherman were trying to do the right thing, still a big shame. Some times say I let it go was the wrong thing to do.
Excellent point here. And I don't have that great of an answer. It comes down to your own judgement IMO. If the fish was hooked "bad", there was a little blood coming out of the gills, it took a little extra time to get the hook out, then the likelyhood of the fish making it may be reduced and perhaps it should go to your creel.

In any instance where an angler catches a fish and releases it, there is always the possibility of "hooking mortality", it's just part of the game. But once again, this may come down to the fishermans best judgement. Anglers may want to pay attention to the health of the fish and conditions that the fish was caught (i.e., spring, summer, fall, water temps, depth ect.). For instance, if a walleye was caught in April or May and everything went smoothly (getting out the hook, fish didn't swallow it, water temps were cool) the fish stands a really good chance of survival after release. However, if you caught a fish in the middle of August, in 35 foot of water, and surface temps were 73 degrees, and it took a moment to get the hook out, it may be better to harvest that fish because of all the stress.

Excellent topic. But there is no clear-cut answer. The angler just has to use their best judgement IMO. Hope this helps.

Offline WYeyes

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #25 on: Jan 24, 2011, 09:59 AM »
Good question. This is pretty much refered to as a "maximum" size limit, whereas only one walleye over 24" and the rest under 24". These regulations are used when: it's necessary to protect the broodstock, the walleye population is a highly exploited population, there is a low density of mature fish, and there is low recruitment. This could, over time, increase to trophy potential. But keep in mind, the fishery must be highly exploited for any regulation to take affect. To my knowledge (other WGF'ers can help me out here) Glendo is the only walleye fishery with a high enough harvest for a regulation to work (that's why there is a minimum reg). So possibly over time, with any type of regulation (max length,  minimum, or slot limit), the risk of "bunching" (most fish are of one or two size classes) exists (unless it's been determined, like Glendo, that there is enough harvest for the reg to work). Hope this helps.   


Thanks for your reply. Nice to be able to learn some of the science thats behind the regulations we have.

Offline WGFDFishBioLaramie

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #26 on: Jan 24, 2011, 11:34 AM »
Nice to have a Laramie guy!

Has there ever been an effort to add artificial structure in Granite, Crystal or Hattie?   Would it help the perch in these bodies of water?

Also which bodies of water do you cover?  All the way up to Glendo, Grayrocks, Hawk Springs, etc?

Thanks - Moose.

Moose,

Has far as I know there has have not been any recent attempts to add artificial structure to Granite, Crystal or Hattie.  Recently the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities installed an aeration system at Crystal, which was not needed for any fisheries related issues, but certainly won't hurt the water quality year round.  The perch population in Granite and Crystal could benefit from some structure.  There are more small perch in these populations right now suggesting good natural reproduction, but possibly a lack of predation.  We have been stocking some brown trout in these reservoirs to take advantage of the perch and suckers, in hopes of improving the overall average length of the perch, but it will take a little time for the brown trout to grow.  Brown trout have been stocked annually at Granite Reservoir since 2004.  In terms of Hattie, there are some decent weed beds around the narrows that provide some nice rearing and spawning habitat for the perch.  The perch population, as natural reproducing perch population often do, cycled down after 2006 as indicated from our annual spring sampling.  Two strong year classes in 2003 and 2004 contributed to the strong yellow perch fishery in 2006 and 2007.  It is possible the strong 2004-year class created an overabundance of perch ≥ 8 and ≤ 9 inches, as was evident in our 2007, 2008, and 2009 samples.  The consecutive strong perch year-classes in 2003 and 2004 may have been competing for the same food resources, but over time the weaker year-classes that follow help reduce this competition.  A strong yellow perch year-class was expected in 2010.  This strong year class was evident in our 2010 sampling, but has not translated into good yellow perch fishing.  Not sure of the reasons behind this, but all the changes at Hattie (i.e. water, newly created habitat, increased productivity, etc) probably have had some influence on the bite.  In our 2010 spring sampling, we caught a number of perch around 14 inches and I hope these will be creeled by anglers in the future.   

Offline WGFDFishBioLaramie

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #27 on: Jan 24, 2011, 11:44 AM »
Nice to have a Laramie guy!

Has there ever been an effort to add artificial structure in Granite, Crystal or Hattie?   Would it help the perch in these bodies of water?

Also which bodies of water do you cover?  All the way up to Glendo, Grayrocks, Hawk Springs, etc?

Thanks - Moose.

Moose,

Forgot to cover the last half of your question - The Laramie Fisheries Management Area - The southern boundary is the Colorado border, the western boundary is the Cont. Divide in the Sierra Madre Mountains (everything draining east is in the Laramie Region, everything draining west in the Green River Region), we manage the upper North Platte River drainaged and our management stops where the North Platte River enters Seminoe (the Casper Region handles all the major North Platte Reservoirs = Seminoe, Pathfinder, Alcova, Glendo, Guernsey as well as the North Platte River from Seminoe to Nebraska), we manage waters in the Shirley Basin (Walker Jenkins, Shirley Basin Reservoir), we manage all the Laramie River drainage (includes Grayrocks, Wheatland #3 and #1, Rock Lake), we also manage Hawk Springs, Packers, Bump-Sullivan, Springer, we manage everything around Wheatland and Cheyenne out to the Nebraksa border, which is the eastern boundary. 

Offline olefish

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #28 on: Jan 24, 2011, 11:53 AM »
 Thank you for your replies,  ANY SCIENCE IS A LICENCE TO GIVE YOUR BEST GUESS MOST THE TIME.. A QUAOTE FROM A DR. I KNOW.
olefish

Offline TTipsword

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Re: ASK THE WYOMING GAME AND FISH
« Reply #29 on: Jan 24, 2011, 12:32 PM »
Moose,

Forgot to cover the last half of your question - The Laramie Fisheries Management Area - The southern boundary is the Colorado border, the western boundary is the Cont. Divide in the Sierra Madre Mountains (everything draining east is in the Laramie Region, everything draining west in the Green River Region), we manage the upper North Platte River drainaged and our management stops where the North Platte River enters Seminoe (the Casper Region handles all the major North Platte Reservoirs = Seminoe, Pathfinder, Alcova, Glendo, Guernsey as well as the North Platte River from Seminoe to Nebraska), we manage waters in the Shirley Basin (Walker Jenkins, Shirley Basin Reservoir), we manage all the Laramie River drainage (includes Grayrocks, Wheatland #3 and #1, Rock Lake), we also manage Hawk Springs, Packers, Bump-Sullivan, Springer, we manage everything around Wheatland and Cheyenne out to the Nebraksa border, which is the eastern boundary. 

Can you offer any information to packers? Everyone i talk to seems to have different opinions on type of fish, and quality of fish in this lake.  Maybe you might be able to offer some info?

 



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