SHERIDAN,WY – Wyoming Game and Fish Department wardens and fisheries biologists, in cooperation with law enforcement from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, conducted an angler check station Saturday, Feb. 2 on the Decker Highway.
The purpose of the check station was to visit with anglers and check for compliance with regulations restricting the use and transport of live baitfish and angler-caught fish across the Wyoming-Montana state line.
Current Montana regulations allow anglers to use fathead minnows, flathead chub, longnose dace, lake chub, creek chub, white sucker and longnose sucker as live baitfish at Tongue River Reservoir only if they were purchased or captured in Montana. No live baitfish may be brought into Montana from Wyoming.
Wyoming regulations also prohibit the transport of any live baitfish or live angler-caught fish from Montana into Wyoming. In 2019 fishing regulations, Wyoming created a special seining license in Area 3C for anglers who requested the option to seine, net or trap baitfish from the Tongue River or Goose Creek drainages in Wyoming. However, once caught, those fish must be immediately killed and used only as dead baitfish.
“Unfortunately, several anglers were found with and cited for transporting live baitfish across the state line,” said Sheridan Regional Fisheries Supervisor Paul Mavrakis. “These regulations are in place to protect Wyoming waters from the intentional or accidental introduction of undesired fish. Live fish that are released or escape from anglers can potentially have very damaging, population-level effects on our area fish populations. In order to protect both states’ resources, live fish cannot be transported across state lines.”
In addition to citations for possessing live baitfish, some anglers were issued citations for not stopping as required at the check station. Wyoming regulations state that every angler must stop and report at every check station on route to or from any fishing area, regardless if the person has any fish in possession.