Cooler weather is upon us and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department would like to remind anglers that this is a good time to start catching burbot at night.
“A large portion of burbot are beginning to stage in Flaming Gorge Reservoir for a spawning migration up tributaries, which includes the Green River,” said Green River Fisheries Biologist John Walrath. “Typically, anglers catch Burbot ranging from 18-24 inches, but this time of year they have a higher probability of hooking into 25-40 inch fish in the staging areas.”. Last year about this time we implanted radio transmitters into 14 burbot near Firehole. Most of the fish spent the next two months slowly moving their way to the confluence of the Green River and entered the Green River around the end of December and first week of January. They spawned in the river and returned to the Gorge four weeks later. Burbot are likely using the Blacks Fork and Henry’s Fork rivers in the same manner and time frame.”
The Department also reminds anglers that fishing at night can be dangerous if certain measures of safety and common sense are not used.
“I have received reports of boats that have run aground on Flaming Gorge Reservoir while anglers were out pursuing burbot after dark,” said Green River Fisheries Supervisor Robb Keith. “Whether through the ice or during open water periods anglers are most successful catching burbot after dark, however, there are serious safety risks when boat fishing after dark on any water, especially the Gorge.”
“Every watercraft operating between sunset and sunrise shall carry and display navigation lights,” said Green River Wildlife Supervisor Todd Graham. “The display of navigation lights will alert other boaters of your location and (or) direction of travel and avoid tragic accidents. There are some different requirements for the various classes of watercraft. Boaters should refer to their Wyoming Watercraft Regulation brochure for additional information on pages 33 and 34.”
“The Wyoming Game and Fish Department does not recommend anglers fish out of a boat after dark because of hazards and safety concerns,” Keith said. “If anglers decide to fish from a boat after dark we have the following recommendations:
Never go fishing alone.
• Launch close to the area you intend to fish and slow down.
• Hazards and other boaters are hard to see after dark.
• Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to arrive back home.
• Carry all the safety equipment required for everyone on board your boat.
“We recommend that anglers wear a personal floating device (life jacket) at all times. Finally, carry and use a hand-held spotlight and carry and know how to use a GPS unit. Always make sure you know where you are and take it slow. Safety should be first and foremost in every anglers fishing trip.”