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Around Our Town...Game and Fish

Fish Stocking

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07/01/2006 - With Memorial Day behind us, fishing season is now in full gear. And the Game and Fish Department is ready, with thousands of rainbow trout stocked in waters around the Casper area in recent weeks and many more to come as the season progresses.

"We started at Yesness Pond in early April, where we stocked more than 1,500 catchable (eight-inch) rainbow trout prior to the Kids' Fishing Derby," said Robin Kepple, information specialist for the Game and Fish Department. "Kids caught around 50 fish the day of the derby, leaving hundreds of fish for anglers to pursue," she said.

Bryan Stock Trail Ponds were topped off with more than 500 rainbows the end of April and Horseshoe Creek provided a home for more than 680 catchable (eight-inch) trout in May. "And that's only half of what we have planned to go into Horseshoe," Kepple said.

The remaining fish will be stocked in Horseshoe Creek prior to the July 4 holiday.

Eleven hundred rainbow trout boosted fish populations in Labonte Creek south of Douglas at the end of May, with another 1,100 to follow later in the summer.

Although normally stocked each year, 33 Mile Ponds received no fish for the 2006 fishing season. "Six years of drought continue to take a toll on these ponds," said Casper Region fisheries supervisor Al Conder. "The water is just too low or, in some cases, non-existent." Conder hopes the drought effects subside enough to allow stocking to resume at 33 Mile Ponds in 2007.

The news is much better on the North Platte River, where hundreds of rainbow trout are slated for stocking in the Cardwell Access area in August, and a total of 32,000 fingerlings will be added at various points along the river between Gray Reef and Glendo.

In addition, a rainbow trout study at Miracle Mile will result in the addition of 80,000 fingerlings into that fishery later this summer. These fish will join 80,000 others that were released into Miracle Mile last summer as part of the same study.

And on top of that, the Game and Fish Department released more than 2,000 adult rainbow trout into the North Platte in January as part of the annual brood cull program. These fish weigh anywhere from two to five pounds at the time of release and it's likely many are still available to anglers.

While the brood stock came from hatcheries across the state, all the catchable size trout stocked in the Casper Region came from Speas Rearing Station just west of town.

"Any way you look at it, there's a lot of fish out there," Kepple said. "You don't have to travel far from Casper to hook into some good fishing."

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