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Editorial

Game and Fish


New year brings new size limit on Glendo walleye



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12/01/2009 - If you're heading to Glendo Reservoir to ice fish this winter you may want to toss a tape measure in your tackle box in preparation for new size regulations on walleye. Beginning Jan. 1, all walleye less than 15 inches must be released to the water immediately.

"Anglers need to be able to measure their walleye so bring a tape measure or mark 15 inches on your tackle box or fishing rod; just be able to check the length on your walleye," said Al Conder, regional fishery supervisor in Casper.

Why a new size limit on walleye, you might ask? Because it's what anglers have been asking for.

Glendo Reservoir was managed as a trout fishery from its original filling in 1957. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) first stocked walleye into Glendo in 1973 to provide additional angling opportunity and control the yellow perch population. Since 1975, natural reproduction has sustained the walleye population.

Increases in walleye numbers caused a decline in the trout fishery at Glendo as the walleye fed on the smaller trout. After attempts to improve the trout fishery failed (e.g., stocking larger trout), WGFD ceased stocking trout in 1981 to focus on a walleye/yellow perch fishery.

Anglers have been interested in some form of length/slot limit on Glendo walleye for more than 20 years and have expressed a desire to catch and harvest larger walleye, even if it means releasing smaller fish.

In 2006 Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologists tagged 1,000 walleye with reward tags ranging in value from $5 to $100 as part of a study to determine annual fishing mortality through the number of reward tags returned by anglers. Based on the number of reward tags returned to the Game and Fish Department from 2006 to 2007, it was estimated that anglers harvested 35 percent of the fish in the Glendo walleye population.

Data from the study was analyzed along with age and growth information collected during annual gill netting surveys at Glendo. The analysis suggests the implementation of a minimum length limit would likely increase the size structure of the walleye population and the size of fish harvested by anglers.

Anglers should also be aware that they cannot fillet fish until they are done fishing for the day. All walleye must be kept whole (gills and entrails may be removed) until the angler is off the water or ice and done fishing for the day. Walleye can then be filleted for transportation and storage. Daily creel and possession limit is unchanged and remains at six walleye per day or in possession. The regulation to keep at least one square inch of skin on all fillets also remains unchanged.

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