green river – The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish has implemented annual fishing closures in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir and the Green River below Fontenelle Dam to protect fish habits.

To ensure the sustainability of diverse aquatic ecosystems, annual fishing closures are in place to protect kukani salmon and other species. The Wyoming Department of Game and Fish reminds all fishermen to respect these closures and regulations to ensure the long-term health of fisheries in the Green River region.

Onshore kokanee hatching is essential to the maintenance and restoration of the kokanee population at Flaming Gorge Reservoir. Research indicates that they make up a large percentage of the Kokani population, ranging from 50-80 percent depending on the year. A combination of good natural recruitment, maintaining stocking rates, and reduced predation is essential for improving the kukani fishery.

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“Although it is not illegal to catch kokanye during the fall, fishermen are required to release them immediately. The kokanee has spent all of its energy laying eggs and dies after a short period of time, so you shouldn’t take on additional pressure if that could have been avoided.”

Anglers are encouraged to target other species this fall, such as lake trout, allowing the kokanye to spawn without additional stress. Young lake trout (less than 23 inches) will begin to spawn in September, when they will establish themselves in 40-70 feet of water near their spawning grounds. In October, they will move to shores 5-35 feet from the water. Small lake trout typically range in size from 16 to 23 inches and can range from 7 to 20 years old. Recent research has shown that they make up a significant portion of the lake trout fishery and may consume 15–33 percent of their annual diet in kokanye, which may affect kokanee recruitment into the fishery.

Catch closures in the flaming throttle tank:

September 10th – November 30th: All kokani will be released into the water immediately. This closure is intended to protect the Kokanee’s spawning ashore, which is vital to the Kokanee population of the FGR, where they make up 50-80 percent of the population.

October 15 – Second Saturday in December: Linwood Bay is closed to fishing at night. This regulation, enforced by the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, is designed to protect trophy lake trout and encourage boating safety.

Green River fishing closures:

October 1 – December 31: The Green River from Fontenelle Dam downstream about 1 mile from the US Geological Measurement Station (Cable Crossing) at Whipping Rocks Camp is closed to fishing.

For more information about these fishing closures and regulations, please visit the Flaming Gorge Management page or call the Green River regional office at 307-875-3223.

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