CASPER, Wyo. – With ice fishing season upon us, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department is encouraging anglers to keep the lake trout they catch in Boulder Lake, southeast of Pinedale.
Spring sampling suggested there is an overabundance of lake trout under 24 inches that may be limiting fishing in Boulder Lake, Game and Fish said Tuesday.
“Fishermen’s harvest of these small, tasty fish is one of the best ways to remedy the situation,” Game and Fish said Tuesday. “By maintaining lake trout limits, anglers can free up resources for the remaining fish, resulting in larger lake trout and better rainbow and kokanee trout fishing.”
When lake trout reach about 15-18 inches, their diet changes from aquatic invertebrates to other fish. Once that happens, fish managers typically see “an overabundance of small, skinny lake trout competing for food, with few fish reaching angler-preferred larger size classes (>30 inches),” Game said. and Fish.
“Winter is a good time to target lake trout through the ice and smaller fish (<24 inches) make good table fare," the release added.
Anglers may keep up to six lake trout per day caught in Boulder Lake. Only one fish per day can exceed 24 inches.
“Boulder Lake is part of Wyoming’s special winter ice fishing provision, which means anglers can use up to six lines at a time when fishing through the ice (see Wyoming Fishing Rules for more details),” Game and Fish added.
The release also offered some tips for ice fishing on Boulder Lake:
Spearfishing for ridges, flats, bars and humps next to deep water is often productive during the morning and afternoon hours. At this time, the fish are in these structures, close to the bottom. Vertical jigging grub machines, tubes and rattle spoons tipped with sucker meat, frozen bullheads (sculpins) or maggots/worms work well. One-quarter to one-half ounce shiny heads are commonly used. Dead-hooking or leaving a baited lure sitting or right on the bottom can also be effective. Low-memory braided lines tipped with a fluorocarbon leader (8-10 pound test) will help anglers detect subtle bites. Fish finders, or flashers, can be useful for finding fish and fish-holding structures, but if you don’t have one, try casting lines at various depths and distances until you locate the fish.
Access to Boulder Lake during the winter can be tricky without a snowmobile, but the lake usually freezes early enough to allow for good ice fishing before the roads become impassable by car or truck. Please feel free to contact the Pinedale Game and Fish office regarding road and ice conditions on Boulder Lake this winter. As always, anglers are encouraged to follow fish consumption recommendations and review fishing regulations before heading out. Have fun and stay safe on the ice this winter!
Wyoming Game and Fish