Grab your rod, choose a bait and head to the water. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently stocked 6,000 channel catfish into 19 community fishing ponds statewide. The fish are considered “jumbo-sized” at 13 to 14-inches and make great table fare.
The catfish come from the Wyoming Women’s Center in Lusk from their in-house aquaculture program. It is the first time Game and Fish has worked with the Women’s Center aquaculture facility to raise and provide fish for the state, and the collaboration has benefits for anglers.
“Game and Fish doesn’t have a cool and warm water fish hatchery — our fish culture facilities are primarily supplied by colder water sources which make them great for raising trout,” said Guy Campbell, Game and Fish fish culture supervisor. “With the Women’s Center, there was a unique opportunity for them to raise a warm water fish to benefit anglers.”
Typically, cool and warm water fish, such as catfish, stocked in Wyoming are acquired by fish trades with other states.
The jumbo catfish were stocked at:
|WATER||NUMBER OF FISH||TOWN|
|Gillette Fishing Lake||250||Gillette|
|Sundance Fairgrounds Pond||200||Sundance|
|Ranchester City Pond||175||Ranchester|
|Basin Water Plant||380||Basin|
|Big Bend 5||100||Riverton|
|Big Bend 6||200||Riverton|
|Fairgrounds Pond 1||30||Rock Springs|
|Fairgrounds Pond 2||50||Rock Springs|
|Rock Springs Pond||30||Rock Springs|
|Lyman City Pond||30||Lyman|
Campbell says the catfish acquired from the Women’s Center are much larger than the typical stocking size.
“These jumbo catfish will create an instant summer fishery,” Campbell said.
Fishing licenses are available online, from Game and Fish regional offices and community license selling agents. Kids under 14 fish for free; nonresident youth under 14 must fish with a licensed adult.