Illegally Released Walleye Found in Newcastle’s Black Elk Pond

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department says the recent discovery of walleye in Black Elk Pond in Newcastle is the result of illegal fish stocking and seeks to find the person responsible.  

Walleye have not been stocked by the department in Black Elk Pond. They are a predatory species and after they reach just a few inches in size, they feed exclusively on other fish and can have lasting impacts on a fishery if a population becomes established.

“Illegal fish introductions are a serious problem and seem to be especially prevalent in northeast Wyoming,” said Sheridan Region Fisheries Supervisor Paul Mavrakis. “At just over one surface acre, Black Elk Pond is far too small to be good walleye habitat.  This fishery is managed as a community fishery where shore anglers have a good chance of catching fish.” 

Black Elk Pond was built in 2015.  At that time, it was stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, crappie and yellow perch. Additional stockings in recent years have added catchable rainbow trout and channel catfish to the pond. Walleye have not been stocked, due to their potential to negatively impact other fish species.

Game and Fish stocks walleye in nearby LAK Reservoir as well as Keyhole Reservoir where the habitat can support this top line predator.  

Anyone with information about the release of walleye into Black Elk Pond is encouraged to contact the Game and Fish Department by calling the Stop Poaching Hotline at 1-877-WGFD-TIP. A tip leading to a conviction may be eligible for a financial reward. Illegal fish stockings are a high misdemeanor punishable with up to one year in jail and fines up to $10,000.