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Proposed Fishing Regulations Would Relax Rules


Thanks to a bill passed in the last budget session, it may soon be legal to use artificial light and out-of-state live bait when fishing in Wyoming.  Dave Zafft with Wyoming Game and Fish says its long been against the rules to use lights to draw fish to the lure.  Now it could be allowed for nearly all kinds of fishing.

“A glow in the dark lure, or a lighted lure or suspending lights over water to help attract fish or being able to use an underwater video camera that has a light on it.  And these things can help anglers take fish,” Zafft says.  “But they still can’t take any more than the legal creel limit and we don’t see an issue with that.”

Zafft says licensed hatcheries would also be allowed to purchase out-of-state live bait for re-sale.  That’s has been banned for years out of concern for the influx of disease and invasive species.  Zafft says hatcheries in Wyoming can’t produce enough live bait to meet demand.  He says hatcheries in Arkansas and other states have found a safe way to ship live minnows that are certified not to contain disease or invasive species.

“And then they ship those fish Fed Ex overnight in small volumes of water in a box.  We have a lot less concern about what may come in a gallon of water than we do a truckload of water.”

Zafft says the changes were approved in the last budget session.  Public comments will be taken at the Wyoming Game and Fish website through mid-August. 

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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