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GREEN RIVER-The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is looking for a few good anglers to catch lots of ling, a.k.a. burbot, in the Green River.
The discovery of this eel-like, predatory fish in the early 2000's dealt a serious blow to Game and Fish efforts to maintain quality fisheries in the Green River Drainage for all anglers, not just the few selfish individuals who want their favorite fish everywhere they wish. Since that discovery, area fisheries managers, like Green River Fisheries Supervisor Robb Keith, have been working aggressively to manage against illegally introduced fish populations.
"Current fishing regulations allow anglers to harvest an unlimited number of burbot in order to suppress their populations," said Keith. "Because burbot are thriving in Flaming Gorge and Fontenelle Reservoirs and the Green River we need the help of anglers to suppress the illegally introduced burbot populations."
With the melting of the ice on Flaming Gorge and Fontenelle Reservoirs many anglers think the opportunities to catch ling are done until next ice season. Not so, Keith says.
"As long as water temperatures stay below 60 F anglers should be able to catch burbot in the reservoirs, from a boat and from the bank. They can also catch good numbers of burbot from the Green River. River fishing for ling is similar to ice fishing, with only a few modifications that will be familiar to catfish anglers."
"Our experience shows anglers will be more successful if they get set up at least one-hour before sunset. The fishing usually picks up at dusk and can last as long into the night as you are willing to fish. Strips of sucker meat in conjunction with a luminescent grub on a hook above a sinker, is all the gear preparation and angler needs to worry about. Although I suspect some anglers can improve on this technique. Pitch the rig out into a good deep hole or riffle above the hole and relax in a lawn chair. On the right night and at the right spot action can be fast. If fishing for burbot slows try moving to another spot, the new spot does not necessarily need to be that far away."
Keith says anglers should remember to respect private land and only fish from private land if you have permission from the landowner.
"Also, although anglers are allowed to use six poles to fish through the ice on area reservoirs, anglers are still restricted to use of two poles when the ice is gone," Keith said. "As with all night activities make sure to take extra light, tell someone where you will be going fishing and be especially careful on and around any fishing hole."
Anyone with questions about fishing can contact the Green River Game and Fish Office at 307-875-3223. Anglers can also access the Web site and click on the Green River Region for detailed fishing information.
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