Patrick Edwards

Riverton angler Patrick Edwards and his record sucker.

Out-of-state fishing licenses return

One of the hang-ups that have been giving fly-fishing guiding services anxiety as they head into their summer seasons has been alleviated.

The decision last month by Wyoming Game and Fish to suspend the sale of daily and five-day fishing licenses to out-of-state anglers has been lifted, Gov. Mark Gordon said in his Thursday press briefing.

The governor also announced that the spring turkey hunting season in Wyoming will be extended 11 days. The final day of the season is now May 31.

The decision to suspend short-term out-of-state fishing licenses was met with immediate pushback by the local fishing industry. The Snake River Fund penned a letter last month, asking that the decision be overturned.

The suspension was an emergency ruling for 120 days, which would have extended into August — peak fly-fishing season — had it stayed in place for the duration. Game and Fish later said the lifting of the suspension would likely coincide with changes to the governor’s self-quarantine directive.

The department said it did “not expect that this suspension will last 120 days.”

Sucker record broken

For the first time since 2011 the Wyoming white sucker state record has been broken.

Riverton angler Patrick Edwards notched the new high mark, nabbing a fish that weighed in 5 pounds, 6.45 ounces and was 22 inches long with a girth of 13.5 inches.

He caught the record-setter March 20 on the Wind River. The previous record was caught in the Bighorn River and weighed in at 4.4 pounds.

Wyoming Game and Fish said Edwards was looking to get himself and his kids out of the house during COVID-19 isolation and had been wanting to try pickling white sucker. His setup consisted of a basic “pickle rig” with a weight, two hooks and two three-way swivels.

“I put a piece of nightcrawler on each hook, cast it out and let it sit right on the bottom near the seam of the fast and slower-moving water in the river,” he said.

The white sucker is a native species to the Wind River/Bighorn River. In Wyoming, historic records indicate it was found east of the Continental Divide and was often one of the most abundant fish species in large rivers.

White suckers tolerate a wide range of habitats but generally prefer clear water and pool habitat. Insects make up a major part of their diet.

Two more rodeos canned reported two more high school rodeos have been canceled, bringing the total to seven that have been canned this spring.

The Sheridan rodeo scheduled for May 23 and the Buffalo rodeo scheduled for May 24 and 25 have been nixed.

Gillette is scheduled to host a rodeo May 29-31.

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