Annual burbot netting on Flaming Gorge Reservoir
This report was filed Thursday by Flaming Gorge project leader Ryan Mosley:
We just completed our annual burbot netting along the length of Flaming Gorge Reservoir and as always with burbot, there's the "good, the bad, and the ugly." In collaboration with Wyoming Game and Fish, we set nets in three distinct regions, one night each.
Here's a quick run down of what we saw this year, starting with the good.
Last night we sampled the canyon reach of the reservoir between Sheep Creek and Jarvies Bay. We only netted 4 burbot in these three nets, consistent with 2010 and 2011.
In our mid-reservoir net sets between Holmes Crossing and Lucerne, we fortunately saw a 30 percent decline in burbot abundance. We also netted some whopper sized smallmouth bass which were released back to the reservoir.
Now, for both the bad and the ugly. In the inflow area above Buckboard, we saw a 61 percent increase in burbot abundance from 2011 and also the most we've sampled since this survey was initiated in 2006. We sampled some larger burbot up to 30 inches, and diets varied from crawdads to fish like Utah chubs and rainbow trout. With the increased numbers of burbot in the inflow area this year, that's where anglers pursuing burbot should concentrate their efforts. One reservoir fishing guide is taking advantage of the unseasonably warm temps and already targeting burbot within the Black's Fork and Green River Arms. He's found angling catch rates to also be really high in this region this year.
This project takes a lot of volunteers to be successful and as always, we appreciate their efforts.