Fishing Derbies Offer Chance To Help Flaming Gorge Fishery

Fishing Derbies Offer Chance To Help Flaming Gorge Fishery

Harvesting Burbot And Lake Trout Helps The Flaming Gorge Fishery; Fishing Derbies Coming Up Soon.

GREEN RIVER – According to the Wyoming Game and Fish, ice continues to build on Flaming Gorge Reservoir and anglers will hopefully be able to access more of their favorite ice fishing spots soon.  With two burbot fishing derbies and a new lake trout fishing derby coming up, it will quickly be time to get out those fishing poles and do some pre-derby fishing while doing your part to help the fishery.

The 2018 Burbot Bash Derby and the 2018 Burbot Classic Derby will be held in late January and early February, with the goal of reducing the numbers and impacts of burbot on fisheries in Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The Burbot Classic is also adding a separate lake trout fishing derby.

“The number of small lake trout in Flaming Gorge Reservoir continues to increase which is a major concern.” – John Walrath Green River Fisheries Biologist.

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The abundance of small lake trout is slowing their growth, which means fewer fish are moving into the trophy size class. If this trend continues and harvest on small lake trout doesn’t increase, the trophy component will over time cease to exist. Anglers are a great tool for managing fisheries and their effort to harvest more small lake trout will help maintain the trophy fishery. As a means to help promote this issue, a separate derby was added to the Burbot Classic that specifically targets small lake trout.  Anglers can sign up and fish for lake trout during the day and burbot at night.

“The derbies provide a great opportunity to educate the public about the problems of burbot and lake trout, to recruit anglers, and to remove thousands of invasive burbot,” Walrath said. “Since burbot derbies began on the Gorge in 2010 nearly 40,000 burbots have been removed! It is our hope that the new lake trout fishing derby will help increase awareness of the overabundance of small Lake Trout and the need for anglers to harvest small lake trout. The Game and Fish appreciates the time and effort the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce (Burbot Bash) and Buckboard Marina/Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce (Burbot Classic) put into hosting these fun and productive derbies. The events require an enormous amount of planning and time to ensure the derbies run safely and smoothly, and that everyone has a great time.”

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The 2018 Burbot Bash is being held on January 26-28.  For more information please check out or  The 2018 Burbot Classic (burbot and lake trout) is being held on February 3-4.

For more information about the Classic and to register online, check out or call Buckboard Marina.

If you can’t make one of these derbies or you’re looking for one more opportunity to test your fishing skills check out the Ding the Ling Derby on Fontenelle Reservoir February 10-11.

For more information go to their Facebook page at

Anglers are advised to use caution on any ice or water.

  • Ice conditions are changing rapidly.
  • Never go fishing alone and the buddy system is critical. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Keep a close eye on children and your pets.
  • Continually check the ice depth visually before you step on it and with an auger or spud bar as you go.  Ice thickness can vary considerably across long distances.
  • If you plan to fish burbot at night find a location your group knows is safe during the daylight and stay there. Don’t explore new areas after dark.
  • Four inches of clear, hard ice is considered acceptable for anglers on foot. Always carry a pair of ice picks and a throw rope just in case.  It a good idea to wear a life jacket as well.  WGFD recommends against taking a vehicle onto the ice.