Anglers Have to Make Catch and Keep Decision Immediately

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Casper -(KCWY) "We did do some check stations where there was a lot of confusion with anglers,” said Janet Milek the public information specialist for the Casper region Game and Fish Department office.

The confusion all over when a fish becomes counted toward the creel limit, but also on the transportation of live caught fish.

"Once the angler takes the fish into their possession, puts it on a stringer, in a live well, or some type of container, then that fish is counted towards their possession,” said Al Conder a Regional Fisheries Supervisor for the Game and Fish department.

They need to kill that fish before they leave the water.

"When they catch that fish they need to make a decision are they going to catch and release that fish or are they going to catch and keep that fish,” said Milek.

Game and fish staff says this might not be the easiest decision, but say the regulation is in place to protect both the fish and the water ways they live in.

"We want to make sure they are not out of the water to long or that they are not held in a live well to long. We want to make sure that when that fish is released is able to survive healthy,” said Milek.

Fish have popped up in lakes and rivers where fisheries managers have not released them and caused major problems, such as in the buffalo bill reservoir and green river drainage.

"They literally have the ability to change the entire fishery by stocking some fish in there,” said Conder.

"It's costly for the Game and Fish to try and remedy that, but it also costs other anglers excellent fisheries,” said Milek.

So if you’re in doubt about the regulation and whether your going to keep or release your catch, just remember.

"If you’re going to release that fish they have to do it immediately,” said Conder.