The North Platte River is a big resource for Natrona County, especially when it comes to the economy... Tourists flock here to fish...
“Business is booming, and every year seems to be a steady growth year.” said Trent Tatum, co-owner of The North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop.
Anglers who come from all over the world to fish in the North Platte, just from Gray Reef to Casper alone, generate over seven million dollars for Natrona County's economy every year.
“Since '08 it has been on a gradual incline and it look like its going to continue to do so because the river just keeps getting better.” said Tatum.
Wildlife officials say the reservoirs are much higher than last year, which has a positive effect on fishing.
“Pathfinder for example last year was about 40 percent full and now we're about 70 percent full, so every time our reservoirs fill we see what is called a new reservoir Effect, we kind of get a flush of nutrients, and that really boosts the fish growth.” said Al Conder, Game & Fish Fishery Supervisor.
Trout and Walleye seem to be plentiful in the waters. Last year over 35,000 fishing licenses were sold in Natrona County, nearly half of those being out of state.
“We've had good water years. We've had successful recruitment, which is spawning in the river. The fish are taking care of themselves and its just an excellent fishery. “said Tatum.
And the best part... Is the fishing business on the North Platte just keeps growing each year.
“Its a tail water, conveyor belt of food, we have so many fish and they're all really healthy... its just a great river.” said Tatum.