Budget cuts cause the Wyoming Game and fish Department to stock less fish in Wyoming lakes, ponds and rivers this year.
There's been a 22 percent cut on the amount of fish stocked into Wyoming waters, and that could have an impact on this summer's fishing
“We had to reduce the stocking to meet the budget cuts that were applied to our budget.” said Steve Sharon, Fish Culture Supervisor for Wyoming Game and Fish.
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department normally stocks close to four million fish in state waters each year.
“This year we were initially going to stock 501 waters across the state.” said Sharon.
But because of cuts the department couldn't fill 153 of those requests, cutting fish stocking by 22 percent, and losing about 850,000 fish.
"A couple years ago we went to the legislators asking for a license fee increase. We didn't receive that. So for the past couple years we've been trying to reduce our expenditures so we could basically live within our income." said Al Conder, Regional Fishery Supervisor of Wyoming Game and Fish.
Causing spring stocking to be lower. Making this summer a hard catch
"As we move forward through the summer there will be impact on some waters because they are a lower priority on the stocking list, they were not stock at all this year." said Sharon.
The brutal winter killed nearly all the fish at Goldeneye Reservoir. But, it won't be restocked until late summer or fall, and though the Wyoming Game and Fish is not mandated by the state to stock the waters, and they hope to not lose too much stock this year.
"We're going to come back in, in our next budget cycle that starts in July, and try to get some small fish stocked in there that were not initially scheduled, so we can reduce the loss of the fish so it doesn't go through a whole year." said Sharon.
Cutting the fish stocking for this season has saved the game and fish department nearly $60,000.
Wyoming game and fish says they expect next year's budget to be back to normal.