(PHOTOS) Native Snake River cutthroat thriving in Wyoming’s Flat Creek; no non-native brookies netted in sampling

Sampling of Flat Creek suggests over-13-inch Snake River cutthroat are at the highest number per mile since at least 2010. (Wyoming Game and Fish)

CASPER, Wyo. — Recent sampling in Flat Creek north of Jackson indicated the highest number of big Snake River trout per mile since at least 2010, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said Monday.

In addition to finding a large number of big native Snake River cutthroat, Game and Fish Jackson Region personnel did not capture any non-native brook trout during the sampling effort, according to Diana Miller, Jackson Region fish biologist. Fish managers have been asking anglers to keep any brook trout they catch from Flat Creek in order to reduce competition with native cutthroat, Game and Fish said.

Sampling of Flat Creek suggests over-13-inch Snake River cutthroat are at the highest number per mile since at least 2010. (Wyoming Game and Fish)

A number of trophy-sized Snake River cutthroat were netted, with the largest measured at over 21 inches in length and over three pounds, Game and Fish said. Results of the sampling effort along a section of Flat Creek were used to calculate approximate numbers of Snake River cutthroat in the fishery.

Sampling of Flat Creek suggest 13+ inch Snake River cutthroat are at the highest number per mile since at least 2010. (Wyoming Game and Fish)

“This year’s calculated number of fish/mile easily eclipsed the previous ten-year high that was recorded in 2018, for both fish in the 13–16-inch range and for those over 16 inches,” Game and Fish’s release said. “There were a number of fish in the 20-inch range with the largest being just over 21 inches and 3 pounds.”

When Game and Fish conducts fish sampling, each fish netted gets measured for weight and length and is also inspected for things like gill lice and hooking scars before being returned to the water, Game and Fish said.

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Snake River cutthroat trout per mile in Flat Creek. (Wyoming Game and Fish)

“By all accounts, things are looking good for the fine-spotted Snake River cutthroat in Flat Creek,” Game and Fish said. “Anglers are encouraged to get out and try their luck in the coming weeks, as the annual fishing closure will begin November 1.”

The department noted that an exclosure fence was recently added along Flat Creek to keep wintering elk out of willows in the riparian area.

“Willows provide valuable bank stabilization to reduce sediment loads in the water and provide shading to maintain cooler water temperatures and protection from predators,” Game and Fish said. “Songbirds will also take advantage of the added willow habitat as well.”

Sampling of Flat Creek suggests over-13-inch Snake River cutthroat are at the highest number per mile since at least 2010. (Wyoming Game and Fish)

Game and Fish shared video of electrofishing used for fish sampling in Flat Creek via YouTube:

Sampling of Flat Creek suggests over-13-inch Snake River cutthroat are at the highest number per mile since at least 2010. (Wyoming Game and Fish)
Klark Byrd is the Managing Editor for Oil City News, Cap City News and County 17. His award-winning journalism career started here in 2007 in Sidney, Nebraska, and has taken him to North Dakota, Georgia and Texas before landing to Wyoming. Feel free to contact him at editor@oilcity.news.