WG&F approves hunting regs, quotas

CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission met in Lander last week to approve the annual hunting season regulations and quotas. After hearing season presentations and reviewing public comments, the commission passed the 2022 hunting season regulations and quotas. The finalized information will be available on the Wyoming Game and Fish Department website and Hunt Planner by the beginning of May.

The commission heard an overview of the department’s chronic wasting disease management surveillance program and ongoing CWD management in the state. Research on how to best manage the disease in Wyoming is ongoing and Game and Fish plans to continue outreach efforts to educate hunters and others about the disease.

The department updated the commission on the Jackson employee housing project at the Commission’s South Park property. Drilling for water will take place next week. Game and Fish is currently requesting proposals for project design. Proposals are due mid-May. For efficiencies, Game and Fish will pursue hiring a construction manager at risk to oversee the housing project. Both proposals will come before the commission for final approval, tentatively planned for July.

Construction on the new Cody Regional office remains on-course. The project is forecasted to be complete in mid-August.

The commission approved an additional $1.15 million to pay increasing department costs within the current fiscal year. The supplemental funds will pay for vehicles, damage claims and postage.

The Game and Fish fisheries division presented an overview of the warm and cool water fish trade program — where Game and Fish swaps cold-water trout for fish like walleye and catfish for the benefit of anglers. The department is pursuing an expansion at Dan Speas Fish Hatchery in Casper for warm-water capacity to raise walleye. The in-state resources will help to limit the risk of disease spread and aquatic invasive species from a trade with a mussel-positive state. Wyoming is one of the last states remaining free of zebra and quagga mussels.

The next commission gathering is scheduled for June 1-2 for a retreat at the Whiskey Mountain Conservation Camp in Dubois.