(Adam) “Welcome to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle and welcome to Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The 2012 burbot bash, the annual event up here at Flaming Gorge is just days away. Last year over 450 anglers showed up and put nearly 4000 burbot on the ice. Organizers are hoping for the same turnout this year.”
(Ryan Mosley, D.W.R. Flaming Gorge Project Leader) “The whole purpose of being here is to go out catch burbot and tag them and unfortunately release them back into the reservoir. but it’s going to pay huge dividends when the burbot bash comes along.
The 2012 Burbot Bash is just four days away. It starts next Wednesday and runs through 11am on Saturday. To prepare, biologists from Utah and Wyoming are braving the elements, to catch, tag, and release 250 additional burbot for the bash.
(Craig Amadio/ Wyo G&F Regional Fisheries Biologist) It started out a concerned group of anglers a few years prior and it has really grown into a big event.”
Burbot were illegally introduced into the Green River drainage several years ago. Since then biologists have been studying the effects the burbot are having on the other species in Flaming Gorge, particularly, the world famous kokanee fishery.
(Craig Amadio) it’s a very layered problem because it’s not just the kokonee it’s the impacts to the other species that rely on kokanee. but in addition to the direct predation on kokanee we’re seeing predation in the fall, when thery’re spawning and the burbots are in there eating eggs. Were also seeing the same thing with lake trout so I think anglers are becoming really aware of the issue and have become educated about it and the last few winters, there’s a lot of people out here fishing for burbot and removing/harvesting as many as possible to try to control their numbers.”
Last year biologists tagged over 500 burbot and had 8 returned. Again this year, they’ll, take weights, measurements and insert this small tag inside the fish. In addition to providing an incentive for anglers, the tagging also provides valuable information for biologists.
(Craig Amadio) “We’re able to collect some data that we can use to help manage the reservoir, help understand the population so we can take the necessary steps to do what we have in our power to control it.”
(Ryan Mosley) this year it will be really interesting to see if any of those tagged fish we placed in the reservoir last year, if they are caught, where they are caught, how much they grew. it will all be helpful information, help us manage this reservoir better.
Wyoming is experiencing the same mild winter that we are enjoying. Because of this, ice conditions have been pretty poor south of the confluence. Anglers will need to do a little scouting before venturing out for the Burbot Bash.
(Craig Amadio) “upstream of the confluence in the blackforks and green river arms, we have plenty of safe ice. The ice we’re on tonight is 10-12 inches thick anglers can feel pretty confident that they’re on safe ice north of the confluence.”
(Craig Amadio) “unfortunately we have had a drowning already here at flaming gorge this winter and you know ice fishing is a risky thing and people need to use common sense; always fish with a friend, always have safety gear with you and always take the appropriate steps so that you’re not putting yourself at risk.”
The event will kick off at the Buckboard Marina at 1pm and finish at the Manila Fairground on Saturday from 11-1. Last year organizers gave away over seventeen thousand dollars in cash and prizes. This year they are hoping for the same.
(Craig Collett, Pres. Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce) “any of the tagged fish that are caught will be put into a bucket and draw out a winner and that winner will win $2,500 dollars for the tagged fish. We’ll also have a biggest fish cash prize and we’ll also have the largest number of fish per team cash prize.”
So get a team together and come have fun catching one of the ugliest, but tastiest fish in the west. The cost is 30 bucks for adults, 5 for youth. You can register on-line at flaminggorgecountry.com.
(Craig Amadio) “it’s not just an ice fishing tournament so people can go out in their boats and chase these fish and enter the tournament that way too and with the mild temperatures that we’re having, i know there’s been a lot of boats on the reservoir this winter.”
(Adam) “well biologists will continue to be out here until they catch those 250 fish, until they get the job done. Your job is to come out for this years burbot bash and catch as many as you can. Who knows one of them might be worth $2,500 bucks.”