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  • Gray Reef Fishing Regulations in Wyoming

    The famed Gray Reef section of the North Platte River offers 40 miles of some of the country's best trout fishing. "The Reef" begins below Gray Reef Reservoir, a small impoundment just below Alcova Reservoir, and flows northeast toward Casper. There are a total of 83 miles of great trout fishing in the Gray Reef area, though most anglers prefer the upper 13 miles. This winding trout habitat features area-specific regulations of which anglers should take note.
    Gray Reef Fishing Regulations in Wyoming

    Wyoming Regulation Basics

    To experience the Gray Reef, you need a Wyoming fishing license. As of 2019, Wyoming residents pay $27 for an annual fishing license while non-residents pay $102 for the year. The cost of a daily fishing license is $6 for Wyoming residents and $14 for those living outside of the state. Nonresidents can also pay $56 for a five-day fishing license. Youth under 14 years of age do not need a fishing license if they are accompanied by an adult with a valid Wyoming fishing license. All anglers will also need to purchase a conservation stamp that is valid for twelve months. The cost of a conservation stamp is $12.50 or $185.50 for a lifetime stamp.


    Area-Specific Regulations


    Gray Reef Dam to Lusby Public Fishing Area

    Anglers fishing the North Platte River from Gray Reef Dam down, 8 miles to the boundary of Lusby Public Fishing Area in Natrona County are allowed to keep just one trout per day and that trout must be over 20 inches long. All trout measuring less than 20 inches are required to be released. Anglers can only fish with artificial flies and lures. The stretch lying between the closed signs at the gauge cable crossings is closed to fishing from April 1 through April 30.


    Kortes Dam to Sage Creek (Carbon County)

    Regulations on the North Platte River from Kortes Dam to Sage Creek include three trout per day, with only one measuring more than 16 inches. The creel limit on walleye is 12 per day or in possession.


    Vehicle Bridge 0.8 Mile Downstream From Pathfinder Dam to Alcova Reservoir (Natrona County)

    Anglers are allowed to catch one trout per day or have one in possession. All trout less than 20 inches are required to be released. Live bait is not allowed, anglers must fish using only artificial lures and flies.

    Artificial Flies and Lures

    Anglers can not use live bait on the Gray Reef. Artificial flies and lures are allowed. Anglers may fish with man-made spoons, spinners, plugs and plastics which feature only nonedible materials. Artificial flies includes streamers, jigs or poppers tied from materials. These items cannot include living or dead organisms, edible parts or any food or chemical attractants.

    Year-Round Fishing

    Aside from the closed area in April each year, fishing on the Gray Reef is a year-round option. The flows coming out of the reservoir keep the water ice free and fishable. It is always good to call ahead if there's been an extended period of cold to be sure your chosen ramp is open for launching.


    Article Written By Brian La Rue

    Perched atop the Mile High City, Brian La Rue has written outdoor-related articles since 1999. His features have appeared in magazine's including "Western Outdoors," "Fishing & Hunting News" and "High Country Angler." His work can be seen on "ESPN Outdoors." He holds a bachelor's in communications from Cal State Fullerton.

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