Good Fishing Forecast for Laramie Plains Lakes
Despite significant winter kill in some Laramie plains lakes, anglers have a lot to look forward to this summer.
Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologists recently conducted annual surveys of Gelatt Lake, Meeboer Lake, Alsop Lake and Twin Buttes Reservoir, all within about 15 miles of Laramie.
Gelatt Lake saw deficient oxygen levels as a result of a malfunctioning aeration system.
“We got the aeration system fixed within a few days, but suspected it might have winter killed,” says Fish Biologist Steve Gale. “It’s safe to say we lost a large portion of fish in Gelatt Lake.”
The department says some fish managed to survive, and anglers have reported catching 18- 20-inch rainbow trout. However, there are likely few fish of that size in Gelatt Lake.
But the lake was stocked with 7,000 fish -- 3,500 rainbow trout and 3,500 Snake River cutthroat trout. They were seven inches long when they were stocked in March, and the department expects them to be 14 to 16 inches long by late September.
Alsop Lake also lost quite a few fish, but low oxygen levels may not have been the culprit.
“It isn’t clear why the fish died in Alsop Lake and we are investigating it further,” says Gale.
The lake still has plenty of fish. Roughly 5,000 rainbow trout and 2,500 Yellowstone cutthroat trout, about seven inches long, went into the lake in April and should be long enough to keep (16 inches) by this fall.
On the bright side, Meeboer Lake has not seen winter kill since an aeration system was installed in 2013, and there are plenty of 13- to 15-inch rainbow trout. The department predicts most of those fish will grow to about 18 inches in length by late September. Biologists have also reported some rainbows in the 23-inch range. Meeboer looks great for anglers, especially since it was stocked with 25,000 rainbow trout in April.
Gale says Twin Buttes Reservoir has seen the best fishing of the spring, with plenty of rainbow trout 13 to 24 inches long and an average length of more than 18 inches. The average Brown trout is also more than 18 inches long, and the Brown trout population has shown good growth. Twin Buttes is stocked with 10,00 rainbow trout and 2,500 brown trout every April.
Biologists hope to diversify the fish species in some plains lakes by stocking more cutthroat trout in 2018, including Bear River cutthroat in Twin Buttes, Snake River cutthroat in Meeboer and various strains in Leazenby Lake. All in all, the department says the Laramie plains lakes should offer good fishing this summer and into the future.
The department says biologists will sample Lake Hattie and Leazenby Lake in the next few months.