The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has found yellow perch in Saratoga Lake as a result of illegal fish stocking and is looking to find the person responsible.

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Yellow perch are not native to the upper North Platte River watershed.

The department is concerned that the yellow perch may escape into the upper reaches of the North Platte River drainage. They are likely to disperse downstream to other waters in the watershed, where they could do irreparable damage to the sport fisheries and native fish species. 

Fisheries biologists first discovered yellow perch in Saratoga Lake during routine sampling in 2021. 

A high abundance of stunted yellow perch can result in slower growth rates for managed sportfish in the same water body due to increased competition for food. 

Anglers are being asked to help the Game and Fish by harvesting as many yellow perch from Saratoga Lake as they are legally allowed, including fish that are smaller than they might normally choose to keep. The statewide regulation of 50 yellow perch in the creel and possession is currently in place. 

To submit information, contact the Stop Poaching Hotline at (1-877-WGFD-TIP). A reward is available, and your identity will remain confidential. Illegal fish stockings are a high misdemeanor punishable with up to one year in jail and fines up to $10,000. 

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