U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
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Cheyenne Annual Fishing Day Remains Successful Though Fish Weren’t Biting

By Andrea Pettay

Kids fished undeterred at Cheyenne’s annual Fishing Day although unfavorable weather in the preceding days seemed to keep the fish from biting.

The 19th annual free Fishing Day was held on June 7, as always, on the first Saturday of June at Sloans Lake in Lions Park. Similar free fishing days are held annually throughout the country and sponsored by federal and state agencies. The BLM, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Boy Scouts of America all helped with Cheyenne’s event.

Fishing Day was once again proved popular by the rapid distribution of free fishing rods, reels, posters, and goodie bags. BLM employee Christy Tarditi said, “I gave out 300 ranger badges in the first hour.” Mark Gorges, BLM Wyoming Fisheries Lead, later noted 525 children and 350 adults came out for the event.

Once the kids were equipped with supplies and ready to start fishing, the fish just weren’t biting. Kids and parents crowded the beach, anxiously waiting for a tug at the line. “It’s just combat fishing out here,” said Chuck Nye, husband of BLM resources clerk Donna Nye, as he watched the line of anglers wait for a bite.

After Chuck and Donna Nye’s grandson Anthony caught a small perch, he said, “I would have caught one earlier but grandpa let it get away.”

Earlier in the day a young girl snagged a large rainbow trout. While standing on the dock, her grandfather reached through a guard rail to grab the struggling fish. The fish slipped out of his hands just after everyone could glimpse the potential prize fish. He said afterwards, “I should have gotten on my belly to get it. That was the biggest rainbow trout I’ve ever seen in this lake.”

Successful catches were rare at this year’s Fishing Day. Both BLM and Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) specialists said the recent thunderstorms probably had an effect on the fish.

Rick Huber of WGFD said the alternating cloudy and sunny days in the previous week had a big impact because fish are much more responsive to bait after several sunny days in a row.

Bill Daniels of BLM attributed the inactivity to the rain. The storm water picked up a lot of silt and carried it into the lake. Until the silt settles to the bottom of the lake, he said, the water is cloudy and the fish can’t see the bait.

Although the fish weren’t biting, this event was a great opportunity for families to spend time together enjoying the outdoors. 

Young anglers learned to cast in the grass at Lions Park. Photo by Andrea Pettay.

Young anglers learned to cast in the grass at Lions Park. Photo by Andrea Pettay.

The annual Fishing Day is always a great opportunity for parents and children to spend time together enjoying the outdoors. Photo by Andrea Pettay.

Volunteers James, Chuck and Anthony Nye, the family of BLM employee Donna Nye, teach new anglers how to fish. Photo by Andrea Pettay.

Young anglers learned to cast in the grass at Lions Park.
Photo By Andrea Pettay

Children look on as their grandfather removes the hook from a freshly caught fish.
Photo By Andrea Pettay

The annual Fishing Day is always a great opportunity for parents and children to spend time together enjoying the outdoors.
Photo By Andrea Pettay
Volunteers James, Chuck and Anthony Nye, the family of BLM employee Donna Nye, teach new anglers how to fish.
Photo By Andrea Pettay


 
Last updated: 08-20-2008