The Wyoming Game & Fish Reflects on their Best Stories of 2022
The Wyoming Game & Fish Reflects on some of their most notable projects and news stories over the year.
"Each year is different, but one thing remains the same — the department worked tirelessly to conserve more than 800 species of fish and wildlife that call Wyoming home."
“I feel very fortunate to lead a team that is passionate about our mission and has the talent and dedication to get big things done,” said Game and Fish Director Brian Nesvik in a recent news release. “Wyoming’s wildlife and their habitat faced many challenges in 2022, and I’m grateful to the public and our partners for supporting our work and wildlife conservation.”
Here is a collection of their top stories:
Wyoming still free of zebra and quagga mussels
Game and Fish faced major challenges when the aquatic invasive species was discovered just 27 miles south of the Wyoming border.
G&F enforced inspected over 65,000 boats across the state to protect Wyoming's waters from invasive aquatic plants and animals.
So far Wyoming remains one of the few states yet to have the invasive mussels.
Successful year of species recovery
Game and Fish report that the wolves and grizzly bear populations in Wyoming are healthy.
"For the 20th consecutive year wolf numbers have remained above minimum delisting criteria showing that Wyoming’s wolf management plan works" they said.
Grizzly bear populations have reached population levels and distribution far-beyond recovery. In January 2022, Wyoming announced it would formally seek state management of grizzly bears again.
Cody Office construction finished
Funded by the Game and Fish Commission, the new Game and Fish regional office in Cody is now open to the public. Construction on the building finished in October.
New game warden graduates earn top marks, special recognition at Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy
Game Wardens Elise Huysman, Gavin Dougherty and Jesse Niemeir were honored for outstanding marksmanship and physical fitness skills at the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy Peace Officer Basic Course in Douglas.
Saratoga Lake restoration
Fisheries biologists in the Laramie Region successfully completed a $140,000 rotenone project at Saratoga Lake to remove illegally-stocked yellow perch. The lake will be restocked with trout in the spring of 2023.
Dry Piney wildlife crossing project construction underway
The Dry Piney wildlife crossing will include nine highway underpasses in western Wyoming that are designed to reduce the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions. The Dry Piney wildlife crossing project, led by Game and Fish and the Wyoming Department of Transportation, is slated to be complete by October 2023.
Game and Fish launches 5-year mule deer study
Game and Fish biologists and University of Wyoming researchers launched a five-year project hoping to obtain critical information on mule deer: abundance, composition, data management, survival, herd health and harvest management.
Three men convicted of numerous charges in one of the largest poaching cases in Wyoming history
Three men were charged with more than 100 wildlife violations in one of the largest poaching cases in Wyoming history. They were cumulatively fined $171,230 and $131,550 in restitution.