Saturday, March 14, 2009

Keeping Wyoming Safe from Ling

As a card-carrying member of Trout Unlimited, I believe it's my duty to help protect coldwater fisheries from dangerous intruders.

So I headed to Flaming Gorge Reservoir in southwest Wyoming to kill some ling. Ling, if you haven't heard, were illegally introduced sometime to the huge lake that spans from the Cowboy State into northern Utah.

To retaliate for that intrusion, the Game and Fish Department has declared open season on the ling - no limit year-round. It's a sportsman's obligation to keep every ling caught to try to protect the Gorge's trout, kokanee and smallmouth bass population.

Ling, also known as lingcod and burbot, are caught at night at the Gorge using fluorescent jigs baited with sucker meat flavored with anise.

It was wonderful standing on the ice in the dark, listening to coyotes sing, the ice crack and groan as it shifted in the evening temperature drop, and watching the stars in the black night sky.

And we caught some ling, along with one rainbow and one lake trout.

I hear ling are delicious eating. One local recipe is to boil pieces of ling fillet in Seven-Up.

I'll let you know how that works in a future posting.