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Lander FWCO
Mountain-Prairie Region
Graphic button showing the 8 state mountain prairie region

Lander Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office

170 North 1st St. | Lander, WY 82520
Phone: (307) 332-2159 | E-mail: LanderFishandWildlife@fws.gov

About Our Office

Partnerships | Lander Conservation Projects | Species | Open / Close All

  • Sunrise over Crowheart. Credit: USFWS.

    Sunrise over Crowheart. Credit: USFWS.

  • Photo of elk. Credit: USFWS.

    Photo of elk. Credit: USFWS.

  • Spread Creek after dam removal. Credit: USFWS.

    Boy with fish. Credit: USFWS.

  • Wind River Mountains on Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

    Wind River Mountains on Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

  • Wyoming Indian Grade School 2010. Credit: USFWS.

    Wyoming Indian Grade School 2010. Credit: USFWS.

  • Ken Smith, Tribal Warden, holding a burbot @ Bull Lake. Credit: USFWS.

    Ken Smith, Tribal Warden, holding a burbot @ Bull Lake. Credit: USFWS.

About Us

Assisting Tribes to benefit People, Fish and Wildlife

The Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office (FWCO) located in Lander, Wyoming, has assisted the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes of the Wind River Reservation with fisheries conservation since 1941. In 1972, at the request of the Tribes and supported through congressional action, our office was enlarged to include wildlife conservation as well.

The 2.2 million acre Wind River Reservation contains some of the most pristine mountainous areas in the lower 48 states as well as over 250 lakes and reservoirs and over 1,100 miles of rivers and streams. The Reservation provides an abundance of habitat for native cutthroat trout, burbot, and sauger as well as a variety of non-native fish including lake, brown, rainbow and brook trout. Native wildlife such as elk, mule deer, whitetail deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep and moose are abundant and provide a sustainable harvest for over 1,000 tribal hunters. Additional species of interest include the sage-grouse, mountain lion, gray wolf and black and grizzly bear.


Partnerships »

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WNetting of native sauger to assess the population in the Little Wind River, Wind River Reservation, WY. Credit: USFWS.

Netting of native sauger to assess the population in the Little Wind River, Wind River Reservation, WY. Credit: USFWS.

Partnerships Make it Happen

Without our partners, we could not do what we do successfully. Our personnel work closely with the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Colorado, Wyoming and Montana Fish and Wildlife Coop Units, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Environmental Protection Agency, Trout Unlimited, Popo Agie Anglers, other local civic groups, and citizens interested in fish and wildlife. Service programs we cooperate with include Private Lands, Ecological Services and National Wildlife Refuges.

The efforts of our staff and many dedicated partners and volunteers help the Lander FWCO successfully provide assistance to native people, conserving fish and wildlife and the habitats they depended upon for present and future generations.

Wyoming Game and Fish logo. Forest Service Badge logo Bureau of Indian Affairs logo Environmental Protection Agency logo Bureau of Land Management logo Bureau of Reclamation Bureau of Reclamation Bureau of Reclamation Bureau of Reclamation

Lander Conservation Projects »

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  • Ray Canal fish ladder, allows fish to migrate upstream past irrigation dam, Ft Washakie, WY Wind RIver Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

    Ray Canal fish ladder, allows fish to migrate upstream past irrigation dam, Ft Washakie, WY Wind RIver Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

  • Ray Canal fish screen, saves thousands of game and non-game from being lost down the canal, Ft Washakie, WY Wind RIver Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

    Ray Canal fish screen, saves thousands of game and non-game from being lost down the canal, Ft Washakie, WY Wind RIver Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

  • Spread Creek after dam removal. Credit: USFWS.

    Spread Creek after dam removal. Credit: USFWS.

  • Spread Creek before dam removal closeup. Credit: USFWS.

    Spread Creek before dam removal closeup. Credit: USFWS.

  • Yellowcalf irrigation diversion, dam that crossed river was removed and replaced with a rock weir to allow fis to pass upstream. Credit: USFWS.

    Yellowcalf irrigation diversion, dam that crossed river was removed and replaced with a rock weir to allow fis to pass upstream. Credit: USFWS.

To meet our mission of assisting the Tribes with sensible fish and wildlife conservation we perform the following activities:

  • Managing populations of wildlife, native fish and stocked fish
  • Devising sustainable fishing and hunting seasons
  • Protecting and restoring sagebrush uplands, streams, wetlands and riparian habitat
  • Capturing and marking fish and wildlife for study and transplants
  • Surveying and monitoring wildlife using planes, helicopters, and radio-telemetry
  • Stocking fish
  • Creating fish passage by removing fish barriers like irrigation dams and constructing fish ladders that allow fish to stair-step pass an existing dam
  • Providing outreach and education to youth and adults

Other on-going conservation activities:

  • Big game habitat monitoring and restoration.
  • In stream flow negotiations for fish and wildlife.
  • Fishery Management Consultation on National Wildlife Refuges.


Species »

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  • Leith Edgar USFWS, Dinwoody Lakes. Credit: USFWS.

    Leith Edgar USFWS, Dinwoody Lakes. Credit: USFWS.

  • Mike Mazur showing kids from E. Shoshone Tribe a cutthroat trout, Washakie Reservior, Wind River Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

    Mike Mazur showing kids from E. Shoshone Tribe a cutthroat trout, Washakie Reservior, Wind River Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

  • Lander Species: (Photos clockwise from top) Burbot, Sage grouse, Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Credit: USFWS.

    Lander Species: (Photos clockwise from top) Burbot, Sage grouse, Yellowstone cutthroat trout. Credit: USFWS.

FISH: Native fish species including Yellowstone cutthroat, burbot, and sauger are currently listed as species of concern within Wyoming. Two studies will quantify populations and evaluate over habitat conditions to provide answers as to why sauger and burbot populations have declined.


  • Sierra Pingree releasing a Trumpter Swan at Alakli Lake, Wind River Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

    Sierra Pingree releasing a Trumpter Swan at Alakli Lake, Wind River Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

  • Western Thayer with sage grouse cock, Wind River. Credit: USFWS.

    Western Thayer with sage grouse cock, Wind River. Credit: USFWS.

  • Wind River Mountains on Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

    Wind River Mountains on Reservation. Credit: USFWS.

  • Eagle closeup. Credit: USFWS.

    Eagle closeup. Credit: USFWS.

BIRDS: Sage grouse populations have declined by 50 to 80 percent throughout the intermountain west the past decade. Currently, in cooperation with the state of Wyoming and Tribes, we are mapping habitats and monitoring populations in an effort to identify possible solutions for this species decline.

Peregrine falcons, ospreys and bald eagles nest on the Wind River Reservation and are surveyed annually to assess the number of young produced. We are currently reintroducing trumpeter swan cygnets to establish a breeding population where swans bred historically.


  • Bighorn Ram. Credit: USFWS.

    Bighorn Ram. Credit: USFWS.

  • Dry Muddy, Elk count from airplane on Wind River. Credit: USFWS.

    Dry Muddy, Elk count from airplane on Wind River. Credit: USFWS.

  • Courtney Grantham, USFWS Lander FWCO, and Western Thayer, Tribal warden, radio-collaring a sedated wolf. Credit: USFWS.

    Courtney Grantham, USFWS Lander FWCO, and Western Thayer, Tribal warden, radio-collaring a sedated wolf. Credit: USFWS..

MAMMALS: Big game species like elk are surveyed annually. Currently there are over 10,000 elk that spend the winter on the Wind River Reservation. This large number of elk and other big game are sustained by intact, diverse and abundant habitat found here. The grizzly bear population in the Yellowstone ecosystem (of which Wind River is a part) is growing and expanding into new areas. Over the last 30 years, grizzly bears are now routinely found in the Owl Creek Mountains and are becoming more common in the Wind River Mountains. Wolves are a recent addition to Wind River following the transplant and reintroduction to Yellowstone National Park in 1995. Wolves expanded their range and now occupy a significant portion of the Wind River area.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with Others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American People.
Last modified: April 08, 2015
All Images Credit to and Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Unless Specified Otherwise.
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