Wind River Tribal Fishing/Trespass Permit Information - 2022

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Wind River Tribal Fishing/Trespass Permit Information - 2022

Bull Lake Photo by Ron Hansen

For those adventurous souls that do not mind the bugs, the high elevation, or the effort to get there, the lands on the Wind River Tribal Reservation have long been known as some of the finest fishing, hiking, and camping anywhere in the Lower 48. Divinely placed in God's country, the location is nothing short of breathtaking. However, before loading your mode of transportation and driving to the trailhead, some crucial factors must be addressed, especially that of purchasing a Wind River Tribal Fishing Permit. There is a lot of general confusion surrounding these permits. This article is intended to keep you in the know and out of the courtroom! 


 The Wind River Outdoor Company crew has spent the last four decades all over the Wind River Mountain Range catching fish, chasing elk, and capturing the breathtaking scenery. We are passionate about providing thorough knowledge and insight, especially when it revolves around our shared love for the land and what it has to offer! This read will surely better guide the public concerning the sacred sections of the Wind River Mountain Range within the Wind River Tribal Reservation boundary. To begin, on tribal lands, anyone who is not an enrolled member of the Shoshone or Arapaho Tribes must possess a valid Wind River Tribal Fishing Permit. You read that correctly - even to be on tribal lands requires a tribal fishing permit, even if fishing is not a part of the plan. This tends to be where a lot of confusion takes root: what you are purchasing is actually a "trespassing" permit that allows you to fish. This is perhaps a head-scratcher for some, but please note that while located within US National Forest, these lands belong to the tribe and consequently require proper documentation to enjoy thoroughly. Continue reading for more on what these permits entail! 


 To continue forward, if you leave a Federal, State, County Road or Highway then proceed to travel within the Reservation's boundaries, you are required to have your Wind River Tribal Fishing Permit. For example, if you leave Lander and travel to Dickinson Park Trailhead in the Shoshone National Forest, one would travel through the Wind River Tribal Reservation and not be on a Federal, State, or County Road. Your destination is off the Reservation, but the only means of getting there are via reservation-owned land/roads. For this reason, a tribal fishing permit is needed (again, think of it as a trespass permit) to travel through the Reservation lands. Another way of thinking of it is like a road with toll fees that you are paying in advance, so you  don't have to stop and pay at a booth every time you enter and exit the toll road. Adding to this concept, if one is traveling in a vehicle with others in this situation, then everyone in the car, who is not an enrolled tribal member, would be required to have the permit as well. Every year, the number of people cited for this violation is more numerous than one would guess. That being said, riding without it is an expensive risk to take! We frequently have travelers who argue about this standard, and while we understand their frustrations, the law is simple. It states that everyone who is not an enrolled member of the tribes and who is 15+ years old must have a valid tribal permit on their person while traveling, fishing, recreating, camping, or any other activity on tribal lands. Something to also keep front of mind is hunting is not allowed on any tribal lands for non-enrolled tribal persons. 


Equally as important to discuss, there are multiple categories of licenses that can be purchased. First, the permit process begins with if the person is a resident of Wyoming or elsewhere. Residents of Wyoming do have the luxury of having a reduced fee to pay, although still not cheap! Secondly, there are many more permits to consider, such as single-day permits, 7-day permits, annual permits, senior citizen annual permits (ages 60 and over), annual youth permits (ages 14 and younger), and handicap annual permits. These categories apply to both resident and non-resident purchasers. To qualify as a resident, licensees must meet the following two benchmarks. 1.) The individual must have resided in Wyoming continuously for the previous twelve (12) months. 2.) The individual also must have a valid and legal residential address in the State of Wyoming. If those two benchmarks are not met, then the person must purchase a non-resident permit; by law, no negotiations! Another point to be aware of is that every permit purchaser must also attain a Tribal Recreation Stamp. Luckily, The Tribal Recreational Stamp is only an annual purchase regardless of which timeframe you decide to purchase for your associated permit. For your better reference, located just below is an informative chart disclosing the resident and non-resident license types and fees for 2022. Experience the Wind River Mountain Range fully, all while staying in the know!


Resident


Annual Permit $ 95.00

1-Day Permit $ 35.00

7-Day Permit $ 65.00

Senior Citizen Permit (annual)* $ 45.00

Youth Permit (annual)** $ 20.00

Handicap Permit (annual) $ 30.00

Recreational Stamp (required) $ 20.00

* ages 60 and over

** ages 15 thru 17 years


Non-Resident


Annual Permit $ 135.00

1-Day Permit $ 40.00

7-Day Permit $ 90.00

Senior Citizen Permit (annual)* $ 70.00

Youth Permit (annual)** $ 35.00

Handicap Permit (annual) $ 30.00

Recreational Stamp (required) $ 20.00

* ages 60 and over

** ages 15 thru 17 years 


Licenses can be purchased at Wind River Outdoor Company, at the One Stop Market in Lander, or at the Wind River Tribal Game and Fish in Fort Washakie. Please note licenses have to be picked up and signed for in-person, and for this reason, they cannot be purchased online. Licenses can be paid for by credit card at Wind River Outdoor Company but incur a 3% convenience fee. Licenses purchased at the One Stop Market must be paid for with cash. For store details on times of opening and closing, please visit the One Stop Market website at www.onestopmarkets.com



If additional information is needed, don't hesitate to contact Wind River Outdoor Company staff at 307.332.7864 during the hours of 8 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday or from 9 am to 4 pm on Sundays. Have a great trip in BIG Wonderful Wyoming!

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  • Ron Hansen
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