Wanted in Wyoming – The Rare Fisher
The rare mustelid (fisher), hasn’t been verified in Wyoming in decades, officials say. But Wyoming Untrapped believes fisher are out there but not being reported.
“The fisher, a weasel-like small carnivore, will soon be examined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a potentially threatened species in the Northern Rockies. Federal and state managers are grappling over whether the species is native to Wyoming.”
“The last confirmed Wyoming occurrence, Boyd and Walker said, was a specimen trapped in the 1920s on the Beartooth Plateau east of Yellowstone National Park. Before that a fisher pelt was confiscated inside Yellowstone back in the 1890s.”
“In 2014 a Game and Fish employee told the News&Guide that a fisher was caught in trap in the Bighorn Mountains in the 1960s.”
“A list of species “of greatest conservation need” in Wyoming now under revision proposes removing fishers because of their long absence. Under Wyoming statute, however, the species is protected and cannot be trapped in the state.”
If you spot a fisher, alive or not, in a trap or free, past or present or future, please share details and photos. Helpful information includes photos of tracks with a scale for comparison and location coordinates. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-201-2422.
Read full article: Missing Fishers to be Considered for Protected List by Mike Koshmrl, JHNews and Guide
After some passage of time, my wife and I are reasonably certain that we spotted a fisher near Newcastle, Wyoming near the end of September, 2017. We were driving between Sundance and Newcastle. It was near an old barn or shed. I’ve read that fishers prefer old growth forests as chosen habitat. However, this area could be described as more of a grassland. Since September I have been looking at various photos of critters in both the weasel and feline families. After showing my wife the fisher photo, she agrees that this is what we encountered.
Thank you for sharing this possible fisher sighting with us. You are right that it doesn’t appear to be located in fisher habitat, but we are taking note of the location and date, and will forward to the appropriate wildlife biologist. Please let us know if you learn of more sightings. Now, if only we had a photo! Thank you John.
I had a brief sighting of what I believe was a fisher in the Pole Mountain section of Medicine Bow National Forest in the summer of 2017. I was walking near a stream in a lightly used area of Pole Mountain searching for trout in the stream and its beaver ponds. The animal seemed much too large to be a fisher, approximately 30 inches long, one third of that being its bushy tail. Color of milk chocolate.
I think I saw a Fisher today (10-28-18) two miles southwest of Albany, Wyoming in the woods about 100 yards west of USFS Road 513. Sorry no photo. Cat-sized weasel with dark brown fur, bushy brown tail, undulating like a rollercoaster over the logs on the ground. It was too big for a mink and too low for a fox.
Bern, That would be incredible if it was a Fisher. Is there any way to observe that area? Or set up a trail camera?
You can reach us at email@example.com or call 307-201-2422.
I just returned home from an after work fly fishing evening and wanted to post about my recent fisher sighting. This sighting was located on the Little Laramie river off off Millbrook Road, coordinates of location for sighting are (41.3068011, -105.9808494) I was able to view the animal for a few moments bounding across the river bank directly in front of me. It was approximately 3′ long from nose to tip of tail and dark brown in color. Once I realized what it was I tried to fumble for my phone (standing in the middle of a river didn’t work so well) to take a picture but was unsuccessful. The animal disappeared in a pile of logs and never came back out (possible den?) The above coordinates are where I last spotted the animal and this is also public land so viewing this area would be no problem. I can also set up a trail camera in this location to try and capture an image of the Fisher if that would be helpful?
I’ve fished that section quite a bit over the last few years. While I haven’t seen any fishers out there, I do see mink ALL of the time. Is it possible it could have been a mink? Possibly even a pine marten? I’m interested in setting up a trail camera there now haha!
We were just in Grand Teton NP and saw what appeared to be a fisher on and near the trail leading to Death Canyon (before the Phelps overlook). It was about the size of a marmot or house cat and looked like an overgrown marten with dark reddish brown fur. No pictures though it did stop and look at us from on top of a log for a few seconds.
Hi Meredith, We appreciate the notification of the sighting. Did you notice any color on the chest? Did it appear to be about 3 feet long including the tail? We would not be able to establish the species unless we had clear photos. We will certainly record this location. If you have any additional information, you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org or call 307-201-2422. Thank you for letting us know!
We did not notice any different color on the chest. It was maybe 2.5 feet long including it’s tail (but it was about 30 feet from us).
I saw one in utah run across the road at china meadows campground witch is by the trail head to redcastle i ran after it to try and get a pic but it kept ahead of me in the pines are they more common in the high uintah mountain range vs Wyoming
Thanks for sharing your lucky story. Unfortunately, fisher sightings have not been recorded in Wyoming for years, and are considered extirpated in the state. We hold hope that there may be fisher remaining.
I saw one yesterday (4/17/2023) at the Post Office in Robertson about 15 miles south of China Meadows. Seems like the focus of looking for fishers in Wyoming is up in the Yellowstone ecosystem, when it sounds like they are in the Uintas, and are probably in southwest Wyoming.
Thanks so much for the heads up! Without a photo or other evidence, we would not be able to confirm that it is a fisher. Have you notified the local Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and/or game warden? Do you know if any other reports have been made of the sighting? It would definitely be exciting if this is an identified fisher. You can reach us at email@example.com. Thank you!
Saw some tracks recently hunting in the Big Horns above Buffalo. They looked like a regular paw in the snow but then we started to notice longer claws out the front, too far apart in step to be racoon or something. Then the front feet we noticed were turned in maybe like a wolverine how you see them walking kind of pigeon toed. But didn’t get pictures. Not sure if that is the correct animal to the track or not.
I’m pretty sure I saw a fisher at the Robertson WY post office. This would be April 17, 2023, at about 1:30 p.m. Got a good luck at it before it disappeared into the brush, but didn’t have enough time to get a picture.