Fossil Fishing Trip

Did you know that only 50 million years ago, lakes teeming with fish covered much of western Wyoming? Their fossilized remains are perfectly preserved between paper-thin rock layers, rather like pressed flowers between the pages of a book. Nothing matches the excitement of splitting apart these rock layers to discover perfect ancient fish skeletons. One of the best places to fish for fossils is the Ulrich Fossil Quarry, near the entrance to Fossil Butte National Monument. Expert fossil fishing guides will teach you how to catch fossil fish and help you carefully pack up your prized specimens. Although you will be allowed to keep all the “legal” fossil fish species that you are most apt to find (including a limit of about 8 complete fossil fish skeletons), unusual fossils such as stingrays and bats must be given to the University of Wyoming museum. The Ulrich family was instrumental in creating Fossil Butte National Monument and has been quarrying fossil fish for three generations. Our 2-½ hour scenic drive through the Snake River Canyon and Star Valley takes us across Wyoming’s Overthrust Belt mountains and the return trip has wonderful views of Wind River Range and Hoback River Canyon. Digging for fossil fish can be hot and dirty, so wear comfortable field clothes that can get dirty.