The portion of the Green River shown on this
map flows for more than 160 miles from its headwaters at 10,515 feet in
the Bridger Wilderness of the Bridger-Teton National Forest to 6,510
feet at Fontenelle Reservoir. The Green continues to flow past
Fontenelle Reservoir into Utah where it joins with the Colorado River.
The river drains from Peak Lake basin, flows through Stonehammer Lake,
and plummets into the Green River Canyon before reaching Green River
Lakes. The upper reaches of the Green River have low productivity, or
nutrients, but productivity increases in the lower stretches as
nutrients flow in from the flood plain and drainages to the west.
The lakes and river provide diverse recreational activities. The river
flows for 24 miles from Lower Green River Lake through the Bridger-Teton
National Forest. There is a developed campground at Green River Lakes,
and dispersed camping is allowed on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
Because of its proximity to the lake, this area is very popular. The
river has a low gradient and wide channel as it leaves Lower Green River
Lake. Gradient increases about five miles downstream at Moose Creek
rapids. Only experienced floaters should attempt this section of the
Green River during high flow. During low water years or late in the
summer, this section of the river is not floatable except by canoe or
float tube. Large rafts and drift boats are not recommended on this
section of the Green River. Following Moose Creek rapids, the river
eventually mellows to a mostly slow, meandering stream through the
The river leaves the Bridger-Teton National Forest and
meanders through 17 miles of mostly private land prior to reaching the
next public access point at Warren Bridge. The river between the
Bridger-Teton National Forest boundary and Warren Bridge access area
lacks the boulder-strewn pocket water and instead is mostly wide, flat
stretches. The fish cover in this section is limited to deep pools and
brush along the banks.
Warren Bridge public access area is on Bureau of Land
Management and Wyoming Game and Fish Department lands and provides
nearly 11 miles of public access. The river at Warren Bridge access area
flows through a glacial moraine, which is typified by large boulders and
pocket water, and typically has good fish habitat. Interspersed between
these areas are long, flat stretches of poor habitat, which were widened
by tie-drives (the use of rivers and streams to transport railroad
ties). Historically, the habitat was degraded by tie-drives in the late
1800s and early 1900s. The wide, shallow channels with little bank cover
are evidence of the old scars made by the massive tie-drives.
Wyoming Game and Fish biologists have completed several projects to
improve fish habitat in areas impacted by tie-drives. Work was done on
the Upper Green River in the early 1990s and more recently at the Warren
Bridge access area.
Warren Bridge to the confluence of the New Fork River
is a popular float fishing section. This section of river includes a
transitional zone from higher-gradient, smaller river habitat to
low-gradient large river habitat. This transition is apparent from
Warren to Swains bridges. Within this reach, the substrate decreases in
size partially due to passage through glacial moraine. Between the lower
boundaries of Warren Bridge access area to the New Fork River
confluence, there are approximately 56 miles of stream.
From the New Fork
River confluence to Fontenelle Reservoir the habitat is characteristic
of large rivers. Habitat conditions vary with some conditions typical of
undisturbed systems of this size while others have been degraded by past
and current management practices.
Tie-drives undoubtedly had some impact all along the Green River.
Please use care when launching and retrieving your boat
or otherwise recreating in riparian areas. These are the green,
vegetated areas along rivers and streams. Riparian habitat makes up less
than three percent of the western landscape, yet 80 percent of all
vertebrate wildlife species in Wyoming depend on riparian areas during
some part of their life. They come for water, forage, and relief from
Cottonwood trees, willows, sedges, and rushes dominate most riparian
areas throughout Wyoming. Roots for these plants hold the stream banks
in place. The plant parts above ground slow and dissipate spring runoff,
allowing the excess water to enter into ground water that will be
released later during the critical summer and fall period. The
vegetation also acts as a shield to protect rivers and streams from
temperature extremes. Insects use the vegetation as a food source, and
provide an important source of food for fish. Protection of these areas
is crucial for maintaining a functioning aquatic ecosystem.
Floating the Green River
Setting off for a boat trip is a fun and exciting
adventure, but only if you are prepared for any situation or emergency.
Conditions on the river can change rapidly, especially after periods of
rain or snowmelt. Be sure you know the flow conditions before you
launch. High flow conditions with fast currents can draw a boater into
hazards, such as submerged rocks and debris, tree stumps and snags.
Please consider these important steps before your trip:
- check weather and flow conditions;
- take maps of your planned route and know the boat launches and access
points along the way;
- tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return;
- take clothing to suit the water and weather conditions;
- carry plenty of drinking water and food for your trip, and don't
forget polarized sunglasses and sunscreen;
- bring a garbage bag for your trash - leave no trace so others can
enjoy the pristine environment; and,
- take a first aid kit, even a cell phone in a watertight bag, along
with basic repair tools, an extra paddle and spare parts in the boat.
Fishing the Green River
River supports a diverse fishery. Game fish species found in the Upper
Green River include the Colorado River and Snake River cutthroat, brook,
brown and rainbow trout as well as kokanee salmon, mountain whitefish
and the occasional lake trout. Fly-fishing, spin casting, and bait
fishing have proven to be effective methods of catching fish in this
river. There are both native and nonnative nongame fish present in the
Green River. The most common nongame species are mottled sculpin,
mountain sucker, white sucker, speckled dace and redside shiner. The
river's less common nongame fish include the native flannelmouth sucker,
bluehead sucker, and roundtail chub along with nonnative Utah chub and
A Wyoming fishing license is required to fish in Wyoming. Special
regulations apply on specific river reaches, so make sure you know the
fishing regulation for the sections of river you will be floating
through. Refer to the fishing regulations available through any license
selling agent, Wyoming Game and Fish Department offices, or the
department's website: http://gf.state.wy.us/.
If you plan to catch and release, the following are
guidelines we recommend to give fish the greatest chance of survival:
- Use pliers to pinch down barbs on hooks. Fish caught with pinched
barbs have a better rate of survival. Use strong line to bring your
catch in quickly.
- Land fish carefully and quickly without letting the fish flop on the
ground or in the bottom of the boat. Be sure to wet your hands if you
need to handle the fish. Dry hands and gloves remove a protective mucous
that helps prevent disease in the fish.
- NEVER handle a fish by the gills. It damages the gill filaments and
prevents the fish from breathing, leading to death.
- NEVER squeeze the fish.
- Remove hooks gently by using long-nose pliers or hemostats to remove
the hook. If the hook cannot be seen, cut the line. If the fish is
bleeding from the gills, it is likely to die, and you should keep it as
part of your bag limit.
- Revive an exhausted fish by gently cupping your hands around the tail
and midsection. Hold the fish in an upright position. Face the fish
upstream in fairly calm water and move it slowly back and forth to move
water through its gills. Release the fish in gentle current once its
gills are working properly and it maintains its balance.
Last Modified: October 17, 2011