Regional Offices > Cody Region > Cody Region News > Newton Lakes access area receives improvements

Newton Lakes access area receives improvements

March 08, 2019
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Cody - When most people think about Newton Lakes, what immediately comes to mind is the fisheries in East and West Newton Lakes the Wyoming Game and Fish Department manage.  Game and Fish does a lot more at Newton Lakes than manage fisheries however, and recently the popular access area just north of Cody received some improvements.   

“Newton Lakes is one of 48 public access areas in the Bighorn Basin the Wyoming Game and Fish Department maintains,” said Craig Swanson, habitat and access biologist.   

Swanson is part of a small crew that is responsible for maintaining both wildlife habitat management areas and public access areas in the Bighorn Basin.  “Combined, that encompasses over 60,000 acres of land,” Swanson said. 

Public access areas provide important access points to hunt or fish and Game and Fish maintains these areas in a variety of ways.   For an access area like Newton Lakes, Game and Fish maintains the perimeter fence, restrooms, roads, parking areas, boat ramps, docks and signage for the benefit of sportsmen.  Landownership of each access area varies across the Basin.  In the case of Newton Lakes, the land is owned by Bureau of Reclamation but managed by Game and Fish through a cooperative agreement.  

As part of routine maintenance, Swanson is in the process of upgrading the east boundary fence on Newton Lakes to a wildlife friendly, pole top fence, replacing an old wire fence.  In addition, a section of cable barrier along road edges and parking areas has been replaced with boulders.   The Bureau of Reclamation provided the boulders and fence material for the upgrades. 

“Barriers are in place to minimize resource damage caused by vehicle traveling off-road.  Boulders provide a better visual aid on these edges and require very little maintenance, as opposed to cable barriers.  Over time, Swanson hopes to replace all cable barriers at the access area to maintain efficiency.


The east boundary fence at Newton Lakes access area is currently being upgraded to a wildlife friendly, pole top fence.   New stretch panels and corner braces were installed before the old wire was removed.
 

- WGFD -


 
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