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Fish salvage is an effort to capture fish that have become stranded during low-water times, usually in the fall, and returning them to the water they came from or somewhere anglers can fish for them. Generally, fish get stuck in irrigation ditches at the end of the irrigation season, but it also happens naturally in streams if water levels drop quickly, stranding fish in isolated pools.

To move stranded fish, fisheries biologists work with landowners, water users and volunteers to electrofish areas where fish are known to be trapped, known as "entrained". Electrofishing helps biologists efficiently capture the fish. The captured fish are then returned to a waterbody where they can survive the winter. Often, in the case of irrigation ditches, this is the stream where the water was initially diverted. 

Most salvage efforts are short-term solutions for fish entrainement while the Wyoming Game Fish Department, in partnership with landowners, and partners investigate long-term solutions. 

 

Diana Miller
Jackson Fisheries Biologist

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