NEWS

New path keeps fish healthy, anglers happy on Nowood River

On the Nowood River, some recent changes to the water’s path will help keep the fish healthy, vibrant and diverse, in turn offering anglers more opportunity to catch a variety of sportfish.

5/21/2018 10:50:14 AM

Cheyenne - Sometimes all fish need is a little direction to keep swimming where they need to go. On the Nowood River, some recent changes to the water’s path will help keep the fish healthy, vibrant and diverse, in turn offering anglers more opportunity to catch a variety of sportfish.

Fish passage biologists with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department recently finished construction on a new headgate and fish screens and removed a diversion for the Harmony Ditch Diversion on the Nowood River. The project improves stream function, reduces annual maintenance for the ditch irrigator and save thousands of fish from being lost annually.

The loss was from “entrainment” — when fish follow a diversion of water to a location that isn’t ideal for survival. It’s one of the major causes of fish loss in Wyoming and around the country.

Game and Fish started studying the issue on the Nowood River in 2005 and identified 16 different fish species moving out of the river into the Harmony irrigation ditch — 13 native and three non-native species.

“Four of those species are designated in Wyoming as Species of Greatest Conservation Need: burbot, flathead chub, mountain sucker and sauger,” said Erin Leonetti, fish passage biologist for the Bighorn Basin.

Game and Fish staff knew the entrainment had to be addressed and originally planned to make a fish ladder. But one species, the shovelnose sturgeon, wouldn’t be able to use it. With a little creativity, a newly designed plan changed the point of diversion upstream and included fish screen cones.

“We moved the headgate up the river and installed two fine, metal mesh cone screens 8 feet in diameter and 4 feet tall,” Leonetti said. “The screens stay free of debris with brushes that rotate clockwise and counter-clockwise. This allows irrigation water to pass through, but keeps the fish in the Nowood River.”   

Anglers will soon see the results of the work, which took extensive coordination and partnerships with water users, Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyoming Department of Transportation, State Engineer's Office and multiple consultants.

“There is a walk-in fishing area at the Nowood bridge, and anglers can expect to catch sportfish like sauger, burbot, catfish, smallmouth bass, shovelnose sturgeon and brown trout,” Leonetti said.

Get to the Big Horn Walk-in Fishing Area 12 on the Nowood River via U.S. Highway 16, just west of Ten Sleep. Maps and walk-in area rules are available on the Game and Fish website.

(Sara DiRienzo (307-777-4540))

- WGFD -


2019 Wyoming Super Tag winners announced

$1.1 million generated for wildlife conservation

Continue reading...




Game and Fish completes annual white-nose syndrome monitoring

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in collaboration with other agencies and organizations, annually swabs the mammals for early detection of the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans.

Continue reading...




Game and Fish CWD working group to meet in Lander

The group is charged with developing recommendations to revise Game and Fish’s CWD management plan. 

Continue reading...




Public asked to report dead sage grouse during West Nile virus season

Reports help in the management of the state’s sage grouse populations.

Continue reading...




Wyoming conservation partners invested $8 million for habitat projects

The projects are crucial for conserving more than 800 species in Wyoming for future generations. 

Continue reading...




Game and Fish Commission to meet in Rock Springs

The public is invited to attend the meeting and open house
 

Continue reading...




Stay safe, boat sober

Increased BUI enforcement for holiday weekend

Continue reading...






Game and Fish hears from public on CWD

147 people attended public meetings

Continue reading...




Wyoming business challenges others to be both an industry leader and conservation champion

ITC Electrical Technologies purchases Wildlife Conservation license plates for vehicle fleet

Continue reading...




Email Newsletter

Email Newsletter Sign Up

Stay up to date on all Wyoming Game and Fish news either by email or text message. Click the link below to get started.

Sign Up Today

SHOP WYOMING GAME & FISH STORE   SHOP NOW!

Conserving Wildlife - Serving People