Welcome to the Green River Region

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Green River Region Winter Conditions Summary 2020

The 2019-20 winter has seen variable conditions throughout the Green River Region through early January.  Conditions were harshest in Lincoln and Uinta counties, beginning as early as the third week of October 2019.  The central portion of the region, including the Farson, Rock Springs and Green River areas, has experienced less harsh conditions, but continues to receive periodic snowfall and has had periods of extreme cold. The eastern portion of the region near Baggs has a little above average snow depths, but temperatures have been generally mild when compared to areas to the west.   

As mentioned above, late November and most of the month of December had harsh conditions, with extreme cold and significant snowfall in the western and west central portions of the region. Pronghorn were especially affected and there were numerous incidents involving pronghorn moving to avoid weather and highway mortalities. Snows drifted and froze into zones that precluded the use by ungulates in many areas considered winter range.  Six Variable Messaging Signs were deployed in an effort to limit losses. A few areas in this zone remained slightly more open, which helped moderate winter-related losses. Since the last few days of December and early January, conditions have generally moderated throughout most of the region and wildlife appear to be reaping the benefit of that moderation. Shrubs are now exposed in much of the areas considered crucial winter habitats and the overall outlook has dramatically improved. We can expect some higher than normal winter losses due to the conditions to-date, but remaining animals look to be in relatively good condition.  

Overall, to-date, big game damage has been relatively "typical" in the Green River Region. The early snows brought elk down from the high country and onto private lands earlier than normal, but late elk seasons have limited most concerns.  Typical areas of elk damage include Cokeville, Evanston, Farson, and the Bridger Valley.  Damage concerns may increase as winter progresses and seasons close.  

 

Public and state lands west of Continental Divide off limits to shed antler/horn gathering Jan. 1 – April 30

Game wardens in the Green River Region of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department remind people that the collection of shed antlers and horns is prohibited on public lands west of the Continental Divide from Jan. 1 through April 30.  The closures help protect wintering big game by limiting stress so they can better survive the coldest and snowiest months.
          The currant shed antler regulation was authorized by the Wyoming Legislature and adopted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission in 2009 to minimize the increasing disturbance to big game on winter and spring ranges by antler hunters. State lands are also off limits to shed antler or horn gathering, but the regulation excludes the Great Divide Basin. Collect means to search for, locate, stockpile, or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land or attempt to search for, locate, stockpile, or possess shed antlers and horns of big game animals on public land during the closed season. Please click this link to learn more and to review regulations.


MOTORISTS PLEASE SLOW DOWN, WATCH FOR PRONGHORN ANTELOPE ON AREA HIGHWAYS

              

1. MOTORISTS ARE ADVISED TO SLOW DOWN AND WATCH FOR THESE ANIMALS IN THE ROW OR ON THE ROADWAYS DURING THIS TOUGH WINTER PERIOD.

2. Incidents involving vehicles and multi-pronghorn collisions have already occurred this winter on US Highway 30 both south and northwest of Granger, US Highway 189, along the Interstate 80 corridor in multiple locations from Church Buttes to Green River, and along Wyoming State Highways 372 and 374.

3. Our personnel are attempting to move pronghorn from a number of highway ROWs in southwest Wyoming.  Given the nature of this species and their tendency to panic easily, herding pronghorn is nearly impossible.  Opening gates and allowing them to calmly find their way out of the ROW is always the best and safest course of action, for pronghorn and people.  Continued attempts at herding can result in increased collisions.

4. Our personnel are working with WYDOT District 3 personnel to set up Variable Message Signs (VMS) alerting motorists to the presence of pronghorn in ROWs on I-80, US 30, and Wyoming State Highways 372 and 374.

5. Pronghorn recently moved across the Highway 372 right-of-way (ROW) at the Sweetwater Solar Facility, just west of the city of Green River during their annual migration to winter range.  The project fence, coupled with the highway ROW fence hampered the movement of these animals.

6. Some of these pronghorn successfully crossed Highway 372 to the east while others moved southwest to Highway 374 east of the Blacks Fork.  These are common movements observed during difficult winters in this area.

7. Pronghorn have also entered the Interstate 80 ROW at the Highway 372 interchange and at the Covered Wagon exit (Exit 85).  These pronghorn are attempting to continue migration to the south but are impeded by ROW fencing.   This is not a new phenomenon and occurs during more severe winters.

8. Pronghorn have migrated to and through this area for thousands of years.  The annual migratory urge is as strong for this species as it is for salmon or mule deer.  Windblown ridgetops and more favorable conditions to the south and east are the draw for these animals.       

 

Green River Wildlife Personnel Conducting Big Game Classifications



WGFD Photos, Lucy Wold
 

Green River Game and Fish personnel fly to survey big game herds from December to March. The flight surveys provide them with a trend. They classify the herd makeup of either does, fawns, yearlings, cows, calves, bucks and bulls, as well as classifying the quality of the buck or bull. The flights do not give wildlife managers an exact wildlife population, but a trend.


Schedule for 2019-2010 Fishing Derbies 

  WGFD Photo: Lucy Wold
John Walrath catching fish through the ice on the Gorge.

Buckboard "Pup"ulation Control Contest
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
November 1, 2019 - March 31, 2020
Hosted by Buckboard Marina at Flaming Gorge LLC
http://buckboardmarina.net/ 


2020 Burbot Bash
Flaming Gorge Reservoir
January 24-26, 2020
Hosted by the Flaming Gorge Chamber of Commerce
http://www.burbotbash.com/  

2020 LaBarge Ding the Ling
Fontenelle Reservoir
February 7-9, 2020
Hosted by La Barge Activities Committee
https://www.facebook.com/labargedingtheling  

2020 Kemmerer Lions Club Ice Fishing Derby
Lake Viva Naughton
Hosted by the Kemmerer Lions Club
February 15 & 16, 2020
https://kemmererlionsclub.org/ice-fishing-derby 

Truman Elementary School visits Green River Game and Fish Office to learn about spawning kokanee salmon in the Green River

 



Forty first-grade students, their parents and teachers spent the afternoon at the Green River Region Office learning about the life cycle of Kokanee salmon in the Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir. The salmon are land-locked and originate in British Columbia. The fish imprint on the river and Gorge and return here when they turn four years of age, to spawn and die. Both females and male Kokanee salmon are red in color with green heads. The males develop a larger green head and the teeth are more pronounced. Upon their death, the fish are fed on by scavengers like Bald eagles. These salmon run twice a year-once in August and September (early run) and a second time in October and November (late run) and can be seen from the water's edge. Please remember it is illegal to snag these fish. In addition, all Kokanee salmon caught in the Gorge from September 10- November 30 shall be released and must be returned to the water immediately.


(Male Kokanee salmon in spawning colors.)              (Female Kokanee salmon in spawning colors)

 

New Interpretive Signs to Honor Late G&F Fish Division Chief Fowden

New signs along the Greenbelt in the town of Green River were recently installed to honor the late Mark Fowden. Fowden served the Department in many capacities; most notably the Fish Division Assistant Chief and Chief and the Green River Region Fish Supervisor. Mark passed away in 2017, but his legacy lives on. He worked for the WGFD for 39 years and he is sorely missed. Thank you to all the volunteers, Trout Unlimited and Green River G&F personnel who helped install the signs and walkway. If you are in Green River and find yourself walking on the Greenbelt, the sign is located down the hill below the Gazebo and Green River Game and Fish Office.

Welcome Phil Damm, Baggs Wildlife Biologist

Baggs Wildlife Biologists Phil Damm has been on the job since the beginning of 2019 and is ready to go for the 2019 hunting seasons. Welcome to Phil and his family!


Cokeville Game Warden Neil Hymas racks up 40 years of service!

 

Cokeville Game Warden Neil Hymas reached a milestone this month, achieving his 40 year service award. Hymas, in above photo on the left, has worked tirelessly during his career to conserve wildlife and serve people. Among many of his accomplishments during his career was his assistance with the many mule deer research projects going on in the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Herd. Great job, Neil-GF 34!





Baggs Game Warden Kim Olson Receives Awards

Congratulations to Baggs Game Warden Kim Olson for her Green River Region Peer Recognition Award! Olson also received her 15 year service award after coming to Wyoming from Utah, where she worked as a conservation officer. Olson is known for her dedication, tireless work ethic, being a team player and she and her family are important members of their community. Her supervisor regional wildlife supervisor Todd Graham presented Olson with the award.

 

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