Regional Offices > Laramie Region > Laramie Region News > Meeboer Lake experiences winterkill event

Meeboer Lake experiences winterkill event

March 27, 2023
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Laramie - For the first time in 10 years fish in Meeboer Lake have succumbed to a winterkill event due to snow and ice cover on the lake. The fish in the lake, located 15 miles west of Laramie, depend on an aeration system maintained by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department during the winter months. The aeration system failed unexpectedly from complications in February. 

Although fisheries biologists resolved the issue, the residual effects of the system failure resulted in a winterkill. 

“Unfortunately the combined effect of the system failure, lack of sunlight and dying vegetation created extremely low oxygen levels in the lake,” said Bobby Compton, Game and Fish fisheries supervisor in the Laramie Region. “When oxygen depletion is severe, fish die.” 

From 1978-2013, Game and Fish maintained the trout fishery during the winter in Meeboer Lake by running oxygen bubblers to keep parts of the lake ice-free and provide additional oxygen. Even with these efforts the lake still experienced winterkill every four to six years. In 2013 the Laramie Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited donated funds for the installation of power to the lake. The aeration system proved successful and for the last decade prevented a winterkill event from occurring until earlier this year.

Meeboer Lake will be stocked in April with fingerling-sized rainbow and Snake River cutthroat trout. 

“The stocked fish are expected to excel in growth due to the highly productive nature of the lake. Anglers can expect to catch fish this fall,” Compton said. 

As of now Game and Fish does not believe any other significant winterkill events have occurred in the Laramie Plains Lake system. 

- WGFD -


 
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