Sampling Crow Creek

April 24, 2018
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Laramie - Fisheries biologists recently surveyed Crow Creek in Cheyenne as part of the Crow Creek Revitalization project. The project seeks to restore the ecological functions of Crow Creek and its tributaries for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of the public.

More than a century’s worth of urbanization has altered Crow Creek through channelization and straightening. As a result, the stream has lost much of its natural function and its connection to the floodplain. These changes have caused increased velocity, broadened stream widths, decreased water depths, and the near elimination of bank storage capabilities. As a result, suitable fish habitat has been reduced and the quality of adjacent riparian habitat for other species has been diminished. The lack of riparian habitat, in addition to a wider, shallower channel, leads to increased water temperatures, which can be detrimental to the native fish species that live in Crow Creek.
In February 2017, the City of Cheyenne, the Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities and the Laramie County Conservation District began working on restoration planning for Crow Creek. A group of interested local, state and federal government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other interested individuals formed a coordinated group to lead the Crow Creek revitalization efforts. The group calls itself Crow Creek Revival (CCR).  
 The Crow Creek Revitalization project covers a 1.2 mile reach of Crow Creek from Happy Jack Road downstream to Lincolnway Avenue. An assessment and engineering blueprint currently being developed will address channel restoration to improve stream morphology, geometry and habitat. The design will also include several wetland concepts to aid in water quality impairments and sediment storage.         

Biologists surveyed the stream at two locations within Cheyenne to determine its existing condition. Several native fish species were present, including white sucker, long-nose dace, common shiner, central stoneroller, creek chub and Johnny darter. Once the improvements are made, fish biologists are hopeful that Crow Creek could potentially provide adequate habitat for additional species. 

CCR participants include City of Cheyenne, Cheyenne Board of Public Utilities, Laramie County Conservation District, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Curt Gowdy Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Laramie County, Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, The Nature Conservancy, Pathfinder Ranches, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, and interested community members.

- WGFD -

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