Regional Offices > Laramie Region > Laramie Region News > Studying fire impacts on trout

Studying fire impacts on trout

September 27, 2021
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Laramie -

Laramie Region fisheries and aquatic habitat biologists recently sampled rivers and monitored habitats within the Mullen Fire burn scar to evaluate the potential impacts to trout.

Biologists sampled four waters, including the North Platte River at Pickaroon, Douglas Creek at various points, Muddy Creek, and Lake Creek. While they noted some sediment, ash, and silt in all locations, it did not appear to have population-level impacts on the fisheries.

Biologists collected many trout in various size/age ranges from all sites. The trout were in good body condition and appeared healthy. “If we compare them to pre-fire surveys, there probably would be not a noticeable difference,” said Bobby Compton, Laramie Region Fisheries Supervisor.

Dry conditions and lack of heavy summer rainstorms prevented a lot sediment runoff from entering streams and rivers, while riparian areas that act as filters for such events have begun to grow back.  “We’re not out of the woods yet, but all in all it’s been a good year and we’ve avoided any catastrophic events to our fisheries from the fire thus far,” Compton said.

- WGFD -

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