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Coal Creek Road Work to Benefit Fish Passage

Road work being done on Coal Creek, between Cokeville and Afton, will benefit Bonneville cutthroat trout, but may hamper travels there.

10/12/2017 9:59:51 AM

Pinedale -

Hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts who recreate in the Coal Creek drainage between Afton and Cokeville will be pleased to know that habitat for one of Wyoming’s native cutthroat trout has been improved, as well as access to their public lands and the resources available there. However, recreationists in this area should also anticipate delays in late October and early November while these improvements are under construction.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management (Kemmerer Field Office) and other partners, will be completing a road improvement project this fall to not only improve access to public land, but also benefit native Bonneville cutthroat trout. The project is located on the Igo Road (also known as the Coal Creek Road) some 26 miles north of Cokeville and 26 miles south of Afton.

Road work at several sites approximately three miles east of U.S. Highway 89 will address road hazards along the creek and drainage issues with the road surface. Together, these improvements will increase the safety of vehicle travel on these roads and decrease long term maintenance costs associated with water drainage at the road.

These remaining sites will be the second phase of a large scale project designed to improve access while reducing the amount of sediment into both Coal Creek and the Thomas Fork (Salt Creek). A final phase of construction is scheduled for the summer of 2018. The reduction in sediment will benefit spawning fish, their insect food sources and overall stream health.

The first phase of this project replaced two stream crossings on the road and improved connectivity of aquatic habitats. Native Bonneville cutthroat trout, and other native aquatic species, will find it easier to move up and down the stream channel where elevated steel culvert bottoms have been replaced with a natural gravel stream bed.

For more information about the Coal Creek Sediment Reduction and Stabilization project, please contact Wyoming Game and Fish Pinedale Aquatic Habitat Biologist Luke Schulz at 307-367-4353 or Bureau of Land Management Lands and Realty Specialist Kelly Lamborn at 307-828-4505.

(mark.gocke@wyo.gov)

- WGFD -

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