New Fork River work to improve fish habitat, access

h/t WGFD - New Fork River

(Pinedale, WY) – Anglers fishing the New Fork River south of Pinedale may notice fish habitat improvement work being conducted this spring. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), in partnership with the Pinedale office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Trout Unlimited, will be working to reconstruct a boat access on the lower New Fork River at the “Gas Wells” site off the Boulder South Road.

The project will also be improving fish habitat on two miles of the river that run through BLM land in the years to come. The work is part of a broader series of New Fork River restoration efforts that began in recent years and are planned to continue into the future.

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Work on this project is set to begin on April 1st, 2021, and will complete about 2/3 mile of river habitat improvements. A variety of stream structures will be constructed using wood and rock. These structures will reduce bank erosion and provide hiding cover for fish. The habitat enhancements are designed to hold more fish in the reach and improve angling opportunities for both boat and bank anglers.

The project will also reconstruct a boat ramp and access area at the site that was lost several years ago due to bank erosion. Heavy equipment crews will stabilize that bank and rebuild the boat ramp, as well as construct a parking area and comfort station for all river users.

Managers from the BLM and WGFD specifically targeted the Gas Wells site because of the value it provides for public access. Between the town of Boulder and its confluence with the Green River, only about 4 miles of the river corridor is publicly held on opposite banks. The two miles of river at the Gas Wells site is by far the largest parcel of public water in the lower section of river.

No public access closures are anticipated with construction, but anglers and river users are advised that construction will be occurring between early April and approximately Mid-May of 2021. At times, this work may create slightly elevated levels of sediment in the river downstream of the project.

For more information about the New Fork Gas Wells Habitat Restoration and Boat Access Project, please contact WGFD Pinedale Habitat Biologist Luke Schultz at 307-367-4353 or Joel Klosterman with the Pinedale BLM at 307-367-5388.

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