The Seedskadee Chapter’s Fish Screen
The Seedskadee Chapter of Trout Unlimited (SCTU) is working with Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge and others to build a screen to keep fish out of one of the refuge’s largest ditches. The Hamp II ditch provides water to the extensive wetland system on the refuge. Over the summer, when the ditch is running, it is slow moving and excellent habitat for juvenile trout. The problem comes in the fall when the ditch is shut off and the wetlands and ditches are drained. Once the water is shut off, the fish caught in the ditch and wetland system quickly become tasty treats for the refuge’s many predators. The old saying “it’s like shooting fish in a barrel” comes to mind. In the fall of 2013 before the refuge shut off the water in the Hamp II ditch, volunteers from the Upper Bear River Chapter of TU, the Popo Agie Anglers, SCTU, Wyoming Game and Fish and Seedskadee Refuge staff salvaged over 1,200 trout from the Hamp II ditch. The majority of the fish were juvenile brown trout. This was a major concern because the wild brown trout population in this reach of the Green River is a prized resource.
SCTU quickly started a campaign to fund the installation of a fish screen on the Hamp II ditch and has received grants and funding from the Wyoming Wildlife Natural Resource Trust Fund, Wyoming Game and Fish Department fish passage program, Wyoming Game and Fish Department Commissioners License, U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, and private donations. All of the hard work will pay off this fall when the fish screen will be installed. Come fall of 2015, those predators are going to have to look elsewhere because 2015 will be the first operating year for the Hamp II fish screen.
Do you love the Green River fishery? Step up and get involved! Next meeting Oct. 2nd, 7:00pm @ Western Wyoming Community College room 1006 in Rock Springs.