Mother F@ckers of the Month: Shoshone River choked with silt, huge fish kill, Willwood Irrigation District to blame

capture
Raymond Hillegas : A dead trout along the Shoshone River downstream from the Willwood Dam lays dead encased in mud and silk on Friday. Cody Enterprise

Repairs on the Willwood Dam led to the Willwood Irrigation District draining the reservoir last week along with 30 years worth (over 300,000 cubic feet) of silt and sediments downstream in order to create safer work conditions for the workers repairing the dam. The district had received a turbidity waiver from the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.  DEQ program manager David Waterstreet said the level of silt release is beyond what the turbidity waiver allows for. DEQ officials were expecting minor releases of silt and sediment. What had happened, however, is a significant departure from what the turbidity waiver allows for.

David Waterstreet, DEQ program manager for the Watershed Protection Program, said the level of silt released is beyond what the turbidity waiver allows for. DEQ officials were expecting minor releases of sediment as the reservoir was drawn down. What happened, however, was a significant departure from what a turbidity waiver allows.

DEQ spokesman Keith Guille added that the turbidity waiver does not allow for sedimentation releases so extensive they would result in fish kills.

David Waterstreet, DEQ program manager for the Watershed Protection Program, said the level of silt released is beyond what the turbidity waiver allows for. DEQ officials were expecting minor releases of sediment as the reservoir was drawn down. What happened, however, was a significant departure from what a turbidity waiver allows.

DEQ spokesman Keith Guille added that the turbidity waiver does not allow for sedimentation releases so extensive they would result in fish kills.

“I would be extremely surprised if there’s a single fish left in the river anywhere before, I don’t know, Lovell,” Dave Sweet, a long time member of Trout Unlimited, said of the silt drainage. “No fish can survive that.”

Ive had the pleasure of living in one world class fishery or another the past three decades. I settled in Cody Wyoming because Anywhere Alaska just seemed to far from everything else I love. This is painful, terribly painful, to see happen in your backyard and on your home stretch of water. I really am at a loss of words.

Full Story Here.

Please express your opinion and disappointment in managing these repairs to these entities and individuals.

Willwood Irrigation District : 

1306 Rd 9 Powell, WY 82435

307 754 3831

Todd Singbeil (Manager of District) willwoodmanager@tctwest.net

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Department Headquarters:

5400 Bishop Blvd

Cheyenne, WY 82006

307 777 4600

wgrdwebmaster@wyo.gov

Wyoming Game and Fish Department Cody Regional Office:

2820 State Highway 120
Cody, WY  82414
307-527-7125
Wyoming DEQ Headquarters:
200 West 17th Street
Cheyenne, Wy 82002
307-777-7937
Wyodeq@wyo.gov

 

 

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