What Good Does North Platte River Flushing Flow Do For Fish?
You may've heard the news that March 31st Wyoming Game and Fish Department will begin the 2022 flushing flow of the North Platte River from Gray Reef Dam with the process going through April 8th. The fluctuation of the flows is enough to remove much of the sediment in the gravel of the spawning area, in turn improving the conditions.
We talk often on Wyoming Hookin' & Huntin' Outdoors, that the stretch of the river from the dam to Casper is a world class stretch of fishing. That hasn't always been the case though, prior to 1995 trout populations would drop to 400 or less trout per mile and relied heavily on stocking every year. Since the flushing flow began in 1995, the trout numbers have risen to an average of 3,500 per mile. That's quite the difference and what's made the high quality of fishing and tourism that we know today.
The flushing flow make differences in the habitat for the spawn and increase the quality in food that the fish rely on. This year the flows are a little behind schedule because of working being done on the dam, as they're usually completed by the third week of March.
If you're planning to go out on the river between March 31 and April 8, you should be aware of the timing of the flows. Some areas that you may normal wade or float may be fine at the lower 450 cubic feet per second are not safe at the 4,000 cubic feet per second that the flows are raised to during the early morning hours.
This coming weekend we on Wyoming Hookin' & Huntin' Outdoors Sunday morning at 9am and on demand Monday morning, we will dive a deeper into this years flushing flow and what many of the benefits are from the process with WGFD and their experts.
This report from a couple years ago from WGFD, gives you an idea of the process that occurs for that 9 day period.