Boaters urged to avoid Lower Encampment River during construction

By  | 

ENCAMPMENT, Wyo. (RELEASE) – Due to a fish passage project on the Encampment River, boaters are strongly discouraged from boating or floating the river downstream of Baggot Rocks Public Access Area beginning August 5. Previously, the work was scheduled to begin in mid-July, but high water levels have delayed the project.

The construction site is downstream of Baggot Rocks and upstream of the confluence with the North Platte River. Boaters will be able to launch at Odd Fellows or Smelter and leave the river at Baggot Rocks. Portage is mandatory at the construction site because the river will not be navigable until construction is complete in late fall. However, boaters are cautioned that portage is expected to be extremely difficult with nearly ¼ mile over land, and should not be attempted.

While the project will cause a temporary inconvenience for boaters, the benefits to trout will be considerable and long lasting. For the first time in more than 90 years, trout and other fishes will be able to migrate into the cooler water of the Encampment River during the summer once the project is complete. It will also allow more trout to access excellent spawning habitats upstream of the dam. “This project will provide substantial benefits to both trout and anglers,” said Jeff Streeter, North Platte Project Manager for Trout Unlimited, which is leading the project. “Better habitat means more fish for anglers to catch.”

The project is expected to last until November. For more information, call the Laramie Game and Fish office at (307) 745-4046.