May 28, 2008
Bruce Collins, 307-328-4329
Kristen Lenhardt, 307-775-6103
BLM to Explore Future Actions for Teton Reservoir
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has initiated cooperative efforts among local, state, and federal organizations to determine the best use of the Teton Reservoir, located 13 miles south of Rawlins, Wyo.
"The Teton Reservoir has evolved throughout the years to serve multiple purposes and now we must reevaluate the use of reservoir to make sure it lines up with current conditions," said Patrick Madigan, BLM Rawlins Field Manager.
The reservoir was originally developed in the 1960’s as part of an effort to reduce sedimentation into the North Platte River. Although the reservoir continues to contribute to sedimentation control, use of the area has shifted in the last several years to become a popular recreational fishing location.
Due to increasing levels of silt and the high water evaporation rate, the water depth of the reservoir has decreased and created water conditions unsuitable for fish habitat. Last month, BLM specialists recommended that the lake not be restocked with trout this season.
The BLM has begun discussing future actions for the Teton Reservoir, including an in-depth analysis of the feasibility to continue the use of the reservoir as a year-round recreational fishing site.
In managing water for the Platte River System, there are other users that have senior rights on water sources contributing to the Teton Reservoir. BLM has junior water rights to fill the reservoir on a one-time annual basis, and is for that reason lower down on the ladder to acquire the water.
Therefore, during the decision-making process, the BLM will be coordinating with the senior water rights owner to ensure water needs are met, as well as determining the most appropriate use of the reservoir. Local public input will be sought as well during the examination of possible solutions.
Meetings with natural resource specialists will be held throughout the summer to gather information and address the issue.
- BLM -