Middle Popo Agie River improvements began this week at City Park

(Lander, Wyo.) - Construction activities to improve fish habitat and flood resilience on the Middle Popo Agie River in Lander began on Tuesday. Flooding has dramatically affected the Middle Popo Agie River, causing damage to public and personal property, and reducing coldwater fish habitat and spawning areas. The resulting altered river channel contributes to lower water levels, higher water temperatures and reduced water quality. These are all undesirable conditions for fish, wildlife and people. “We’re all so excited, as this project’s been a long-time coming and all the partners and landowners along the river deserve a big round of thanks,” says Josh Oakleaf, local Popo Agie Angler vice-president. “Restoring the river’s ability to provide a stronger, healthier channel and improve fishing conditions for youth is something the Popo Agie Anglers and our partners believe is worth investing in.” Construction activities will include adding boulders, depositing large woody debris. and digging a new, more natural channel. Creating a narrower channel should restore natural stream flow, form deep pools which will provide cool water for fish in summer, and disperse water flows more naturally during high flow. Shrubs and trees will be also planted to improve bank stability, reduce erosion, and provide shade to the river. “We will be monitoring the river after construction, keeping an eye on changes to the channel after spring high-water, as well as water temperatures and sediment throughout the year,” says Tracy Wendt, aquatic habitat project biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. This work will occur over a half-mile of river channel in Lander City Park and will take four to six weeks to complete. The road and sidewalk into City Park will be closed (open to local traffic only) at the intersection of Fremont and South Third streets in order to maintain public safety. This project is possible due to funding and in-kind donations obtained by the local Trout Unlimited Chapter, the Popo Agie Anglers. Funding partners included: City of Lander, Popo Agie Conservation District, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust, One Shot - Water for Wildlife, Fremont County Recreation Board, and private donors. The project was designed by Intermountain Aquatics and work will be performed by Environmental Quality Resources and EcoHydro. *Feature Photo: Wyoming Game and Fish Department / Pitchengine Communities* #county10 #news