Wyoming, Bureau of Reclamation craft deal to keep fish wet below Jackson Lake

Brett French

Water is still for fighting in Wyoming.

The state and Bureau of Reclamation announced on Tuesday that a deal had been crafted after weeks of negotiations to keep minimum water flows in the Snake River below Jackson Lake Dam.

This after the Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced in a press release last week that the Bureau planned to cut flows from Jackson Lake to 50 cubic feet per second on the upper river. WGFD said a minimum of 280 cfs is needed to avoid killing fish in the stretch of water that runs through the scenic and much photographed Oxbow Bend section of Grand Teton National Park.

To ensure the fisheries’ survival, WGFD agreed to use its water allocation in the lake to keep the releases at 280 cfs. Initially, the agency said its 33,000 acre feet of water would run out before the Bureau of Reclamation planned to increase its flows. In the agreement announced Tuesday, WGFD said the Bureau has decided to cover any shortfalls to maintain the minimum flows.

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