Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Wyoming
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Wyoming Project

Sediment and fisheries: An assessment to inform sediment management practices at Wyoming dams

May 2019 - August 2022


Participating Agencies

  • US Geological Survey
  • WY Water Development Commission

Sediment accumulation behind dams presents managers with a substantial challenge. Allowing sediment to accumulate behind dams can impair dam operations, compromise structural integrity, and increase maintenance costs, but large sediment releases can harm downstream uses such as fisheries. The project is a collaboration of researchers across multiple agencies and includes Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality, Bureau of Reclamation, and Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Our project will provide insight into the relationship between sediment and fisheries thus providing managers with the tools and information to effectively address fisheries management below dams. This study will be directly applicable to Willwood Dam near Powell, Wyoming and will also assist in evaluating Wyoming’s water quality criteria for suspended sediment and turbidity.