Dam Repair Project Causes Shoshone River Fish Die-Off

By: Ben Brophy

 

CODY, Wyo. (AP) — Repair work on a dam along the Shoshone River has led to the deaths of several species of fish.

The Cody Enterprise reports the reservoir was drained last week to make way for the repairs on the nearly 100-year-old Willwood Dam northeast of Cody. Loads of sediment started flowing downstream of the dam, impacting the fish almost immediately.

Jason Burckhardt with the Wyoming Department of Fish and Game says cutthroat, brown and rainbow trout as well as whitefish and suckers have all been found washed up along the river.

Willwood Irrigation District manager Todd Singbeil says the reservoir was drained to protect the safety of workers, and that he’s confident the silt will be flushed out soon.

State environmental officials are investigating to determine whether any violations occurred.