Wyoming Fall Fishing’s Really Different Than In The Spring
Wyoming is known for great fishing all year long. Reservoirs, rivers, ponds and creeks are full of outdoor lovers fishing for their favorite fish to catch.
Obviously throughout the year we have different ways we have to fish these areas. When springtime is here, the water is cold and there's usually plenty. As summertime rolls around, the water warms up and the levels start dropping. In the fall the water temperatures start to fall and the levels are really low. Then by the time winter gets here, the water is now covered by ice and ice huts are a plenty.
The Wyoming Reservoir System is maintained by the Bureau of Reclamation and the levels are raised and lowered throughout the year. They are responsible for giving water to areas that need it and maintaining all the pathways for that water to get there.
70% of Wyoming's water supply comes from snow and it stored in the reservoirs all over the state.
The distribution of water in Wyoming isn't a new system, it's been in place for years. If you enjoy taking advantage of the water recreation available, you may get a little upset when you see low water levels.
If you've visited Glendo, Pathfinder, Guernsey or some of the other area reservoirs, you've noticed you can walk across spots that just a few months ago was covered in multiple feet of water.
Here are the current reservoir levels for Central Wyoming, according to Bureau of Reclamation
The water level at Guernsey only at 7.8%, Glendo is at 24.1% full, Pathfinder is at 27.8%, Seminoe at 49.1%, Gray Reef, 78.2%, Alcova at 98.3% and Kortes at 99.1%.
Why is that you ask? Simple, the reservoirs are man made lakes that hold the water for when that water is needed. Now your question is "other than fishing and other recreation, what is the water used for"? Great question, but hang on, the answer will make you go "hmmmmmmmm".
Maybe you've noticed that Wyoming doesn't have the wettest summers, but there are lots of things that rely on water to survive. Agriculture has the largest need of water from these water sources, as Wyoming has between 1.2 and 1.6 million acres of crops every year.
80-85% of all water used in Wyoming, is used by agriculture.
- 73% Hay and Grass
- 9% Barley
- 7% Corn, Grain & Silage
- 5% Sugar Beets
- 3% Wheat & Oats
- 3% Dry Beans
Here's another interesting thing about water in Wyoming most of it doesn't stay here.
15.4 million acre-feet or 85% of the water in Wyoming, doesn't stay in Wyoming. It's pumped out to neighboring states. Years ago Wyoming leaders knew other more developed states would have a greater need for water, so to make sure water was still available here, they made agreements on how water on Wyoming's interstate waterways were distributed
Here's the breakdown of the Interstate Water Rights
- Wyoming and Colorado have the rights to the Laramie River
- Wyoming, Colorado and Nebraska have the rights to the North Platte River
- Wyoming and Idaho have the rights to water from Teton Creek and South Leigh Creek
- Wyoming's waters of the Bear, Belle Fourche, Colorado (Green River, Little Snake River, Henrys Fork of the Green River), Niobrara, Snake, and Yellowstone rivers (Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River, Wind/Big Horn River, Tongue River) have been apportioned by interstate compacts.
The water situation in Wyoming is a complicated one, so if you've ever wondered why the reservoirs are dry, you can read the actual breakdown here.
Just because the water levels are low, doesn't mean you can't enjoy the incredible opportunities we have for water activities here in Wyoming.