Grey Reef Spring Flush 2017

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Grey Reef Spring Flush/North Platte River flush and flow

Remember that after the first 2 days the fishing can be ridiculous as it stirs a bunch of food and causes the fish to go crazy! The 10 day Grey Reef flush is planned to begin March 6th and end March 15th. But this can always change depending on ice, etc. We have put more info below from the flush of 2016 to give you an idea of why they do it and what the schedule looks like.

“Game and Fish has requested the Grey Reef spring flush & flow in order to maintain fish spawning habitats and to increase production of invertebrates that fish depend on for food. The Bureau of Reclamation will begin releasing additional water from Gray Reef Reservoir in the early morning hours beginning Monday, March 7. Flows will increase from approximately 500 cubic feet per second (cfs) to 4,000 cfs and will then gradually decrease back to 500 cfs each day, with the maximum flow occurring between 3-7 a.m. Flows from Gray Reef Dam will return to 500 cfs at 10 AM each day. The schedule will be repeated through March 16. The flows below Gray Reef Dam will then be stabilized at approximately 500 cfs following completion of the ten day cycle. This schedule may be modified due to river ice or technical difficulties.

In recent years, flows were increased for 5 days each spring and occasionally repeated for another 5 days in the fall. However, the fall flush has been problematic in that it dislodges aquatic vegetation and moves it downstream, causing loss of vegetative cover and invertebrates in upstream reaches of the river. A 10-day Grey Reef flush in the spring may be better able to maintain high quality spawning habitat for trout while preserving important overwinter habitat and forage for juvenile trout.

“Data show these flows are important to trout spawning and to the numbers of trout in the river,” said Matt Hahn, fisheries biologist for the Casper region. In the past, the trout population has fallen to less than 400 trout per mile, even with stocking. Since annual flushing flows began in 1995, the trout population averages over 3,500 per mile and annual stocking has been eliminated upstream of Casper.

The Game and Fish Department advises sportsmen and recreationists to be aware of the potential dangers related to flushing flows. Because the flush will span the weekend, there is potential for more people to be wading or floating the river. Those using the river during the flushing flow should consider the fluctuating water levels and be aware that areas that can be waded effectively at 500 cfs may not be safe at 4,000 cfs.

Grey Reef flush & flows are normally scheduled for completion in March to maximize benefits for spawning rainbow trout.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department manages and conserves more than 800 species of fish and wildlife across Wyoming. For nearly 120 years, we’ve carried out our mission to conserve wildlife and serve people. Through these efforts, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department ensures the public continues to enjoy Wyoming’s vast fish and wildlife resource through hunting, fishing, trapping, wildlife watching and other forms of outdoor recreation. Hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers contribute over a billion dollars to Wyoming’s economy each year.”

The Grey Reef Spring Flush/North Platte River flush and flow

Grey Reef Spring Flush 2017 was last modified: February 26th, 2017 by Luke Keil

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