River Cleanup and
Flushing Flow

The first working group’s objective was to restore, through removal of accumulated sediment and solid waste, the aquatic and riparian environment of the Shoshone River below Willwood Dam that was impacted by the 2016 sediment release. Working Group 1, chaired by Wyoming Game and Fish Department, held a river cleanup event on March 18, 2017, which included 80 participants from Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Willwood Irrigation District, Wyoming DEQ, and the East Yellowstone Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The crew picked up all accessible trash and large debris downstream of Willwood Dam for five miles.

In addition, Working Group 1, with approval of the Executive Committee, requested a flushing flow following the recommendations of Dr. Brandon McElroy of the University of Wyoming. The US Bureau of Reclamation implemented the flushing flow in April 2017 to remove accumulated sediment in the section of river downstream of Willwood Dam that had been impacted by the 2016 release.

Working Group 1’s final report, which includes Dr. McElroy’s recommendations, can be found below: