pic of the week

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Getting Political and Picking Trash

Yesterday we participated in a trash collection day organized by the Wyoming Fly Casters. North Platte Lodge and The Reef Fly Shop had a couple boats floating from Government Bridge to Sechrist, Ugly Bug had a couple from Sechrist to Bessemer and Wyoming Fly Fishing had a couple from Bessemer to Robertson Rd. The Wyoming Fly Casters had a good ground crew that focused on the "camping" areas along the river below Government Bridge to the Gray Cliffs.
It is always frustrating to realize a few dirtbags are responsible for so much damage. 4 wheelers being driven anywhere and everywhere they feel like. Beer and vodka containers were the theme on our stretch while the Wyoming Fly Fishing boys collected beer cans and popped air mattresses from all the party floaters towards town. It is now looking very good and we hope, with all of your help, it will stay that way. It only takes a moment to pull over and net floating debris. Unfortunately, it is up to us to take care of the folks who's mama didn't teach 'em right.
The Wyoming Fly Casters were gracious to grill up some rib eyes and put out a great summer spread. Afterward, the guides were invited to share our views on North Platte River politics. It was reassuring to know that there is a genuine interest in taking advice from the people who spend the most time one the river and, frankly, know it better than anyone.
The guides perspectives really focuses around the spawn. We suggested clear signage closer to the access areas that describe what the spawn looks like, why the spawners should be left alone and to stay clear of spawning beds for a time well beyond the end on the active spawn. The signs would also have very clear "no bait fishing allowed" or "Trophy Waters, Flies and lures only" or ? They would also post the limit which is only 1 trout, over 20" in possession. These signs would be located near the water in clear view...similar to what you might find in Yellowstone.
We also wanted more consideration for the spawn when the BuRec alters water flows in the spring. Often times they increase flows in mid April. The trout move in to the "new" shallow areas to build redds. Then the water flows are decreased due to lack of demand and the redds are now left high and dry...killing the eggs and next years class.
We requested that The Cardwell Access Area be fly fishing only and ALL catch and release.
We requested a continuation of the fall flush program.
We requested that there be NO stocking of hatchery fish on the upper 8 miles...from Grey Reef to Lusby. The Game and Fish has determined that the last several years have had poor recruitment and they may need to supplement. We suggested leaving it alone and trying to fix the problem instead of band aiding it. Primarily it would mean educating fishers and having consistent flows during the spawn.
There was some interest in selectively harvesting some pelicans and cormorants.
We suggested trash receptacles in key North Platte River access areas. And this would likely result in camping fees on BLM. But, a nominal fee would be required to provide some of these services.
One of my main concerns with the recent river development is that it might be short sighted. What I mean is that you can build a bunch of toilets, ramps, paths etc. But, now they must be maintained. The new path along the Cable Hole is already getting overgrown, and the boat ramp at Government Bridge is severely overgrown and has been for three years...even after several request to fix the problem.
Check out the new survey. It will focus on Fremont Canyon AKA Cardwell.
Erik Aune