waterways

Snake River in the Snake River Canyon of Wyoming near Alpine
Joe Tordiff

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is allowing a reclassification of nearly 80 percent of Wyoming’s waterways as secondary contact recreation. That means those streams are no longer recommended sites for swimming, tubing, fishing, or recreation in general — unlike the primary contact recreation status.

The DEQ’s Lindsey Paterson said these waters don’t make sense for recreation anyway. They’re shallow with little flow and are in remote areas. The change also means those waterways are allowed to hold five times the level of e. coli, an indicator for pathogens. 

USGS

The Sheridan Community Land Trust is partnering with the National Park Service to study and plan for increased water recreation in Sheridan County. The Land Trust has identified about 70 miles on the Tongue River and Little Goose and Big Goose Creeks with recreation potential. The group’s Executive Director, Colin Betzler, says there’s been interest in developing recreational opportunities in the past, but there hasn’t been an organized effort.