Upper Wind River Instream Flow Study, Level I, Wyoming Water Development Office
The Wyoming Water Development Commission (WWDC) is conducting a Level 1 Instream Flow Study in 5 tributaries to the Wind River including:
Stonefly Creek, West Fork Long Creek, Middle Fork Long Creek, Sheridan Creek, and Burroughs Creek
All stream study segments are located entirely on public land.
The instream flow law, W.S. 41-3-1001-1014, was passed in 1986 and establishes that “unappropriated water flowing in any stream or drainage in Wyoming may be appropriated for instream flows to maintain or improve existing fisheries and declared a beneficial use...” The statute directs that the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission (WGFC) is responsible for determining stream flows that will “maintain or improve” important fisheries. The Wyoming Water Development Office conducts a feasibility study to determine the availability of flow to meet the recommendations and submits the instream flow water right applications. If approved by the State Engineer, instream flow water rights are held by the Wyoming Water Development Office on behalf of the state. The priority date for the instream flow water right is the day the application is received by the State Engineer. As with all other water rights in Wyoming, the doctrine of prior appropriation applies and instream flow water rights are junior to all pre-existing water rights in the stream. Permitted instream flow water rights will not affect the lawful use of water for senior rights.
•Study Period: May through December 2020
•Flow Monitoring: June – October 2020
•Public Meetings: late summer 2020
•Project Reporting: Feb 2021
Learn more at the Wyoming Water Development Office Instream Flow website:
Contact the Project Manager:
Chace A. Tavelli, P.E.