Wyoming State Water Plan, Wyoming Water Development Office
Rafting on Snake River Lake Marie, Snowy Mountains Wyoming Wind River Range picture

Snake/Salt River Basin Advisory Group
Meeting Record
Jackson, WY
October 13, 2004

Facilitator Dale Gregory welcomed the group and the meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. All attendees introduced themselves, followed by a review of the overall meeting agenda. A sign-in sheet was passed around to record attendance. The next meeting is scheduled for April 6, 2005 in Afton.

Wyoming Department of Transportation
Bob Hammond, Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT), gave background information about current projects in the basin. He explained the need for patience regarding Environmental Impact Statements that can be associated with projects such as the Hoback project. He gave several handouts showing erosion control, sediment collection, the stormwater pollution plan, etc. He also showed a Snake River Canyon map which detailed areas in need of fish passages for spawning, habitat, etc. He spoke of WYDOT using "fish-friendly pipes" to accomplish this task. Bob went on to explain that the Wolf Creek and Cabin Creek sections of the Hoback project were grossly underestimated in terms of cost, but that the other three sections were very close. He then invited everyone to WYDOT's public meeting in Jackson on Nov. 3rd. Discussion followed.

Winter Season Outlook
Jim Fahey, Riverton Office of the National Weather Service (NWS), gave information regarding the outlook for the basin for the coming winter season. He stated that average precipitation was slightly below average for the basin in the last year, and that there were normal streamflow trends for the basin in the last year as well. He said that the snowless March of 2004 hurt the situation. He said the wetter drought monitor trend was also downgraded to a moderate level, and that there was little improvement for the seasonal drought outlook. He said there was a 50-60% chance of warmer temperatures for the next 3 months, and that there would be 50% drier than normal precipitation over the next 3 months. He then mentioned the NWS radio and website presence and gave a phone number to call for information: (800) 211-1148. Discussion followed.

Snake River Operations Meeting Recap
Sue Lowry, State Engineer's office (SEO), gave a summary of the recent Snake River Operations Meeting which was held on September 21, 2004 between the State Engineers Office, the Wyoming Game and Fish Dept., the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service, Trout Unlimited, and other interested water users. Sue then went on to talk about supply issues related to the operation of Jackson Lake Dam. She provided a handout of the hydrograph for the April to September period. There were peaks in the beginning of May and June, and it was unusual to have two peaks, but the total runoff was still much below average. She explained that the Bureau tried to mimic a more natural flow (i.e. 150 years ago before facilities) when making their releases to move storage water from Jackson Lake to users in Idaho in the early summer. She also talked briefly about the safety of dams construction taking place at Grassy Lake Reservoir. Discussion followed.

Bridger Teton National Forest Issues
Eric Winthers, Bridger Teton NF, talked about several current issues in the basin. First he talked about streambank alteration (i.e. the Fall Creek Trailhead project). He then went on to discuss the water rights inventory and how they were conducting field verification, location, flow measurement, use descriptions, and database work. Eric continued his presentation by talking about fish passages and ways to improve the Spread Creek diversion dam. He indicated that there is a required high jump through culverts for the spawning fish. He said they were conducting an inventory to fix vital passages.

Eric went on to talk about soil erosion problems from sheep staying too long on very erodable soil, and the Lower Valley Pipeline, a high-pressure gas pipeline, as an alternative for landslides near Hoback Junction. He then talked about his agency's participation in construction activities such as the Snake River Canyon, Hoback Canyon, Togwotee Pass, and the Grey's River Assessment. Lastly, Eric talked about a new forest plan revision being undertaken since the last one was done in the early 1990's. Completion for the revision is scheduled for 2009. Discussion followed.

The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.