Thursday, 23 August 2012 12:38
MANILA — The headwaters of the Middle Fork of Sheep Creek will be closed to the public during four different days in September. The Division of Wildlife Resources will be using a helicopter to treat waters in the area to remove unwanted fish. The closure is a precaution to ensure the safety of those working on the project and anyone else who might be in the area.
The Middle Fork of Sheep Creek above Spirit Lake is among the areas that will be closed when the treatment project happens.
Photo by Ron Stewart
The closed area includes the headwater streams and lakes above Spirit Lake. The fan-shaped area will reopen as soon as the treatment project is completed.
The area will be closed Sept. 5–6 and Sept. 12–13.
Boyde Blackwell, regional supervisor for the DWR, says the area below Spirit Lake will be open, but parking will be limited. Also, those working on the project will create a lot of traffic in the area. "If you're parked in this area," Blackwell says, "you might be asked to move so workers can get their equipment close to the streams, springs and pools they'll be treating."
Blackwell says the DWR and the U.S. Forest Service are trying to keep the size of the area that's closed as small as possible to reduce the impact on hikers and hunters. "We need to close access above the lake because of the helicopter," he says. "But in the area below the lake, our activities will be limited to the stream and some feeder springs and pools.
"That area will be open," he says, "but because we need access to the stream, we ask that the public avoid the water and the wetlands. They should also be aware of traffic — mostly trucks and boats — and that parking will be limited on the days the treatment happens. We need to park the trucks we'll be using close to the stream."
After the treatment, the public will be allowed to re-enter the closed area; however, biologists are asking that you do not approach or use the lakes, streams, springs and pools for three days, while the rotenone breaks down. That means no drinking, wading, swimming or washing hands until three days after the various areas are treated.
For more information, call the UDWR's Northeastern Region office at 435-781-9543.
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