A Healthy Stream vs. an Impaired Stream
Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality has known for several years that Jackson’s Fish Creek and Flat Creeks have, at times, contained more E. coli than is considered safe for swimming and other primary contact recreation.
E. coli are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick.
The fecal bacteria’s noncompliant concentrations were the cause for “impaired” listings in January of 2020, but no action had been taken to warn users of the potentially harmful bacteria.
In July of 2020, POWJH successfully petitioned the Teton District Board of Health to take action and install warning signs alerting float-tubers, swimmers, and anglers of potential health risks associated with in-stream recreation due to elevated E. coli levels in all of Fish Creek and portions of Flat Creek.
In 2021, a University of Wyoming research study will assess E. coli concentrations and sources.