Warning signs go up on contaminated Fish and Flat creeks

JACKSON, Wyo. — Water levels have dropped and E. coli levels have elevated in Fish and Flat creeks, making them inadvisable choices for tubing and other human use.

The Teton District Board of Health met on Tuesday, July 28 and voted to place signage on portions of Fish Creek and Flat Creek warning swimmers and float tubers of elevated levels of E. coli.

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality rules state that all waters used for primary contact recreation (swimming, float tubing, or in some manner being fully submerged in the water) during the summer recreation season, concentrations of E. coli bacteria shall not exceed a geometric mean of 126 organisms per 100 milliliters during any consecutive 60-day period.

Portions of Fish Creek have exceeded the limit along with portions of Flat Creek that runs through the South Park Feedgrounds and at the end of Flat Creek before it joins the Snake River.

The Teton District Board of Health recommended to Travis Riddell, M.D., M.P.H., the Teton District Health Officer, to post signage on both creeks to warn the public.

Signage will be posted in the next week near locations used by float tubers to put in on Fish Creek, specifically near Hunt Bridge and on the U.S. Forest Service property directly upstream from Hunt Bridge.

Signage will also be posted on Flat Creek near the Hay Barn Bridge on the South Park Feedgrounds, where float tubers regularly put in to Flat Creek. Signage will also be posted at the swimming hole at the confluence of Flat Creek and the Snake River on VonGontard’s Landing.

The signage will state that this is a ‘Public Advisory Impaired Waterway’ and that bacterial levels in these waters at times exceed recommended Department of Environmental Quality Standards. It is recommended that swimming or float tubing in these waters should be avoided.

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