Trout Stream Improvement

Francs Fork Culvert Replacement (WY)

West of Meeteetse, Wyoming
Project Recipient
Trout Unlimited, Inc.
Project Federal Funding (FWS)
Project Matching Funds
Project JHOF Funding
Project Total Funding

Trout Unlimited will reconnect 16 miles of the Francs Fork to the Greybull River for fluvial Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Wyoming.  The project will replace an existing culvert road crossing that serves as a barrier to fish passage.  Currently, two 7-foot culverts are used as a crossing over the Francs Fork for a road on the Pitchfork Ranch near Meeteetse, Wyoming.  The crossing creates a barrier for Yellowstone cutthroat trout (YCT) attempting to move up the Francs Fork from the Greybull River to spawn.  The culverts rest on a concrete apron which has cut the stream bed below to form a drop of nearly 4 feet. The impassable culvert combined with the velocity of Francs Fork pose a complete barrier to upstream fish movement. The barrier is located one-half mile upstream of the Francs Fork/Greybull confluence and precludes YCT and other native fish from nearly 16 stream miles of the Francs Fork, which originates on and near Francs Peak within the Shoshone National Forest. The culvert will be replaced by a width-spanning bridge or an open-bottom culvert, thereby eliminating the barrier created by the culvert and allowing the natural stream bottom to remain intact. Reestablishing the historical grade of Francs Fork and exposing the natural stream bed will ensure fish passage. All designs for the new crossing will pay close consideration to the various uses of the road crossing and landowner needs. After project completion, the Francs Fork will be reconnected to allow passage for YCT and other species present to historical spawning and rearing grounds. Project partners include Wyoming Game and Fish Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Nature Conservancy, U.S. Forest Service – Shoshone National Forest, and private landowners.

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