Trout Unlimited’s (TU) mission is to conserve, protect and restore North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. TU accomplishes this mission on local, state and national levels with an extensive and dedicated volunteer network. TU’s national office, based just outside of Washington, D.C., and its regional offices employ professionals who testify before Congress, publish a quarterly magazine, intervene in federal legal proceedings, and work with the organization’s 125,000 volunteers in 500 chapters nationwide to keep them active and involved in conservation issues.
The Jackson Hole One Fly Foundation – National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Conservation Partnership Program is providing funding to restore areas of the South Fork Snake River. This project is a collaborative effort to modernize the Conant Valley Ranch irrigation system, identify and re-create the original stream channel, and thereby reconnect Garden Creek to the South Fork of the Snake River. This should allow large South Fork Snake River cutthroat to access Garden Creek habitat for spawning and rearing. The project includes a multitude of components including the removal of a stock watering pond, the refurbishment of the Conant Valley irrigation system, major stream channel reconstruction and excavation work, and fencing and re-vegetating the stream corridor to protect the restored portion of the stream. The project will preserve traditional ranching operations while at the same time protect and restore native Yellowstone cutthroat trout habitat.
Stream channel design work was completed in 2003 along with portions of the stream channel excavation and irrigation modernization work. The rest of the project including the new highway culvert, riparian fencing and native revegetation, and the remainder of the channel reconstruction work is slated for completion by the end of the 2004 field season.