Trout Stream Improvement

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout Flow Restoration (ID)

Trail Creek, a tributary to the Teton River in the Upper Snake River basin, Idaho
Project Recipient
Friends of the Teton River
Project Non-Federal Funding
$13,200 (OneFly)
Federal Funding (General)
$8,400 (BLM)
Project Matching Funds
Project Total Funding

Friends of the Teton River will secure minimum flow or diversion bypass agreements with an irrigation company on Trail Creek in the Upper Snake River basin.  The project will facilitate agreements that will restore stream flow to improve critical Yellowstone cutthroat trout habitat.  Trail Creek, a tributary to the Teton River in the Upper Snake basin, provides critical spawning and rearing habitat for native Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout (YCT) and is chronically dewatered by irrigation water withdrawal. Friends of the Teton River has already completed numerous habitat and fish passage projects on Trail Creek, and has developed a diverse stakeholder group to build consensus around strategies to address flow impairments. This project will implement stakeholder-developed flow restoration strategies by negotiating minimum flow or diversion reduction agreements to restore flows to Trail Creek from August 1 to September 15. Annual flow restoration targets are dependent upon water availability. In dry years, transactions will be focused on providing 7 cfs to improve YCT habitat in a crucial 2.8 mile stretch of Trail Creek. With greater forecast water availability, transactions will be developed to provide a minimum flow of 25 cfs to maintain connectivity with the Teton River, improving 8 miles of YCT habitat. Short term project outcomes are restored habitat for native YCT, with a long term conservation goal of YCT recovery. Project outcomes, including flows and fish populations will be monitored and results will be presented to the community. The project will serve as a model for other flow restoration efforts in the basin. Primary partners in this project are the Trail Creek Sprinkler and Irrigation Company and the Trail Creek Water Resources Planning Group.

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