Evaluating Fish Use and Movement on Spread Creek (WY)

Recipient: U.S. Geological Survey Foundation Federal Funding: $16,000 Foundation Non-Federal Funding: $15,579 Matching Funds: $31,579 Project Area/Location: Spread Creek, Wyoming
Total Funding: $63,158

The U.S. Geological Survey will utilize various sampling methods to evaluate Yellowstone cutthroat trout and other native and non-native fish use and movement following the removal of a fish passage barrier in Spread Creek, a tributary to the Upper Snake River north of Jackson, Wyoming. For over 40 years, an impassible water diversion structure blocked upstream passage for native fishes, including Yellowstone cutthroat trout, which are currently listed as a sensitive species in Wyoming. While the removal of this structure is anticipated to regain the hydrologic integrity of the stream and reconnect Spread Creek with the Snake River, the implications on instream biota are largely unknown. The project will quantify adult spawning movements upstream of the previous diversion structure site, changes in stream productivity, potential entrainment in the new diversion structure, and movement patterns of native and non-native fishes. The project will use a combination of fish sampling and recapture methods to quantify fish movement and habitat use in Spread Creek and is an important step in quantifying the success of on-the-ground restoration projects and directing similar instream improvement projects elsewhere. Project partners include the Bridger-Teton National Forest, U.S. Geological Survey, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming Department of Game and Fish, and Trout Unlimited.