Grand Teton National Park – JY Ranch Fish Screen Survey
Grand Teton National Park was established to protect the area’s native plant and animal life and its spectacular scenic values, as characterized by the geologic features of the Teton Range and Jackson Hole. The park’s Strategic Plan highlights the significance of the Snake River as habitat for cutthroat trout and as a recreational resource, along with the abundant mammal, plant and bird species that reside in the park. The park’s 1997 Snake River Management Plan emphasizes the desire to maintain the river’s natural character in order to protect wildlife and scenic values.
The Jackson Hole One Fly Foundation – National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Conservation Partnership Program is funding this project because data from a 2001 study conducted by the Grand Teton National Park, that investigated the effects of irrigation ditches on water quality and cutthroat trout habitat, indicated that a large diversion located near the JY Ranch is removing a significant cutthroat trout population from the Snake River. While many of the diverted trout are providing a supply of fish to creeks located further down the watershed, Wyoming Game and Fish feel that many fish are also lost (trapped) when the ditch is shut down in the fall. This project also provides funding for a consultant to survey the diversion and design and install a system of fish screens (self-cleaning) to redirect the cutthroats back into the Snake River.
The project of implementing a fish screen for a large irrigation diversion near the south boundary is in the design phase. The cost of construction could exceed available funds and may need to be re-evaluated.