Trout Unlimited, Inc. – South Fork of the Snake River Watershed II
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 for this project to protect and restore habitat in the South Fork Snake River watershed. They will work on fish passage projects, riparian protection, restoration components of re-connecting Garden Creek, an irrigation efficiency project, and the initiation of a large undertaking to properly assess and eventually restore the lower portion of Rainey Creek so that it once again thrives as one of the major South Fork drainage spawning and rearing tributaries.
The project was completed in August 2003, except for the installation of a new bridge over the creek to direct traffic away from the streambed, which occurred in November 2003. The project was developed, funded, and implemented in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. Project components included removing an old dam structure, beveling back and reforming more than a half a mile of stream bank, seeding both the reformed banks and uplands with native grasses, transplanting hawthorns and willows into the restored riparian area, and the installation of a solar watering system so that cattle no longer enter sensitive stream or riparian areas. An agreement between the Forest Service and the grazing allotment permittee no longer allows cattle inside the restoration project area. Restoring these small tributaries, which are essential spawning and rearing areas, is an integral part of renovating the South Fork Snake River.