Event Title

Putting it all together: Incorporating science and policy considerations into management of the Flaming Gorge tailrace fishery

Presenter Information

Trina Hedrick

Location

Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

3-30-2011 11:00 AM

End Date

3-30-2011 11:20 AM

Description

Flaming Gorge Dam, located on the Green River near the Utah, Wyoming border was completed in the early 1960's. Though nonnative fishes had been documented in the Green River since the 1800's, the construction of Flaming Gorge Dam and the creation of a reservoir and a tailrace further altered the fishery that could persist both below and above the dam. In addition, a rotenone treatment in this area of the Green River before dam completion, eradicated much of the native fish component from much of this section of the Green. Now, nearly 50 years later, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (Division) manages the Green River from Flaming Gorge Dam to the Colorado, Utah border as a coldwater fishery. While the mission of the Division (To serve the people of Utah as trustee and guardian of the state's wildlife) may seem straightforward, implementation of this mission can be quite complex. As it pertains to the Green River fishery, the mission is to manage the coldwater fishery in a manner consistent with the desires of Green River anglers, but also to work with cooperating agencies to accomplish this (e.g., United States Forest Service, Western Area Power Association (WAPA), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service)). However, there are additional considerations in managing this fishery. There are four endangered fish with designated critical habitat at the confluence with the Yampa River and flow and temperature recommendations have been prepared for these species. Even before these recommendations, however, penstock modification provided the ability to release increased temperatures from the dam and flow re-regulation in 1992 changed the flow regime from one shaped entirely by power demands to one with greater spring peak releases and lower summer base flows. The most recent flow and temperature recommendations require increased active management of the dam and further agency cooperation and coordination. Current management of the dam is decided by Reclamation with input from the Flaming Gorge Technical Work Group (FGTWG) and partially from the public and non-FGTWG agencies such as the Division. WAPA, a member of the FGTWG, requests the ability to shape the water released from the dam according to power demands and the Service submits annual peak and base flow requests for the endangered fishes. "Mother Nature" is of course ever-present and throws additional considerations in the mix (e.g., drought, fire, above-average precipitation). Each of these influences brings some amount of change to the tailrace macroinvertebrate and fish communities. In fact, the Green River tailrace fishery has shifted from a predominantly rainbow trout fishery to a predominantly brown trout fishery. The macroinvertebrate population has experienced size and species diversity shifts also. It is the Division's responsibility to manage the fishery around these agency activities, as they are legal mandates, making management (stocking, harvest regulations, etc.) of this tailrace fishery a challenge.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Mar 30th, 11:00 AM Mar 30th, 11:20 AM

Putting it all together: Incorporating science and policy considerations into management of the Flaming Gorge tailrace fishery

Eccles Conference Center

Flaming Gorge Dam, located on the Green River near the Utah, Wyoming border was completed in the early 1960's. Though nonnative fishes had been documented in the Green River since the 1800's, the construction of Flaming Gorge Dam and the creation of a reservoir and a tailrace further altered the fishery that could persist both below and above the dam. In addition, a rotenone treatment in this area of the Green River before dam completion, eradicated much of the native fish component from much of this section of the Green. Now, nearly 50 years later, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (Division) manages the Green River from Flaming Gorge Dam to the Colorado, Utah border as a coldwater fishery. While the mission of the Division (To serve the people of Utah as trustee and guardian of the state's wildlife) may seem straightforward, implementation of this mission can be quite complex. As it pertains to the Green River fishery, the mission is to manage the coldwater fishery in a manner consistent with the desires of Green River anglers, but also to work with cooperating agencies to accomplish this (e.g., United States Forest Service, Western Area Power Association (WAPA), Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service)). However, there are additional considerations in managing this fishery. There are four endangered fish with designated critical habitat at the confluence with the Yampa River and flow and temperature recommendations have been prepared for these species. Even before these recommendations, however, penstock modification provided the ability to release increased temperatures from the dam and flow re-regulation in 1992 changed the flow regime from one shaped entirely by power demands to one with greater spring peak releases and lower summer base flows. The most recent flow and temperature recommendations require increased active management of the dam and further agency cooperation and coordination. Current management of the dam is decided by Reclamation with input from the Flaming Gorge Technical Work Group (FGTWG) and partially from the public and non-FGTWG agencies such as the Division. WAPA, a member of the FGTWG, requests the ability to shape the water released from the dam according to power demands and the Service submits annual peak and base flow requests for the endangered fishes. "Mother Nature" is of course ever-present and throws additional considerations in the mix (e.g., drought, fire, above-average precipitation). Each of these influences brings some amount of change to the tailrace macroinvertebrate and fish communities. In fact, the Green River tailrace fishery has shifted from a predominantly rainbow trout fishery to a predominantly brown trout fishery. The macroinvertebrate population has experienced size and species diversity shifts also. It is the Division's responsibility to manage the fishery around these agency activities, as they are legal mandates, making management (stocking, harvest regulations, etc.) of this tailrace fishery a challenge.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2011/AllAbstracts/16