Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Presentation to focus on Bear River

Express Staff Writer

Shown here is a Bonneville cutthroat trout from the Bear River. The Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited will provide a presentation on Thursday regarding protection of the waterway and the Bonneville cutthroat, the riverís only native trout species. Courtesy photo

    A presentation on the Bear River, which flows for some 500 miles through Wyoming, Idaho and Utah before emptying into the Great Salt Lake, will be given at the March monthly meeting of the Hemingway Chapter of Trout Unlimited, set for this Thursday.
    The meeting will be from 5-7 p.m. at Whiskey Jacques’ Restaurant & Nightclub on Main Street in Ketchum. The public is invited and admission is free.
    The presentation, “The Bear River Watershed: Protection, Reconnection and Restoration of Bonneville Cutthroat Trout,” will be provided by Jim DeRito, a Trout Unlimited environment and fisheries expert who has been working on the Bear River Home Rivers Initiative since 2012.
    The project has involved several million dollars of restoration work, most of which has been spent on fish-passage improvements. According to a Trout Unlimited news release, tributaries to Bear River and Bear Lake have been made passable to fish by providing upstream passage at dams and diversions. Also, fish screens in irrigation canals have reduced fish mortality.
    The news release states that the Bonneville cutthroat trout, the only native trout to the drainage system, grow to sizes from 3-5 pounds because of migration through different habitats at different times of the year. The Bear River Home Rivers Initiative was established by Trout Unlimited in 2002 to preserve the fishery by restoring habitat, reconnecting tributaries and protecting the cutthroat population.

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