WNTI restores Bonneville Cutthroat Trout habitat in the Bear River

Posted by WAFWA on September 9, 2022

WAFWA’s Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) is making its mark in western watersheds. Partnering with Resources Legacy Fund, WNTI has funded 20 restoration sites along the Bear River watershed that extends through Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. The Upper Bear River, home to the Bonneville Cutthroat Trout, was fragmented by dilapidated irrigation diversion structures and other barriers prior to restoration.

This project focuses on moving through “the watershed, literally landowner by landowner, addressing what their issues are,” said Therese Thompson, WNTI Coordinator. By pairing the conservation goals with landowner goals, this effort has opened up over one hundred miles of the river for the native trout’s passage and serves landowners by improving irrigation systems and reducing bank erosion.

The three-minute video below highlights the impact that this piece-by-piece effort has had on the Upper Bear Watershed. “Some of these things seem so small, but over time and over the distance they really add up to make a big difference,” said Thompson.