National Park Service finds ‘no significant impact’ for Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon Comprehensive Fisheries Management Plan

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – The National Park Service has released a Finding of No Significant Impact for the Comprehensive Fisheries Management Plan for the Glen Canyon reach of the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and for all waters within Grand Canyon National Park. The plan will take a long-term comprehensive approach for fisheries management in waters between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead within GRCA and GLCA, with the goals of maintaining a balance between a quality recreational fishing experience in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam, known as the Lees Ferry area, while preserving and restoring the unique native fisheries within GRCA.

An Environmental Assessment was released to the public in June, 2013, for a 30-day review and comment period. Over fifty comments were received, with most in support of Alternative 2, the preferred Alternative.

The Comprehensive Fisheries Management Plan was developed in coordination with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Alternative 2 of the EA was approved in the finding, which will be implemented over the next 20 years, and includes:

Fisheries management goals and objectives for specific waters within both park service units;
A comprehensive “toolbox” of fisheries management techniques, such as:

  • Stocking of sterile, or non-spawning, rainbow trout in Lees Ferry in the event the fishery declines;
  • Translocations, such as moving fish from one location to another, of native fish species, including endangered humpback chub;
  • Removing high risk nonnative fish from selected areas that are important for native fish, including through targeted volunteer angler-facilitated river trips in Marble Canyon, and comprehensive mechanical trout control in and near Bright Angel Creek;
  • Beneficial use of all nonnative fish removed;
  • An experimental adaptive strategy for evaluating razorback sucker habitat suitability in the western portions of Grand Canyon.

The park service will begin implementing the actions included in the finding, effective immediately.

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