PAGE, Ariz. — The National Park Service approved a plan this week to protect native fish and other aquatic species in the Colorado River below the Glen Canyon Dam within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park.
According to a press release from the National Park Service, the Expanded Non-native Aquatic Species management plan sets in place a phased approach to manage nonnative fish, invertebrates and plants.
The park service will soon begin a public fishing program, also known as an incentivized harvest, to reduce the growing population of brown trout in the Glen Canyon Reach (Lees Ferry area) below Glen Canyon Dam. Through the program, anglers will be rewarded for brown trout that are caught and removed from the river.
The park service is working on the details of that program and will notify the public on how to participate once that process is funded and in place. Other aspects of the program are for partners to support fishing tournaments that target brown trout and for opportunities for tribal youth to apply for sponsored guided fishing trips to also remove brown trout.
Growing populations of nonnative species like green sunfish, brown trout and others invade and threaten downstream native and endangered fish habitat.
The park service aims to curb the risk created by those nonnative species through this plan, which is the result of collaboration with cooperating agencies and partners including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USGS Grand Canyon Research and Monitoring Center, several traditionally-associated American Indian Tribes and many other stakeholders.
The park service reviewed the plan through an environmental assessment, which was released for public comment in September 2018, as well as worked with cooperating agencies and tribes and addressed public comments in a finding of no significant impact – or FONSI – document, which National Park Service Acting Regional Director Chip Jenkins signed, authorizing the parks to proceed with the plan on Oct. 3, 2019.
The project summary and associated documents can be found online.
More information is available on each park’s website:
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.