The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) is a public-private Fish Habitat Partnership that works collaboratively across 12 western states to conserve, protect, restore and recover 21 native trout and char species.
Western Native Trout Initiative's Mission: “To serve as a key catalyst for the implementation of conservation or management actions, through partnerships and cooperative efforts, resulting in improved species status, improved aquatic habitats, and improved recreational opportunities for native trout anglers across western states”.
The Vision of the Western Native Trout Initiative is: “An increase in healthy, fishable western native trout, char and kokanee populations resulting from sharper focus and commitment to action on common conservation needs of western native trout; enhanced public benefit resulting from multiple partners working together, sharing resources, and speaking with a united voice about the conservation and value of western native trout; and increased funding to accomplish strategic actions as a result of greater community and financial support from initiative partners and collaborators.”
In 2015, WNTI completed a series of 3 habitat restoration projects for bluehead sucker and Bonneville cutthroat trout in an 18 mile stretch of the Weber River near Ogden, Utah. This work is part of an ongoing effort to both protect native fish and improve the water efficiency for the water users.
We need your help to complete 2 additional projects to help native fish in the Weber River near Ogden Utah. These projects will restore the next 4 miles of the lower Weber River.
The main project objective is to improve accessibility of spawning habitat and fish migrations for Bonneville Cutthroat Trout through a culvert on Jacobs Creek, a tributary to the Weber River. This proposal specifically addresses the upper culvert of two road crossings occurring in tandem on Jacobs Creek. Sampling and research efforts since 2011 have clearly shown that, among the 8 small tributaries that enter this reach of the Weber River, Jacobs Creek is consistently the most-utilized tributary for this fluvial population of Bonneville Cutthroat Trout. Despite the high use of spawning fluvial fish in Jacobs Creek, two culverts, in tandem (within 400 feet of each other), have blocked most fish from accessing spawning grounds.
In the fall of 2013, the lower culvert was replaced and made fish passable. Since that time migrating fish have been able to make it to the upper culvert unimpeded. Project proponents will modify the downstream approach to the culvert to allow better access for adult spawning Bonneville cutthroat trout by constructing 7-9 step pools, each with 15 inch drops, downstream of the culvert using imported boulders. This project is a continuation of work on the Weber River featured in the Blueheads and Bonnevilles film produced in 2016 by the Western Native Trout Initiative and Desert Fish Habitat Partnership and is partially funded by funds crowdraised specifically for additional conservation projects on the Weber River.
The second part of this project is the removal of the Morgan Diversion. The Morgan Diversion is located in Morgan Valley and blocks passage for both Bonneville cutthroat trout and bluehead sucker. The Morgan Diversion is an abandoned 7-foot tall dam and a complete barrier to fish in the river during most flows.
By working together, the partners in WNTI are striving to implement the most strategic actions needed to benefit these trout and char. And by working together to establish secure populations, WNTI will also benefit anglers by enhancing recreational fishing opportunities for unique trout species across the West.
The Western Native Trout Initiative and the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership are proud to present "Blueheads and Bonnevilles", a short film about the work we are doing with our partners in the Weber River, Utah, to benefit the native fish bluehead sucker and Bonneville cutthroat trout. We produced the film to celebrate the fish and their habitat, the strong partnership that has developed for the Weber River, and the 10th anniversary of the National Fish Habitat Partnership.