Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program


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Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program

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  • SJRIP & PRRIP have similar partnerships.
  • Overview of the UCREFRP as an example.
  • SJRIP & PRRIP have similar partnerships.
  • Here are the four beautiful long-lived, big-river, warmwater endangered fish The Colorado pikeminnow , is the largest “minnow” in North America. Historically, reached 6 feet long They were sometimes called “Colorado River salmon,” of the Colorado river. The razorback sucker 3 feet, and living up to 40 years or more. The humpback chub with pronounced hump can grow up to 19 inches long and is typically found in canyon-bound reaches. The bonytail can grow up to 20 inches long and live as long as 50 years. Historically, these fishes occurred throughout the warmwater reaches of the basin from Wyoming to Mexico
  • The threats to the endangered fish populations are the many changes to their habitat: Hundreds of dams river flows have been cut by about a third Introduced nonnative fish
  • The recovery programs continue to demonstrate tangible, on-the-ground success in providing river flows, restoring habitat, constructing and operating fish ladders and screens, producing and stocking endangered fish, and monitoring results.
  • Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program

    1. 1. Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program
    2. 2. <ul><li>Choices </li></ul><ul><li>Enforce the ESA and escalate the conflict </li></ul><ul><li>File lawsuits </li></ul><ul><li>Seek amendment to the Endangered Species Act </li></ul><ul><li>Seek exemptions from the ESA </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the facts and negotiate a solution </li></ul>Upper Colorado River Basin: In the mid 1970s, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that any further depletion of water from the upper basin would result in jeopardy to endangered fish.
    3. 3. <ul><li>FEDERAL AGENCIES </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service </li></ul><ul><li>U.S. Bureau of Reclamation </li></ul><ul><li>National Park Service </li></ul><ul><li>Western Area Power Administration </li></ul><ul><li>STATES </li></ul><ul><li>Utah </li></ul><ul><li>Colorado </li></ul><ul><li>Wyoming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>INTEREST GROUPS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Water users (Colorado, Utah, Wyoming) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental organizations </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Colorado River Energy Distributors Association </li></ul></ul></ul>Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program
    4. 4. Colorado pikeminnow Ptychocheilus lucius Humpback chub Gila cypha Razorback sucker Xyrauchen texanus Bonytail Gila elegans Green River is important river for recovery because of the flood plain habitat, there are 2 spawning populations of Co pikeminnow and best chance for razorbacks
    5. 5. <ul><li> Large </li></ul><ul><li>Water depletion reservoirs </li></ul><ul><li>Fish barriers Nonnative fish </li></ul>Threats:
    6. 6. Recovery Elements Habitat-Flow Management Habitat Development Stocking Endangered Fish Managing Nonnative Fish Research and Monitoring
    7. 7. Flow protection <ul><li>Modified operation of Federal dams/ reservoirs </li></ul><ul><li>Leases & contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Improved efficiency of irrigation systems </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperative reservoir operations </li></ul><ul><li>Partnered in a new water storage project (Elkhead) </li></ul>Elkhead Reservoir
    8. 8. Year-round protection of flows in Reach 2
    9. 9. The Green River Reaches
    10. 10. ESA Compliance on the Green River <ul><li>In Utah some 200 water projects depleting nearly 600KAF/year have received ESA compliance under the Recovery Program. </li></ul><ul><li>54 of those projects have been small depletions averaging less than 100 af/year. Some larger depletions include oil and gas projects, Green River Farms (currently under consultation) and some on the Duchesne River </li></ul>
    11. 11. Some one here could have a depletion that the Recovery Program is covering
    12. 12. Green River Policy 1994 <ul><li>Flows protected Reach 2 from FG to the Duchesne </li></ul><ul><li>Post Nov 1994 WR Approvals subordinate to bypass of fish flows – Summer and Fall </li></ul><ul><li>Annually select target 1,800-1,100 cfs for Summer </li></ul><ul><li>Annually select target 2,400-1,100 cfs for Fall </li></ul><ul><li>Measure targets at Jensen UT </li></ul><ul><li>20 cfs set aside for critical needs with priority over fish flows </li></ul>
    13. 13. Table 5.5.—Flow and temperature recommendations by hydrologic condition for Reach 2 (Yampa River to White River) to benefit endangered fishes in the Green River downstream of Flaming Gorge Dam. a
    14. 16. Reach 2: Spring Peak Flows <ul><li>Accomplish: in-channel maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Green River synchronized to Yampa River Peak </li></ul><ul><li>Inundate floodplain in Ouray area for 2 weeks in 4 of 10 years </li></ul><ul><li>Greater than 18,600 cfs connects to backwater </li></ul><ul><li>Bankfull flows in 1 of 2 years </li></ul>
    15. 17. Maintenance of Channel Complexity and connectivity
    16. 18. Backwaters provide warm, food-rich areas to grow and condition young Razorback suckers and Colorado pikeminnow
    17. 19. High flows remove algae and silt, rework spawning substrates, prevent channel narrowing
    18. 20. Reach 2: Winter Flows <ul><li>Accomplish: a stable environment for young fish, it is assumed that native fish (old or young) feed when the water is near freezing, therefore it's best if they expend as little energy as possible, i.e. don't have to go searching for a different habitat due to fluctuating flows. </li></ul>
    19. 21. Reach 3: measured at USGS gage near Green River, Utah <ul><li>Spring Peaks ≥ 39,400cfs to 8,300 cfs </li></ul><ul><li>Summer through Winter base flow 4,700 cfs to 1,300 cfs </li></ul><ul><li>Flooded off-channel habitats will benefit young Colorado pikeminnow and razorback suckers in lower Reach 3 and humpback chub in Desolation and Gray Canyons. </li></ul>
    20. 24. [email_address] 303-236-4486 www.coloradoriverrecovery.org Questions
    21. 25. The End