2019 Projects

Rillito Pecos Pupfish Refugia, TX

The flow from the spring at Rillito has slowly declined over the past few years and is under threat from oil and gas exploration.  This project will secure an in situ refugia for the imperiled Pecos Pupfish, which is in danger of extirpation from Texas, by activating and refurbishing an existing well at Rillito Spring.  This will provide supplemental water to the spring and ponds that serve as a refuge for this imperiled desert fish. 

Tincup Creek Stream Restoration, Phase 3, ID

This large-scale, multi-phased project will improve ecosystem function and habitat for native Cutthroat trout and Northern Leatherside Chub by restoring channel and floodplain function on 4 miles of degraded stream and will stabilize 57 eroding bends or 9500' of vertical bank.  This will result in a healthier floodplain and riparian area, increased habitat diversity and complexity providing more rearing and cover habitat for different fish, increased fish population densities, and decreased sediment loads. 

Tincup Creek Stream Restoration, Phase 3, ID

This large-scale, multi-phased project will improve ecosystem function and habitat for native Cutthroat trout and Northern Leatherside Chub by restoring channel and floodplain function on 4 miles of degraded stream and will stabilize 57 eroding bends or 9500' of vertical bank.  This will result in a healthier floodplain and riparian area, increased habitat diversity and complexity providing more rearing and cover habitat for different fish, increased fish population densities, and decreased sediment loads. 

Deep Creek Starveout Diversion Fish Passage, OR

The goal of this project is to provide volitional passage to Warner Sucker, Warner Lakes Redband Trout, and other native species in Deep Creek.  Replacing the Starveout Diversion with both water users and fish in mind will reopen three miles of stream habitat improving connectivity in the watershed and providing additional holding, rearing, and spawning habitat.  This project is part of a larger watershed-wide effort with the ultimate goal being the recovery of the Warner Sucker.

East Divide Creek Fish Passage Project, CO

East Divide Creek contains a resident population of native Bluehead Sucker and Speckled Dace.  This project aims to modify a concrete water diversion structure that is a barrier to fish passage under all but extremely high flows.  An engineered rock ramp will allow Bluehead Sucker to access over 5 miles of preferred habitat, increasing the effective range size and improve fish population size, health, and resiliency all while maintaining water conveyance to the private water rights holder.

Habitat Remediation and Restoration in Ash Creek, AZ

This project aims to eradicate Green Sunfish, a non-native species, from Ash Creek.  Once complete, this project will provide 1.6 miles of non-native free habitat to Roundtail Chub, Sonoran Sucker, Desert Sucker, and Speckled Dace.  These native species will have full use of the stream and its macro-habitats that may have otherwise been occupied by an aggressive piscivore, ideally resulting in population increases of all four species.

Riparian Restoration for Shush Ken Fen and Bluewater Headwaters, NM

Currently, an area with a unique wetland feature (a histosol fen) and perennial stream section is being overused and damaged from livestock and other grazers.  Fencing will be installed to protect the fen and key springs that feed the Bluewater headwaters and three water catchments will be installed to serve as an alternative water source for cattle and wildlife.  Protection of the riparian area and stream will help maintain water and viable habitat in these areas for Rio Grande Sucker and Rio Grande Chub, two species that have been proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

Shoshone Spring Stream Flow and Brook Reconstruction, CA

Currently, Shoshone Spring is overgrown with cattails which are blocking the outflow into the Shoshone Wetlands.  By eradicating cattails and relocating and reconstructing the outflow channel, this project will increase the habitat available for the Shoshone Pupfish, thus expanding the current range.

Tularosa Water System, NM

This multi-phased project aims to protect the riparian area and streambanks of the Tularosa River through exclosure fencing.  This fencing will reduce the impact of livestock and unauthorized motorized traffic.  Additionally, a water well will be drilled to provide non-potable water to wildlife and livestock which will limit the need for livestock to enter the Tularosa River.  This will improve habitat quality in the river for several native species, including Loach Minnow, Sonora Sucker, Desert Sucker, Longfin Dace, and Speckled Dace. 

2018 Projects

Amargo Creek Connectivity and Habitat Enhancement Project, NM

Amargo Creek is the largest tributary of the Navajo River historically supporting healthy population’s native Colorado River Basin fish species throughout 20 miles of creek. This project reconnects the Navajo River with the eight miles of Amargo Creek on the JAN Reservation. This project used large rock and woody debris to enhance habitat while reopening up and downstream passage of migrating Colorado River Basin Fishes throughout watershed.

Bylas Springs and the endangered Gila Topminnow: Habitat Restoration and Reintroduction Project, AZ

These three small springs adjacent to the Gila River all historically contained Gila Topminnow. This project removed invasive plant species, hydrologic and riparian restoration, habitat and fish population monitoring and the reintroduction of the federally endangered Gila Topminnow to fishless springs.

Tularosa Water System, NM

This project will install five miles of riparian exclosure fencing on the west side of the perennial Tularosa River, thus expanding the existing riparian exclosure to improve effectiveness. To further conserve the Tularosa River Corridor, riparian plants such as willows, cottonwood trees, and other native riparian plants will be planted along the riverbank and associated drainage's to stabilize the soil and capture sediment.

UCRB Innovative and Science-Based Desert Tributaries Restoration: Price River Initiative, UT

This project restored and enhanced 10-15 miles of critical habitat within the river. The restoration approach included; Providing necessary habitat to ensure persistence of native fish and vegetation, recovering and sustaining natural habitat-forming processes, such as lateral channel movement, a beaver dam-building activity, and inputs of large wood, providing necessary and sufficient flow to prevent dewatering and recover natural channel movement and other habitat-forming processes, and conducting sufficient monitoring of restoration impacts to assess the restoration actions.

Gila Topminnow Habitat Restoration Project, AZ

This project constructed cattle exclusion fencing around a spring that sustains one of the few remaining populations of endangered Gila Topminnow and Longfin Dace.  By preventing cattle from accessing the riparian habitat around the springs the negative impacts  of increased sedimentation, loss of vegetative cover and reduced water quality from excessive nutrients will be reduced. 

2017 Projects

Tincup Creek Stream Restoration, ID

Tincup Creek supports a full assemblage of native fishes such as Longnose and Speckled Dace, Sculpin, Redside Shiners, Mountain Suckers, the rare Northern Leatherside Chub, and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. This project has re-elevated the stream to restore the functions and processes that make for healthy habitat, floodplains and riparian zones. By focusing on restoring floodplain connectivity, proper channel dimensions, and old meanders, using native willows and sod as well as imported wood, habitat for native species has been improved. 

Deep Creek Floodplain Restoration Project, OR

The Deep Creek Floodplain Restoration complementS a series of activities implemented and planned to improve aquatic habitat conditions and riparian function within the Deep Creek watershed. The Deep Creek watershed represents the most interconnected habitat for redband trout and other native fish in the Crooked River basin. The purpose and need for these restoration activities is to enhance and recover habitat for regionally listed sensitive aquatic species such as redband trout and Columbia spotted frog and other riparian dependent aquatic, wildlife, and plant species. Currently, floodplain habitat is deficient in large woody debris, pools, and exceeds standards for bank stability and width/depth ratios. This project includes placement of Large Woody Debris complexes in 6 distinct sections, plug and fill work to aggrade the channel in the lower reach, and planting native riparian plants in and around the impacted floodplain.

2016 Projects

This project replaced an old drop structure, which used to contain an active head cut, with an engineered structure. The new structure helps to improve water quality by reducing erosion and sedimentation; stabilize banks and riparian habitats; and serves as a fish barrier to prevent the upstream movement of white suckers and possible hybridization with the native flannelmouth sucker population. In addition to serving as a fish barrier, the diversion structure is also acting as a stream gradient control point to prevent an incised head-cut from moving upstream and destabilizing/degrading the crucial aquatic and riparian habitat above it.

Goose Creek is a tributary to the Snake River that flows through Idaho, Nevada, and Utah and has a diverse native fish assemblage with some of the few remaining populations of northern leatherside chub  and bluehead sucker in the Upper Snake River basin.  Since the 1980’s, the Goose Creek allotment has been managed for riparian health and it now contains multiple livestock exclosures on the Goose Creek mainstem and key tributaries. However, off-stream watering infrastructure installed over 40 years ago had deteriorated and required more than annual maintenance and repair. Trout Unlimited, BLM, and allotment permittees replaced the livestock water infrastructure to ensure consistent water sources are available to reduce livestock reliance on streams for watering and use of riparian areas. Managing riparian health on Goose Creek and its tributaries helps to maintain the few remaining populations of northern leatherside chub and bluehead sucker in Idaho, as well as other desert fish species, from sedimentation, nutrients, and reduced instream cover from excessive use of Goose Creek tributary streams by livestock.

The project restored riparian and floodplain function as well as improved aquatic habitat conditions for Miller Lake lamprey, Pit-Klamath brook lamprey, and Klamath speckled dace, Redband trout and critical habitat for Bull trout. This project involved large wood additions, stream bank stabilization, creation of floodplain terraces, and riparian restoration including whole willow transplants and sedge/sode mat transplants, and riparian fencing.



Arizona FWCO

P.O. Box 39

Pinetop, AZ 85935

Tel: 928-338-4288 ext. 26185

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©  2016 Desert Fish Habitat Partnership