World Trout Grassroots Recipients – 2005

This first year of World Trout our customers helped us raise $65,190 for these three groups.

Penobscot River Restoration
This group has been working to restore self-sustaining populations of native sea-run fish. Their main tool is to open up more miles of traditional river spawning habitat by negotiating for dam removal while maintaining hydropower resources. Of note, the Penobscot Partners working on this project include broad support by the dam owners, power company, Native American tribes, State of Maine, Trout Unlimited and Atlantic Salmon federation. When successful, this project can serve as a template for other coalitions of groups to successfully remove dams and open traditional spawning grounds to native fish.

Over $21,000 of World Trout proceeds have helped the this group meet with key individuals, groups and agencies to leverage significant private and public funding. While they have excellent partner staff working with them in Washington, D.C. , it is far more effective for Mainers to tell their own story of why restoring the Penobscot is so crucial. The group was similarly able to meet with key private donors to personally secure their support for the project. They now have secured $12.5 million in public and private sources and $10 million pending in the FY2008 federal budget through the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. They have also worked to make sure that citizens, communities and others voiced their support for the key federal funding needed for success of the project.

They have also successfully helped to secure a $5 million community riverfront bond that will fund projects enabling communities to benefit from restored fisheries and rivers. If passed in November, Penobscot communities can apply for community-based or business improvements. Under discussion are such things as river education kiosks, riverside trails, paddling and fishing-related ventures among other ideas inspired by the prospect of a newly restored Penobscot. The Penobscot project is prompting communities to embrace the sustainable values of a restored river instead of allowing industries to monopolize the river.

The group also produced compelling brochures, photographs and maps to take full advantage of opportunities at fairs and community events, and in presentations to outdoors groups, businesses, and decision-makers. The Penobscot River Restoration Project worked with The Nature Conservancy to produce a very effective public funding brochure that has been in very high demand and is being used by agencies in their efforts to secure approval of the $10 million FY08 funding.

Greenback Conservation & Restoration Programs - Colorado Trout Unlimited –
The greenback cutthroat trout, once thought extinct, is now found in several locations in Colorado as the result of aggressive recovery efforts by a strong interagency partnership including Colorado Trout Unlimited (CTU), the Colorado Division of Wildlife, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The species remains listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

The Greenback Restoration Project has been working to reclaim waters for greenbacks, installing barriers to prevent non-native fish from invading greenback habitat, re-stocking greenbacks into recovery habitat, conducting volunteer monitoring projects, and assisting with public outreach and education. Through matching grants and partnerships, CTU has leveraged World Trout donation dollars into more than $35,000 additional cash and in-kind contributions – not to mention more than 4,000 volunteer hours on-the-ground – the equivalent of two full time employees working a full year.

Some of the major project areas that World Trout funding has been used in conjunction with Colorado Trout Unlimited include:

Barrier Installation
Helped the Colorado Division of Wildlife install fish barriers that will protect greenback habitat from non-natives on streams including Severy Creek, Graneros Creek, South Prong Hayden Creek and North Taylor Creek.

Water Quality Monitoring
Cheyenne Mountain Chapter has been working with the Colorado Division of Wildlife to monitor water quality for greenbacks in two key streams, Bear Creek and Severy Creek, on the flanks of Pikes Peak. Volunteers have collected monthly samples for analysis, and have generated data on water quality variables including nutrients, metals and E. coli. In both cases, the data have shown the streams to possess outstanding water quality – and that data is now serving as the basis for a petition to the Colorado Water Quality Control Commission to designate the streams as “outstanding waters”, providing a heightened level of regulatory protection so that the high quality of these streams is not degraded in the future.

Instream Flow Protection
Monitoring efforts are providing the data to support instream flow water rights filings for the creeks, which will protect flows in the creeks to ensure a healthy future for the greenback populations.

Habitat Improvement
Continue to install habitat improvements to create enhanced pool habitats and help provide a more secure refuge for the greenbacks.

Volunteer Monitoring
“Greenback Backers”. Volunteers with the Alpine Anglers TU Chapter assist fishery biologists with field sampling and data collection to track greenback populations and help identify threats to their continued survival, so that conservation efforts can be adjusted accordingly. This data helps to provide the basic information that biologists need to appropriately protect and manage greenback populations within the Park.

Genetic Testing
Assisted the Colorado Division of Wildlife in collecting and analyzing fin clips to determine genetics on potential populations. This data is valuable in helping to develop appropriate management and recovery efforts for the streams.

Outreach and Education
Helped the Rocky Mountain National Park Service prepare and distribute fish identification cards to help anglers know a greenback from a rainbow or brook trout, so they can be sure to release the natives. Volunteer patrols are helping at Lily Lake to make contact with anglers, advise them of the greenback recovery program, and assist them with proper catch-and-release technique.

World Trout funding was also used to re-issue a DVD version of the award-winning documentary “Incredible Journey of the Greenback Cutthroat Trout”, and distribute it to public libraries throughout Colorado as part of public educational efforts.

Obirame Restoration Group
The searun huchen (called obirame in Japanese) is a very old, revered fish in Japan. But alarming declines in fish populations has stirred a group of local fishermen and residents to restore the health of the Shiribetsu River. A recent study of the river revealed that there were no searun huchen spawning beds or young fish. Efforts are underway to restore habitat, develop a hatchery program that preserves the genetic diversity of the fish and to build alliances with other groups working to restore huchen throughout Hokkaido.

Using the $21,730 funding from World Trout, Obirame Group is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the itou (an older more respectful Japanese name for the searun huchen) in the Shiribetsu River and surrounding watersheds. Thus far, this program has provided for successful breeding for pure strain Shiribetsu River adults and the subsequent care of juvenile itou. The program also includes additional monitoring of juvenile fish after they have been released into the river. It also furthers research efforts into healthy, growing fish.

Symposiums, forums and educational efforts for the community have been implemented and met with great success. The group has also created newsletters and a Web site along with Obirame Rescue Cards. These picture cards are handed out to river users and anglers so they can identify itou. And if caught, they can contact the Obirame no Kai Office.

Most significant in their successes has been the partnership with the government that is assisting in the protection and resource enhancement for this endangered fish. Currently, efforts are underway to modify dam like structures in order for spawning fish to reach the tributaries, thereby closing the loop for reproduction.