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Lees Ferry Action Alert-Your Help is Needed

Posted on May 05 2016

From Lees Ferry Anglers:

For the last 5 years, the Bureau of Reclamation, the National Park Service and the dam operators have been developing the Glen Canyon Dam Long Term Experimental and Management Plan EIS (LTEMPEIS), which will determine how the Glen Canyon Dam operates for the next 20 years.

Your comments are critical in achieving support for amendments to the draft EIS plan.
It’s a prime opportunity for anglers to have a direct say in how this fishery is managed-but public comments for the EIS are due by Monday, May 9.

Take a moment now and go to the National Park Service LTEMPEIS website and express your support for trout-friendly dam operations and aquatic habitat restoration at Lees Ferry.
Some of the key LTEMPEIS recommendations from the guides, TU and other groups include:

* Recognize the Lees Ferry rainbow trout fishery as a priority resource “value” to be enhanced by dam operations.

* Support the testing of sustained low steady flows (also known as “bug flows”) that are designed to increase the production and diversity of the aquatic insects in the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam and help to re-establish mayfly, caddis and stonefly species in the Lees Ferry reach.

* Repeated/frequent fall High Flow Experiments (HFE’s) may be adversely impacting the rainbow trout fishery and the aquatic food base. We recommend modifying the HFE protocol to shift more HFEs from the fall to the spring to benefit a variety of resources besides sediment/sandbars, including aquatic food base and the rainbow trout fishery.

*  Over recruitment of young rainbow trout, which has been observed in the past, can adversely impact the quality and stability of the Lees Ferry trout fishery.  As such, we support careful testing of Trout Management Flows (TMF) as a tool to help improve the quality and stability of the trout fishery.  However, TMF should only be implemented when there is an identified need to reduce the number of young of the year rainbow trout in Lees Ferry Reach.

These and other science-based recommendations are supported by a wide range of conservation organizations and outfitters and guides, including Trout Unlimited and its Arizona Council and chapters, International Federation of Fly Fishers, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Arizona Wildlife Federation, Arizona Fly Casters, Desert Fly Casters, Orvis Company, Lees Ferry Anglers, Marble Canyon Outfitters and many more.  The Arizona Department of Fish and Game has issued a formal Lees Ferry Fisheries Management Plan based on those recommendations.

Please take a moment to post your comments on the National Park Service website.

To read the detailed public comment letter click HERE .

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