Spread Creek Restoration
Project Status: Ongoing
The Spread Creek diversion dam, built in the late 1960s for irrigation purposes, blocked natural fish migration to more than 50 miles of habitat upstream. Grand Teton acquired water rights associated with lands added to the park in the 1940s and managed the dam but the structure’s location was on the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout, recognized by state and federal agencies as a sensitive species, historically used upstream areas for spawning and rearing habitat along with other non-game fish. The National Park Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department identified the dam’s removal as a priority for stream restoration and reconnection of the fragmented Spread Creek habitats. To achieve this goal Grand Teton National Park partnered with Trout Unlimited (TU), a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preserving, protecting, and restoring coldwater fisheries and their watersheds in North America. TU’s Wyoming Water Project secured the funding to remove the outdated dam structure, construct a new water delivery system, and restore the natural stream channel.