Garfield County, CO

An existing population of native Colorado River Cutthroat Trout (Oncorhynchus clarkia pleuriticus) were discovered in Trapper Creek, located within the Roan Plateau. The population was monitored by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPS), Trout Unlimited and the BLM. Monitoring efforts showed that during extended drought conditions the population suffered significant losses due to limited pool habitat. ERC was selected to design and implement habitat improvements for the endangered cutthroat trout on Trapper Creek in the Roan Plateau. The project was constrained as heavy equipment could not be brought into this remote site. ERC evaluated innovative means to create deeper holding water pools for the cutthroat trout. The final design, which is intended to be a pilot project for potential future improvements, included an array of hand constructed riffles, bend pools and drop structures on an approximately 4,700 foot stretch of stream. All features were field fit based on site specific conditions which included near surface bedrock and highly weathered shale in various locations. All improvements were installed by ERC as a design/build project. The long-term performance of the different features will be evaluated to better understand techniques that are most suited for future work.