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Teton River restoration taking shape

MADISON COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - The Bureau of Reclamation has spent the last year restoring the area around the Linderman Dam, near the old Teton Dam site.

One of their main obstacles was a potential safety concern. The spot was once a hazard for boaters and anglers, due to a five to 15-foot drop over the dam.

But the bureau was able to restore the natural flow of the river by adding seven thousand tons of rock to the riverbed. The stream flows without interruption and the restoration won't disturb the pumps farmers use for irrigation.

Now they're looking to restore canyon creek, due to its importance to the cutthroat trout population.

"Canyon creek is really important to Yellowstone Cutthroat trout," Friends of the Teton River Streamflow restoration director Sarah Lien said. "Our tributary trout assessment numbers have indicated that there are 11,000 Yellowstone Cutthroat trout in canyon creek."

Friends of the Teton River added fish ladders to the creek in 2012. By working with Idaho Fish and Game, their projects have benefited the cutthroat trout.

"For over ten years now. Specifically, FTR has done three fish passage project projects, physical passage projects, and one big stream restoration project that together opened up over 45 miles of additional habitat upstream," Lien said.

In the next phase of restoration, they plan to find new ways to return water to the creek without impacting local irrigation.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho
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Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.

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