Reconnecting streams across the US, creating miles of spawning habitat and fishable water.
"I’ve fly fished the East Fork of the Nulhegan River for 10 years now and have an intimate knowledge of this beautiful little river, particularly the stretch near our hunting and fishing camp. Thanks to the excellent work in restoring habitat and new pools of opportunity, the brook trout population is burgeoning. After only one year of restoration work the improvement in fishing is remarkable. I’ve caught and released fish in seven of the newly created pools above our camp. Though small, the brookies are a healthy and active lot and no doubt will grow into a most productive resource. Where there was once little habitat at all, the new pools have already shown how quickly things can change when we put our hearts and minds (and money) to it.”
– Frank Mills, Vermont
Help the Orvis-Trout Unlimited 1,000 Miles Campaign reach its goal to reconnect 1,000 miles of fishable streams by repairing or replacing poorly constructed culverts throughout the U.S. Culverts are significant impediments to fish passage and survival—just as significant as a major dam—but the solution is dramatically simpler. Many need to be removed or modified, the cost is minimal, and the overall impact to many watersheds is significant. Funds raised by the Orvis-TU 1,000 Miles Campaign will go toward the engineering and removing of culverts, with the goal of reconnecting over 1,000 miles of fishable habitat. In 2016, culvert removal/improvement projects will be focused on the Clark Fork Watershed (see Warm Springs Creek project details to the right).
How a Culvert Repair Improves a Stream:
In many rivers throughout the U.S., outdated and environmentally unsound culverts block fish passage, in essence creating a series of dams on small tributaries to larger rivers. These culverts negatively impact fish spawning, block fish passage into these tributaries, and take away miles upon miles of fishable water.
“Indian Ford Creek had a major fish passage barrier removed in the summer of 2013. Local scientists started to monitor how the fish population responded this past summer, but it was anglers who have captured our first positive results. After hearing about the project, a Forest Service staff member decided to test the water above the project to see if our native redband trout have started to move up to use the new habitat for spawning or rearing. He took his kids to explore their local creek, fished the creek above the project and caught several nice redband trout. Since Indian Ford creek is being restored along with a major reintroduction of steelhead in the basin, the family is even more excited that a future fishing trip might include steelhead as they work their way up this important spawning tributary.”
– Nate Dachtler, Forest Service Biologist, Bend, OR
Get the latest updates on the 1,000 Miles culvert projects now in progress:
You can help reconnect rivers throughout the US by giving to the Orvis/TU 1,000 Miles Campaign in 2016. Orvis is donating another $30,000 in matching funds so that every $100 you donate will become $200, for a total of another $60,000 in 2016.
To help, send your check to:
Trout Unlimited (Memo: "1,000 Miles Campaign"),
c/o The Orvis Company
178 Conservation Way
Sunderland, VT 05250, or donate online.
Warm Springs Creek is the one of the largest headwater tributaries of the Upper Clark Fork River in Western Montana, draining a 100-square-mile basin that feeds over 100 miles of trout streams. Culverts and diversion dams have blocked fish passages, trapped fish in ditches, and reduced stream flows—disconnecting this critical spawning tributary. Successful recovery of the Clark Fork’s native fish population requires that Warm Springs Creek and other tributaries be reconnected and restored.
In 2016, Trout Unlimited is partnering the Clark Fork Coalition and Orvis to remove barrier culverts in upper Warm Springs Creek in order to reconnect headwaters spawning habitats and to imrpove the fishery in both Warm Springs Creek and the Clark Fork River.Click map to view larger image.
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