Trout Unlimited (TU) was the project sponsor for design and construction of a fish barrier on Alamitos Creek in the Rio Pueblo drainage east of Sipapu. TU had identified a small population of pure Rio Grande cutthroat trout in this perennial stream. These fish had been protected from upstream migration of other salmonids by an old irrigation diversion structure, until a flood event destroyed that diversion structure. TU worked with the USFS and the local irrigation district to plan for a new fish barrier that would keep this native fish population isolated. To accomplish this project, TU’s national office and the Truchas TU Chapter obtained a Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) grant to construct the new fish barrier protecting of 7.5 stream miles. U.S. Forest Service personnel completed NEPA documentation and Riverbend provided engineering design and construction oversight for the project. Alamitos was a fast track project where stakeholders met in the Spring, environmental impact documentation was accomplished in the Summer and barrier construction was completed just before the onset of Winter. This project satisfied the WNTI Joint Venture’s goal of building, funding, and implementing collaborative conservation efforts.
Read more on the New Mexico Council for Trout Unllmited web site: newmexicotu.org and the Western Native Trout Initiative web site: westernnativetrout.org