Swan Creek provides the only remaining permanently accessible spawning habitat for Bear Lake Bonneville Cutthroat Trout (BCT). The Utah Department of Natural Resources (UDWR) manages a fish trap on Swan Creek to collect and fertilize eggs from adfluvial BCT for use in hatchery stocking efforts. These hatchery stocking measures were taken to ensure persistence of the Bear Lake Cutthroat population in the face of lost access to natural spawning habitat. When hatchery BCT egg quotas have been reached in a particular year, all extra fish that reach the fish trap are passed upstream and allowed to spawn naturally. On out-migration, these adult fish as well as their offspring face the risk of canal entrainment at the Mountain Springs canal diversion. UDWR staff has documented notable BCT entrainment at this diversion. Further, no backdoor connection with Bear Lake exists with this canal so entrainment results in a loss of these fish.
Trout Unlimited, in cooperation with the UDWR and other project partners, is installing a fish screen on the Mountain Springs diversion to stop fish entrainment. Screening of the Mountain Springs diversion will decrease mortality rates for the Bear Lake population of BCT. The potential to reduce fish mortality and increase reproductive output that this project will provide represents a step towards the goal of creating a self-sustaining population of BCT within Bear Lake. Project completion is planned for Autumn 2008.
Mountain Springs diversion.