Weber River Home Rivers Initiative
Utah's Weber River played an important role in the settlement of the Ogden Valley and Utah’s Wasatch Front, but today faces daunting challenges. The river was a lifeline for the Mormon pioneers who settled in this arid country and they quickly developed innovative irrigation systems that allowed them to grow crops and raise livestock. Thousands of big Bonneville cutthroat trout plied the waters and found their way easily into settlers' fishing nets. Today, unfortunately, streamside vegetation is gone along much of the river corridor and the large migratory cutthroat have been nearly wiped out. TU is working to make the river a healthier place by restoring habitat and making it possible for fish to move throughout the river. Working with community partners, TU is developing projects to restore habitat and fish passage for native and wild trout in the Weber River by implementing restoration projects in rural communities that promote sustainable agriculture and benefit fish and streams.
Working with the Utah Division of Wildlife and agricultural and municipal partners, Trout Unlimited is working to protect native fish in the Weber River. Teaming up with irrigators, we are working to remove small dams and install fish screens and fish ladders to keep fish out of irrigation systems so they can move upstream to spawn. We’re also working with Ogden city officials to improve public access areas and trails along the river for anglers and other people who use the river for recreation and we’re working with farmers and other landowners to plant trees and other plants along side the river.
In 2012, the first year of the Weber River project, TU worked with a local irrigation company and installed a fish ladder and fish screens at an irrigation dam on the river’s main stem that had, for 60 years, prevented native and wild trout from swimming upstream.