Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited meeting 12.11.12

Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited

The Jackson Hole chapter of Trout Unlimited met last night to hear a presentation on the latest improvements for Flat Creek.  Ryan Collier of Biota Research and Consulting spoke about improvements to be made over the next 3 years to the tune of $300,000. JH TU was involved in bank stabilization projects and an effort to increase stream velocity back in the 80’s.  The construction of the South Park ditch in the 60’s for irrigation purposes had left an inordinate amount of sediment in the stream that was slowing and widening the creek.  “You couldn’t go to Flat Creek without losing a set of hip waders back then”, stated Paul Bruun. The improvements from the 80’s served to move alot of sediment down through the Snake River system, but needed to be updated as bank tree revetments were no longer useful.  Longer riffles are needed to slow the Creek and reduce bank scouring from the increased velocities.  The National Elk Refuge is considering keeping winter Elk feeding from certain sections of the creek to promote Willow regrowth. Thousands of wintering Elk currently keep the native Willows from growing to more than a couple of inches in height. Also, Brook and Brown trout are taking up lies that won’t hold Snake River Cutthroat. WY Game and Fish removes these non-native trout via creek shocking every fall. Flat Creek is known to hold the largest Cutthroat in the valley already and is popular with dry fly enthusiasts for it’s challenging fly fishing.  Combine these efforts with those of the Teton County Conservation District to remove winter Frazil Ice and the recent removal of tons of sediment from behind the Rustic Inn, and the future looks bright for Flat Creek!