Current River Politics and Environmental Issues.

 

1/14/13

Note:  Please feel free to forward this to any of your friends that you believe are interested

News at Lees Ferry and the Colorado River

For supporters of the Lees Ferry fishery it’s time for an update on what’s been happening with the Glen Canyon Adaptive Management Work Group (AMWG) and the associated Technical Work Group (TWG) and what lies ahead for 2013.  In 2011 and 2012 the completion and implementation of the Non Native Fish Control and High Flow Experimental Protocol Environmental Assessments provided the opportunity for formal comments by anglers and other interested parties.   That very important support was received and appreciated.

The first of a planned series of high flow events for the Colorado River took place in November 2012. The initial proposed flow levels surrounding the high flow event were at such a low level as to raise concerns about damaging the aquatic food base for both native and nonnative fish.  With the support of angling representatives and other stakeholders and the engagement of the Bureau of Reclamation agreement was successfully achieved on revising upward the pre and post flood flow levels.   Future high flow events are dependent on the amount of sediment that flows into the River from tributaries and is available for downriver transport.  The high flows produce complex results affecting beaches, sandbars, aquatic food base, trout and native fish.  Extensive monitoring is occurring to evaluate the effectiveness and practicality of future high flow events.   The results of the monitoring will influence the angling community’s position on subsequent proposed high flows.

The Nonnative Fish Control EA includes population triggers for Humpback Chub.  Currently the chub population is above the trigger level for considering fish control actions on the resident rainbow trout.     Additionally, nonnative fish control actions are presently in a state of limbo resulting from the confirmed appearance of whirling disease among a sample of the rainbow trout population.  We anticipate, for a number of reasons, that the need or absence of need for nonnative fish control will remain a major issue of contention for the foreseeable future and one that the angling community should expect to be an issue of concern.   Proposals under consideration for using dam water flows to limit reproduction and/or recruitment of rainbow trout are of particular concern and will require close scrutiny.

During 2012 work was initiated on a Long Term Experimental and Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement (LTEMP) and an associated comprehensive fishery management plan for the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead.   The LTEMP when completed will determine Glen Canyon Dam operations for the next fifteen to twenty years.   Although on a fast track schedule it will be later this year before a LTEMP draft will be available for public comment.    The fishery management plan is being prepared by Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.  That plan should be presented for public comment in the near future.    Fishing representatives led a joint effort of interested and impacted parties in presenting a suggested comprehensive fishery management plan to the Park Service, which will be used to evaluate the draft plan.

The EA, EIS and plan documents as they are developed and implemented have a direct impact on the  fishery.   Other regular and recurring AMWG and TWG activities while fairly routine and internal also affect the fishery through budget appropriations for research, monitoring and management activities.  When the fishery management plan and the LTEMP are completed they will be of critical importance to the future of the Colorado River fishery for both native and nonnative fish.   Both the fishery plan and the LTEMP will be put out for public comment in their final versions.  At that time the angling community’s active participation in the public comment process will be required and most important.

Recently there has been an addition for representing recreational fishing at the AMWG/TWG.   John Hamill, a Flagstaff resident with an extensive background of research and science experience in the Colorado River fishery, is now working alongside Jerry and John.  For additional information or to be copied when documents are available you may email AMWG/TWG recreational fishing representatives:  John Jordan   jcjordan1@cox.net  or Jerry Myers    gmyers12@msn.com  or John Hamill    hamilldsrt50@msn.com

Your continued interest and support is greatly appreciated!

 

EXPERIMENTAL FLOW PLANNED FOR NOVEMBER.

On May 23, 2012 Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar issued a directive related to two Environmental Assessments for the Colorado River from Glen Canyon Dam to Lake Mead. One of these covered the protocol for a series of high flow events. The goals of this EA is to transition sand built up at the confluence of the Paria River and the Colorado River and redeposit it downstream as sandbars and beaches. “These sand features and associated backwater habitats can provide key wildlife habitat, potentially reduce erosion of archaeological sites, enhance riparian vegetation, maintain or increase camping opportunities, and improve the wilderness experience along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park.” For the fishery in Glen Canyon, these events will include detailed pre- and post-data collection of food base species and abundance along with measuring the time for biomass recovery.

Such events would only occur when an adequate supply of sand is present at the confluence of the Paria and Colorado Rivers. With the recent monsoons, sand has built up in sufficient quantities to plan a high flow event. All of those using the River from Glen Canyon Dam to Lake Mead need to consider these flows when planning outings and excursions.

They have not made the final decision to do an HFE this fall and will not until late October.  If an HFE occurs, they are now planning to open the bypass tubes on November 19. This means they would begin ramping up to power plant capacity in the evening of November 18. The maximum magnitude would be approximately 42,000 cfs and the maximum duration would be 96 hours. This means that at most, the HFE will be complete by November 26, so the new window is November 18-25. Again, this information is preliminary, a final decision to do an HFE and what the actual duration and magnitude will be have not been determined and will not be until late October.

I think you know that I think that this experiment is a waste of time, money and is destructive to the resource. The concept of creating a flood event with clear-cold water is a flawed concept. Every time one of these flows takes place, Glen Canyon and the upper reaches of the Grand Canyon experience scouring and sediment transport. The beaches that are built in the Grand Canyon are short lived and soon the sand is back in the water again, just further downstream. A FLOOD EVENT IN THE FALL IN NO WAY MIMICS ANY NATURAL EVENT.

6/12/12 Please Submit Comments on the Park Service Comprehensive Fisheries Management Plan for Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon

This plan addresses two fishery management goals. (1) Restoration and maintenance of healthy, self-sustaining native fish communities that include endangered and extirpated (i.e., fish no longer present) species in Grand Canyon. (2) Establishment and maintenance of a high quality recreational rainbow trout fishery using a wide range of tools developed with stakeholders in the Lees Ferry area. Your comments are important. There are groups and individuals, though sincere and well intentioned, who believe that the appropriate fishery management plan is one that includes only native fish in lieu of the balanced fishery between native and non native fish that angling interests are advocating.

Earlier this year many members of the angling community participated by providing comments for the Long Term Experimental Management & Science EIS (LTEMP) which will determine the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and its effect on the trout fishery for the next ten to fifteen years. Those comments supporting the Lees Ferry fishery and the restoration of a Blue Ribbon fishing experience contributed to initiating the Park Service’s fishery management plan which when it is completed will become part of the LTEMP and have a major part in determining the future of this unique Arizona fishing opportunity. Now once again angling organizations, individuals, and interested groups submitting comments will be an important factor in influencing both practical and policy decisions affecting the final fishery management plan. Although you may have previously commented during the LTEMP scoping process those comments will not be applied to this separate process; so a resubmission of those or revised comments will be necessary.

In submitting comments keep in mind the importance of sharing organizational or individual perspectives including goals for future fishing experiences at the fishery (i.e. fish size, catch rate, etc.). Describe what the Lees Ferry fishery means to recreational fishing in AZ and the need for balance between the recreational experience and native fish conservation, water delivery, hydropower, and cultural values as provided for under the Federal Fish and Wildlife Coordination act. Include any other thoughts that are important to protect, enhance, or improve the recreational experience including support for restoring Blue Ribbon fishing status.

The closing date for comments is June 30. The notice contains detailed information on submitting comments by mail, in person, or electronically. The link on page two of the notice leads to the main Grand Canyon Park page. Under the Current Projects Listing select Comprehensive Fisheries Management Plan. On the Plan page under Projects Links select Open for Comment. On the Documents Open for Review Page select Scoping Materials. On the Scoping Materials Page select Comment on Document to finally arrive at the Comment Page. (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=47592) to go directly to the Comments Page. Enter your comments or copy/paste your comments to the Comment section. A lengthy comment is not required. If you choose you may provide only a brief personal comment and reference the coalition’s fishery management plan. A draft for a sample comments is attached below, should that be helpful while keeping in mind that personalized comments are of the greatest value.

Here is a sample Scoping Comment Letter:

Sample Scoping Comment Letter.

I am writing in support of the Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s comprehensive fishery management plan that is being prepared with the Arizona Game & Fish Department participation as outlined in the Scoping Letter. The concept as described in the Scoping Letter of recognizing the necessity for managing the Colorado River fishery for the benefit of both native fish below the Paria River and rainbow trout in the Lees Ferry reach acknowledges the reality of the rivers environment and suitability of each species in their appropriate locations.

(Add your personal comments or experience on how you value the availability of a Blue Ribbon trout fishery at Lees Ferry)

The Lees Ferry trout fishery provides a unique Arizona and National angling experience while contributing to the economic supporting the regional area. I understand that a coalition of angling groups and individuals and the local Marble Canyon community has presented a framework for a comprehensive fishery management plan. I generally support the contents of that plan and request that the elements of the plan be considered for incorporation in the final Park Service Plan.

Thank you.

With the active support of the angling community good things will continue to happen for the Lees Ferry trout fishery.

6/3/12 Last week there were news articles everywhere about Secretary Salazar’s Press Release regarding river floods and nonnative fish control. As usual there was a great deal of misinformation by the press regarding these two EA’s. What follows are comments regarding these EA’s and how they relate to the trout and fishing at Lees Ferry.

I hope this helps to clear up any misinformation.Comments on Secretary Salazar’s Press Release:Secretary of the Interior Salazar recently issued a press release ( Salazar Announces Improvements to Glen Canyon Dam Operations to Restore High Flows and Native Fish in Grand Canyon ) related to the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and management actions on the Colorado River below the Dam. Two Environmental Assessments were the focus of the release: High Flow Experiment Protocol and Non Native Fish Control. Although these environmental assessments are “new” to the public media, they have been around for nearly two years as they were prepared, reviewed, revised and amended. In both cases these assessments include detailed proposals and relatively complex actions that challenge the ability of the media to accurately report in either a positive or a negative manner.A coalition of fishing interests has assembled and is advocating the restoration of the Lees Ferry Blue Ribbon trout fishery. The coalition includes representation from the Federation of Fly Fishers, Arizona State Council of Trout Unlimited, Arizona fishing clubs, the Marble Canyon area Guiding and Lodging enterprises, the local Navajo community, and individual sport fisherman. The current fishing conditions at Lees Ferry, if you haven’t heard, both in numbers and quality of fish caught is better than it has been in years. However, this is an incidental occurrence rather than the result of active fishery management practices. There is an immediate need to replace the passive process of the past and to begin managing for results and goals. With a broad base of support from the fishing community the Lees Ferry fishery will continue its upward momentum.

There are two interrelated processes now in place that will have a significant impact on the Lees Ferry trout fishery. The first is a process being led by the National Park Service and the Arizona Game and Fish Department to prepare a long needed fishery management plan for the River from below the Dam to Lake Mead. The plan will consider both the Grand Canyon section of the River below Lees Ferry, focusing on native fish, and the Glen Canyon section of the River above Lees Ferry, focusing on the recreational trout fishery. The Park Service’s recognition and involvement in actively managing the total fishery of the River and its tributaries including both native and non native fish is timely and important.

The fisheries plan will be completed in time to inform the Long Term Experimental and Management Plan EIS ( Glen Canyon Dam Long-Term Experimental and Management Plan EIS Information Center ) that is being prepared by the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service to evaluate and determine the most appropriate operation of Glen Canyon Dam, including measures to mitigate the impacts the dam is having on a variety of downstream resources including native and non native fish, sand conservation, recreation, and cultural resources. A draft of the EIS is expected to be released by December of 2012. Of most importance to recreational fishers will be measures that may be implemented to suppress natural trout reproduction and limit downstream trout migration, implement trout stocking, and regulate water temperatures from Glen Canyon Dam. The fishery planning and the EIS process are in the early stages and there will be opportunities for additional public input where both individual and organizational fishing interests support will be important.

The Environmental Assessments mentioned above raise several issues worth mentioning. The randomly occurring high water release experiments of the past will be replaced with planned releases that will be studied and evaluated to measure their effectiveness in adding to and maintaining beaches and sand bars down river. The dual benefit of beach building and native fish condition improvement that was advanced in support of high flows at the start of the process two years ago and included in the recent reporting has been replaced by current research results that have found no significant benefit to native fish from the resultant high flow sand movement. Additionally based on results from previous high flows obtaining significant positive beach and bar building results has proven to be both complex and challenging. Past high flows have produced confounding results to the extent that depending on the location along the River not all beach and bar locations experience the same results. In part of the Canyon when the results for all the beaches and bars are combined there is a net sediment gain while in the other part of the Canyon there is a net loss when all the beaches and bars are combined. As a further complication within each of those parts some individual beaches and bars increase, but other individual beaches and bars decrease. The High Flow Experimental Protocol is intended to sort out these and other issues over the next ten years and determine what if any program of flow releases will effectively increase beach and sand bar areas over a long term.

The impact of high flow releases on the Lees Ferry trout fishery could have several possible effects. The current research findings indicate that high flows in late winter or early spring tend to scour debris and sand from the gravel redd beds in the River, benefit the food base, and improve the conditions for trout spawning and survival. The March 2008 high flows appeared to have contributed directly to the exceptionally high number of trout currently present in the River. While this is a good thing it also could result in temporary over populations of small trout, which may not be a good thing in managing for larger size trout. There is also the possibility that high flow experiments in the fall months when the River receives little sun light could have a negative impact on the recovery of the disturbed plant aquatic food base that serves both trout and native fish. These among other factors are part of the study components of the high flow experimental protocol. The proposed fishery management plan and the Long Term Experimental and Management Plan EIS will provide a means through management actions to compensate for unintended outcomes.

The Non Native Fish Environmental Assessment includes actions for reducing trout numbers in the vicinity of the Little Colorado River should there be a significant decline in the present humpback chub population along with evaluating the potential for live trout removal in response to Native American opposition to the previous program of non live removal. The proposed removals will occur downriver from the Lees Ferry fishery and not impact recreational fishing in Lees Ferry. The management certainties of the interrelationship between trout and native fish that led to the initiation of downstream below Lees Ferry trout removal in 2004 have become less certain based on recent scientific findings. More specifically, while trout are known to compete with humpback chub; there is considerable uncertainty whether the competition is having a major impact on the overall humpback chub population. Factors such as temperature of the water released from the Dam or flow/habitat conditions in the Little Colorado River may have a more important influence on the size of the humpback chub population.

The challenge for fishing interests is to continue to force reason and rationality on proposed trout management actions and advocate for continued reliance on sound science as the basis for decisions related to the operation of the dam, the Lees Ferry recreational fishery, and restoration of native fish populations. The numbers of native fish and how to increase them is the challenge to solve and should be the primary focus rather than the size of the trout population. There is much that can be done and here also the proposed fishery management plan can begin to move in that direction. A variety of stakeholders have a strong and active interest in management of Glen Canyon Dam and the conservation of the Colorado River flowing through Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The continued interest and support when needed by all the members of the fishing community is essential in achieving the goal of returning the Lees Ferry fishery to Blue Ribbon status.

__________________
The Lees Ferry Trout Fishery, The LTEMP , & Other News 4/20/12

CURRENT NEWS: The Bureau of Reclamation and the Park Service hosted a meeting in Flagstaff, April 4 & 5 to present the preliminary Concept Management Alternatives that have been put together at this stage of the Long Term Experimental & Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement (LTEMP). The Bureau and the Park Service drafted eleven different versions as a starting point. The meeting was for all interested parties to comment and share input at this very early stage of the LTEMP process. The participants included angling, environmental, and rafting interests. The initial eleven versions were presented and discussed with all participants providing comment, content suggestions, and possible means for consolidating and reducing the number of alternatives. For detailed information on the preliminary alternatives see this website: http://ltempeis.anl.gov/documents/docs/newsletter/LTEMP_March2012_Newsletter.pdf

The encouraging news at this stage is that all of the alternatives include the fishery management plan the Park Service is preparing. The formal public scoping period for the plan is expected to start during April, 2012. It will again be essential that the angling community submit comments supporting Lees Ferry and the restoration of the Blue Ribbon trout fishery of the past. See the BACKGROUND below for more info on the Park Service’s fishery management plan.

LTEMP BACKGROUND: In 2011 the Department of the Interior designated the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), which is responsible for Glen Canyon Dam operations, and the US Park Service to be the lead agencies in preparing the LTEMP that will establish Dam flow operations and direct Federal, State, and Tribal agency actions on the Colorado River for the next fifteen to twenty years. In addition to the two lead agencies there are a number of other Federal, State, and Tribal agencies that are cooperators for the LTEMP process. Up to April 2012 the preliminary work has been done by the BOR and the USPS with only minimal input from the cooperators. The Arizona Game & Fish Department is a cooperator and the agency representing angling interests.

The formal scoping period, which provided the opportunity for interested parties to submit comments on what should be included in the LTEMP, ended January 30, 2012. A coalition of angling groups and individuals along with the Marble Canyon guiding and business interests was assembled to focus comments related to the Lees Ferry fishery. The coalition includes the Federation of Fly Fishers, the Arizona State Council of Trout Unlimited, Arizona fly fishing clubs, individual anglers, and representation from the Marble Canyon guide and lodge businesses and the local Navajo community. The coalition’s primary issue advanced in the scoping comments was implementation of a comprehensive fishery management plan for the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead; a plan managing the total fishery in a coordinated manner that includes the recovery and maintenance of a Blue Ribbon trout fishery in the Lees Ferry reach along with the restoration, recovery and maintenance of native fish throughout the River while addressing the threat to both from invasive non native warm water fish.

There were nearly 450 public comments from all interested parties during the scoping period. Many of these comments came from angling groups and individual anglers supporting the Lees Ferry trout fishery. A summary report on the scoping and edited excerpts from all the comments received is available from the documents section of the main LTEMP website: http://ltempeis.anl.gov/ .. The comments related to the fishery were of great importance in confirming the value of the fishery and the depth of support.

Coincidental with the LTEMP process the Park Service set in motion the development of a comprehensive fishery management plan. The goal is to complete the plan and have it in place ready for inclusion in the LTEMP by the end of 2012. There is split Park Service jurisdiction of the River below the Dam. The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GCNRA) is responsible for the lands including the Lees Ferry reach from the Dam to the Paria River. The Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) is responsible for the lands including the River downstream from the Paria. The importance here is that the GCNRA’s mission assigns more prominence to recreational fishing than the GCNP’s mission which has a more complex range of responsibilities. The GCNRA with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGF) will develop the future management plan for the Lees Ferry fishery with a focus on the trout in that reach of the River.

On March 5, 2012 the GCNRA hosted a pre planning stakeholder meeting with GCNRA, GCNP, AZGF and other agencies to receive input into the shape and content of the plan prior to the formal scoping period. The stakeholders including angling interests, the Marble Canyon lodge and guide businesses and the Navajo community joined with AZGF in supporting the restoration of a Blue Ribbon trout fishery for the Lees Ferry reach. Their appeared to be a favorable response from the Park Service to the concept of a Blue Ribbon fishery in lieu of only a basic recreational fishery. The next step in the process will be initiating formal scoping for a fishery management plan sometime in April

A Bright Future for the Lees Ferry Fishery 3/4/12

There are interesting events unfolding related to the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam that look very promising for the future of the Lees Ferry trout fishery.  The Bureau of Reclamation, which is responsible for Dam operations, and the US Park Service are the lead agencies in preparing a Long Term Experimental and Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement (LTEMP) that will direct Federal and state agency actions on the River for the next ten to fifteen years.  The formal scoping period prior to the start of the LTEMP provided an opportunity for interested parties to submit comments on what should be included.

A coalition of angling groups and individuals along with the Marble Canyon guiding and business interests was assembled to focus comments related to the Lees Ferry fishery.   The coalition includes the Federation of Fly Fishers, the Arizona State Council of Trout Unlimited, fly fishing clubs in Arizona, individual anglers, and representation from the entire Marble Canyon guide and lodge community.   The number one issue advanced for inclusion in the LTEMP is the restoration of the Lees Ferry trout fishery to the Blue Ribbon status that it enjoyed in the past.

Lees Ferry’s reputation as a destination trout fishery with abundant trophy trout has slipped from when it drew visitors from across the country and around the world.   It remains a premier fishing location but the status of the River for large trout was allowed to decline over time and while it remains a unique Arizona trout fishery it no longer brings the large number of fishing visitors of the past.  In lieu of being managed to be what it could be it has been the recipient of unrelated management actions rather than planned beneficial actions.   Our goal for the LTEMP is the implementation of a comprehensive fishery management plan that recognizes the recreational and economic benefits to be realized by such a plan and manages the fishery for a Blue Ribbon fishing experience.

While we were working on a template for a suggested comprehensive fishery management plan including native fish downstream and trout within Lees Ferry the Park Service had already set in motion plans for developing just such a plan.   Their goal is to complete a plan and have it in place by the end of 2012 prior to the completion of the LTEMP process.  There is split Park Service jurisdiction of the River below the Dam.  The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (GCNRA) is responsible for the lands including the Lees Ferry reach from the Dam to the Paria River.  The Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) is responsible for the lands including the River downstream from the Paria.  The importance here is that the GCNRS’s mission assigns more prominence to recreational fishing than the GCNP’s mission which has a more complex range of responsibilities.

The GCNRA with the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGF) are beginning the process of developing the future management plan for the Lees Ferry fishery with a focus on the trout in that reach of the River.  The coalition group for the LTEMP comments is participating in a pre-planning stakeholder meeting with GCNRA, AZGF and other agencies that will shape the content of the plan prior to the formal scoping period.  AZGF is actively supporting the restoration of a Blue Ribbon fishery and we are seeing a favorable response for considering that goal from the Park Service, both GCNRA and GCNP.   This presents the very favorable prospect of elevating the commitment to the trout fishery from what has been benign neglect at the best.

There is a ways to go on getting this done and there may be some bumps along the way.  Support from the angling community is particularly important in establishing priorities for the final plan.   I will keep you advised as this process moves along and it will be beneficial if you distribute this out to inform as broad a group as we can.

LTEMP COMMENTS DUE 1/3/12
The Lees Ferry trout fishery on the Colorado River above the Grand Canyon is one of the South West’s fishing treasures. The Federal planning process is underway that will determine the operation of Glen Canyon Dam and the management of related down river resources for the next ten to fifteen years. This is providing the opportunity through public comment to shape that process to include beneficial considerations for both native and non native fish in the River.

Please take a moment to read over the attached information on how you can help influence the decisions on managing the Lees Ferry fishery and encourage its restoration and future maintenance as a Blue Ribbon trophy trout fishery. The Federal planning process can include those goals, but it will take a determined commitment from the fishing community to assure that happens. Your individual point of view and perspective expressed in your own words is most relevant. The commenting process isn’t complicated and the official website provides easy to follow information on submitting comments. How to do it is covered in the attachment and below. Comments are due by January 31. Email or call me for additional information or with any questions you may have at (602) 840-4224. Please consider forwarding this email on to any friends or acquaintances who may share your interest in fishing.

Thank you for your support,

John Jordan

Representative for Recreational Fishing

Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Work Group

Lees Ferry Rainbow Trout Fishery & LTEMP EIS Scoping Public Comments

The Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the National Park Service (NPS) are preparing a Long Term Experimental & Management Plan Environmental Impact Statement (LTEMP) that will guide the operation of the Glen Canyon Dam and affect the Lees Ferry Rainbow Trout recreational fishery for the next ten to fifteen years. There are a number of competing interests of which the recreational trout fishery is one among hydropower generation, water delivery, recreational rafting, tribal cultural concerns and environmental issues.

The BOR and NPS are soliciting public comment and inviting you to participate in the initial scoping process for the development of the LTEMP. More information is available at the project website: http://ltempeis.anl.gov. The public scoping period is open through January 31, 2012.

The Lees Ferry Rainbow Trout fishery has a storied past as a destination Blue Ribbon fishery with abundant trophy trout. That condition was allowed to decline over time and although it remains the exceptional Arizona river trout fishery it has not been managed to be what it could be. Under the existing operating regime the Lees Ferry fishery has not had equal status with the other competing interests. In recent years there has been an increase in both trout numbers and size, but this has been incidental to other management actions rather than the result of planned beneficial actions.

As part of the LTEMP scoping your voice in sharing your goals and aspirations for this fishery as a member of the fishing community is essential in establishing the position of recreational fishing among the other interests. The Federal Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act recognizes the vital contribution of fish and wildlife resources to the Nation and provides that such resources shall receive equal consideration and be coordinated with other features of water resource development programs such as the operation of Glen Canyon Dam when waters of the Colorado River are controlled or modified for various project purposes with a goal to provide for water delivery, hydropower production, other recreational uses including rafting and fishing, cultural and other tribal values and conservation of native fish.

Up to the present there has not been a comprehensive fishery management plan for the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead for the integrated benefit of both native and non native fish. The other competing interests have their proponents some of whom may advocate management actions that overlook the impact on the trout fishery or in some cases could be detrimental. Their voices are being heard through their participation in the scoping process. The voices of the fishing community need to be heard. Individual written or transmitted comments are more important than hundreds of copies of the exact same paragraph and words merely signed by a large number of people. Following are some points to consider for putting into your own words.

1 Your personal perspective is important. Share your goals for your future fishing experiences on the fishery (i.e. fish size, catch rate, etc.). Describe what the Lees Ferry fishery means to you and to recreational fishing in AZ and the need for balance between the recreational experience and water delivery, hydropower, cultural values and conservation as provided for under the Federal Fish and Wildlife Coordination act. Include any other thoughts you feel are important to protect, enhance, or improve your recreational experience.

2 There presently isn’t a comprehensive fishery management plan for the Colorado River between Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Mead. As part of the LTEMP a plan needs to be developed and implemented for managing the total fishery in a coordinated manner. That fishery management plan would include the recovery and maintenance of a Blue Ribbon trout fishery in the Lees Ferry reach along with the restoration, recovery and maintenance of native fish throughout the River while addressing the threat to both from invasive non native warm water fish. It also should include experimental management actions based on comprehensive, measurable, and defined objectives rather than continuing the well intentioned but disjointed efforts of the past.

3 The Lees Ferry/Marble Canyon area is economically dependent upon recreational activities of which fishing is a large component. The LTEMP should recognize that the recovery and maintenance of the Blue Ribbon fishery has a direct effect and a major impact on the economic livelihood for that community particularly the surrounding Native American residents who are dependent on employment for the related services.

4 Glen Canyon Dam operations include fluctuating water releases impacting fishing experiences. Currently typical daily flows vary from around 9,000 to 15, 000 cfs. These flows are determined by both hydropower and water distribution requirements. This year the river has experienced equalization flow to boost the water content of Lake Mead. These flows have been around 23,000 cfs. A major component of the LTEMP will be a determination to continue the present flow regime or adopt some alternate. The LTEMP should recognize and consider that flows over 16,000 cfs restrict or eliminate the opportunities for wade fishing.

Your comments must be received by January 31, 2012

Comments on the scope of the LTEMP EIS are important contributions from citizens. The public is encouraged to communicate information and comments on issues it believes the Bureau of Reclamation and the National Park Service should address in the EIS. Accordingly, comments should be clear, concise, and relevant to the scope of the EIS analysis. Take the time to organize your thoughts and edit the document before it is submitted.

The following web site provides additional information: http://ltempeis.anl.gov/involve/index.cfm

Type your recommendations, comments or suggestions, edit them and use one of the following methods to make the submittal.

Electronically, using the online comment form (the preferred method): http://ltempeis.anl.gov/involve/commentintro/index.cfm

Written comments or suggestions on the scope of the EIS can be mailed to

Glen Canyon Dam LTEMP EIS Scoping

Argonne National Laboratory

9700 S. Cass Ave. – EVS/240

Argonne IL 60439