Printed on: December 03, 2012

Miners, conservationists team up to help trout

Associated Press

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A consortium of phosphate mining companies and conservation groups has teamed up to help finish the first of several projects aimed at restoring a historic Yellowstone cutthroat trout fishery in southeastern Idaho.

The first batch of projects focused on two tributaries to the Upper Blackfoot River - Diamond Creek and Lanes Creek. Rehab efforts featured installing fish screens on irrigation diversions to keep fish from swimming into the ditches and dying.

The voluntary partnership includes the J.R. Simplot Co., Monsanto and Agrium/Nu-West Industries - and environmental groups Trout Unlimited and the Idaho Conservation League.

The group worked with Bear Lake Grazing Co. to install fish-friendly diversion weirs along the streams.

Alan Prouty of Simplot called the project a success and is confident fewer trout will be lost in diversion ditches.