Snake River Fine-Spotted Cutthroat Trout

The project plans to reconnect more than 21 miles of stream habitat for native fish, such as this Snake River cutthroat trout.

A two-week project to replace a blocked fish passage in the Greys River area east of Afton, Wyo., starts next week.

The project, part of a large-scale, multi-phased effort to reconnect cutthroat trout stream habitat associated with a commercial timber sale, involves building a new bridge and replacing an undersized culvert on the Greys River near the confluence of Shale Creek. Three other undersized and damaged culverts on Mink Creek, Clear Creek and West Fork Greys River will also be replaced.

Construction is set to begin Monday and will temporarily close the Shale Creek Road (Forest Road 10126). Construction could also slow traffic on the Greys River Road near its junction with Shale Creek Road.

The project, called the Tribasin Fish Passage and Watershed Restoration Project, is a collaboration between Trout Unlimited, the Bridger-Teton National Forest and others. It began in 2018. The effort plans to reconnect more than 21 stream miles for native cutthroat trout.

The area is popular with some anglers pursuing the “CuttSlam,” a goal of catching all of the different species of cutthroat trout. The Tribasin area includes the headwaters of three basins that boast three native cutthroat species in a relatively small locale: Snake River, Bonneville and Colorado River cutthroat.

The Bridger-Teton National Forest also plans to improve access routes for the timber sale in the area.

“We are excited to embark on this project with the Bridger-Teton National Forest that will reconnect so much coldwater habitat for native trout in the headwaters of the Greys River,” said Leslie Steen, Trout Unimited Northwest Wyoming program director. “We are grateful to all of the partners that have supported this very timely opportunity to address fish migration barriers and stream health and look forward to the public being able to access and enjoy the results of our work.”

The project has also received funding and technical support from the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Passage Program, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited, Patagonia World Trout, Star Valley Trout Unlimited, TU-Orvis Embrace A Stream Program and Challenge, Trout and Salmon Foundation, and Wyoming Wildlife and Natural Resources Trust Fund.