Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Utah
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Utah Project


BLM & BoR: Innovative and Adaptive Desert River Restoration

January 2018 - June 2022


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • Desert Fishes Habitat Counsel
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
The San Rafael River meanders around low-tech post-assisted log structures (PALs) installed as part of a restoration project aimed at increasing in-stream habitat and hydrologic complexity to benefit imperiled native fishes.

Important tributaries to the UCR have been impacted by hydrological alterations, habitat fragmentation, and non-native woody riparian vegetation establishment. In the lower river areas, spring snowmelt floods have declined in magnitude and duration due to water capture in the upper portion of the basin.
The overall objective and mission of this proposed restoration and monitoring project is to guide conservation and recovery efforts targeted to imperiled and endemic fish species and riparian corridors in desert tributaries of the upper Colorado River Basin. This project represents ongoing efforts initiated on the San Rafael in 2006 and is part of an effective partnership between the BLM, Utah State University, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) and the Bureau of Reclamation (BoR). This partnership is dedicated to science-driven and innovative desert river restoration. Our project has direct benefits to natural resource management and invasive species prevention.

Research Publications Publication Date
Laub, B.G., G.P. Thiede, W.W. MacFarlane, and P. Budy. 2018. Evaluating the conservation potential of tributaries for native fish in the Upper Colorado River Basin. Fisheries, Feature Article 43:194-206. DOI: 10.1002/fsh.10054. USGS IP: 081178. 2018-01-31
Laub, B. G., J. Jimenez, and P. Budy. 2015. Adopting science-based restoration in practice: application to a desert river system. Environmental Management ONLINE FIRST: DOI 10.1007/s00267-015-0481-5. USGS IP-053441. | Abstract 2015-04-30
Budy, P., M. M. Conner, N.L. Salant, and W. Macfarlane. 2015. An Occupancy-based Assessment of Regional Vulnerability. Conservation Biology. DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12513 USGS FSP: IP-049189. 2015-01-31
Bottcher, J.L., T.E. Walsworth, G.P. Thiede, P. Budy, and D. Speas. 2013. Frequent Usage of Tributaries by the Endangered Fishes of the Upper Colorado River Basin: Observations from the San Rafael River, Utah. North American Journal of Fisheries Management, Management Brief. Online DOI: 10.1080/02755947.2013.785993. | Abstract 2013-05-31
Walsworth, T.E., and P. Budy. 2015. Integrating non-native species in niche models to prioritize native fish restoration activity locations along a desert river corridor. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 144:667–681. USGS IP-034122. 2015-03-31
Technical Publications Publication Date
Budy, P., T. Walsworth, and G.P. Thiede. 2010. Habitat needs, movement patterns, and vital rates of endemic Utah fishes in a tributary to the Green River, Utah. 2009 Annual Report to the Bureau of Reclamation, Upper Colorado Region. UTCFWRU 2010(1):1-45. 2010-05-31
Walsworth, T.E., Budy, P., Keller, D., and Jimenez, J. 2019. UCRB Innovative and Science-based Desert Tributaries Restoration: Price River Initiative. Project Report to the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership. 2019-07-31
Presentations Presentation Date
Walsworth, T.E., Budy, P., Wheaton, J., Macfarlane, W.W., Shahverdian, S., Thiede, G.P., Keller, D., Goodell, J., and Jimenez, J. Harnessing process-based restoration to improve in-stream and riparian habitat in the Price River, Utah. Oral presentation: Utah Chapter American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Provo, Utah, March 12-14, 2019. 2019-03-13
Walsworth, T., P. Budy, and G. Thiede. 2011. Crowded niche space: the impact of novel competitors and predators on the growth rates of endemic desert fishes. Oral Presentation, American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, September 5-8, 2011. Seattle, WA. 2011-09-05
Botcher, J. and P. Budy. 2008. Habitat requirements, vital rates, and movement patterns of three endemic fishes in the San Rafael River, Utah. Utah American Fisheries Society, Moab, UT, Feburary 25, 2008. Best Student Poster Presentation Award ($250). 2008-02-25
Walsworth, T. P. Budy, and G.P. Thiede. 2010. A Patch Approach to Understanding the Effect of Stream Degradation on Food Web and Population Structure of Imperiled Fishes. Invited Budy Presentation, ‘Trash fish or native treasures, …Three Species’ Special Symposium, American Fisheries Society, Western Division, Salt Lake City, April 20-23, 2010. 2010-04-20
Doden, E., Budy, P., and Young, J.K. 2020. A tale of two beavers: Are translocated beavers as effective as resident beavers in desert river restoration? Contributed oral presentation. The Wildlife Society National Conference 27 September – 1 October, 2020. Louisville, KY. 2020-10-01
Doden, E., Young, J.K., Budy, P. 2019. Comparison of resident and translocated beavers in desert stream restoration sites. Research proposal poster. USGS Utah CRU Annual Meeting. Salt Lake City, UT. 2019-04-24
Doden, E., Young, J.K., Budy, P. 2020. One of the locals or new in town: Comparing resident and translocated beaver ecology at stream restoration sites. Research-in-progress poster. USGS Utah CRU Annual Meeting. Logan, UT. 2020-02-20
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Walsworth, Timothy. 2011. A patch approach to understanding the effect of stream degradation on food web and population structure of imperiled desert fishes. MS Thesis. Ecology, Utah State University. 2011-09-30
Botcher, Jared. 2009. Habitat needs, movement patterns, and vital rates of endemic fishes in the tributaries to the Green River, UT. MS Thesis. Utah State University, 61 pages. 2009-10-31