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


Participating Agencies

  • Desert Fishes Habitat Counsel
  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • WRI - Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  • Bureau of Land Management

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
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. March 2015
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. January 2015
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 May 2013
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. May 2010
Presentations Presentation Date
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. October 2020
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. September 2011
Remiszewksi, T. 2022. Extreme, Positive Geomorphic Change in a Historically Degraded Desert River: Implications for Imperiled Fishes. M.S. Thesis, Utah State University, Logan, UT. November 2022
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. October 2009