News Release

National Park Service Plan Approved to Protect Native Aquatic Species in the Colorado River

River flows through canyon with flock of birds flying close to water surface
Colorado River


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News Release Date: October 9, 2019

Contact: Mary Plumb, 928-608-6202

Contact: Lillian Daniels, 928-638-7958

Today, the National Park Service (NPS) approved a plan to protect native fish and other aquatic species in the Colorado River below the Glen Canyon Dam within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park.

The Expanded Non-Native Aquatic Species Management Plan sets in place a phased approach to manage non-native fish, invertebrates and plants. The NPS will soon begin a public fishing program, also known as an incentivized harvest, to reduce the growing population of brown trout in the Glen Canyon Reach (Lees Ferry area) below Glen Canyon Dam. Through the program, anglers will be rewarded for brown trout that are caught and removed from the river. The NPS is working on the details of that program and will notify the public on how to participate once that process is funded and in place. Other aspects of the program are for partners to support fishing tournaments that target brown trout and for opportunities for Tribal youth to apply for sponsored guided fishing trips to also remove brown trout.

Growing populations of non-native species like green sunfish, brown trout and others invade and threaten downstream native and endangered fish habitat. The NPS aims to curb the risk created by those non-native species through this plan. The NPS worked closely with cooperating agencies and partners including the Arizona Game and Fish Department, Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USGS Grand Canyon Research and Monitoring Center, several traditionally-associated American Indian Tribes and many other stakeholders.

NPS reviewed the plan through an Environmental Assessment, which was released for public comment in September of 2018. The NPS also worked with cooperating agencies and tribes and addressed public comments in a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) document.  NPS Acting Regional Director Chip Jenkins signed the FONSI, which authorized the parks to proceed with the plan on October 3, 2019. The project summary and associated documents can be found online at:

Last updated: October 9, 2019

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 1507
Page , AZ 86040


928 608-6200
Receptionist available at Glen Canyon Headquarters from 7 am to 4 pm MST, Monday through Friday. The phone is not monitored when the building is closed.

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