Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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DWR: Lower Price River and Instream Habitat - Desert River Restoration


July 2018 - June 2020


The goal of this project is to restore desert riverine ecosystems to a more natural and dynamic state and recover self-sustaining populations of endangered desert fishes. The Price River was chosen as this current area of focus because 1) it has a history of use by all imperiled and endangered stream fishes of the upper Colorado River basin (UCRB), 2) it is a "priority river" in The Nature Conservancy's (TNC), Colorado River Business Plan, 3) contains the BLM's Desolation Canyon Wilderness Study Area, and represents a high priority restoration and conservation area for both UDWR and US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). In addition, complimentary efforts to obtain minimum flows are underway (UDWR, TNC, and Trout Unlimited (TU)). The overall objective and mission of this proposed restoration is to conduct actual on-the-ground restoration efforts and guide conservation and recovery efforts targeted to imperiled and endemic fish species and the riparian corridor of the lower Price River. All restoration efforts are also designed in an adaptive management framework and designed to enhance our learning potential for challenging desert river restoration. Our more specific goals of this restoration effort are to move this riverine ecosystem from its current degraded state towards a more dynamic state that supports natural processes of habitat formation and native vegetation regeneration. The project lead agencies (and partners) are Utah State University, BLM and UDWR; other partners include: 1) The Nature Conservancy, 2) Trout Unlimited, 3) the USFWS, 4) the Utah Department of Water Quality, and 5) private landowners. The goals of this proposed project support the ‘Conservation Agreement’ for the ‘Three Species’, Threats faced by these fishes are detailed within the Utah Wildlife Action Plan, and Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program elements.


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 2

Masters Students: 4

Phd Students: 2

Post Docs: 1

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 10

Scientific Publications: 36

Presentations: 122



Funding Agencies

  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources


Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  2. U.S. Geological Survey
  3. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
  4. Utah State University/College of Natural Resources
  5. Wildlife Management Institute