Buxton Streambank Restoration & Desert Canal Fish Screen Projects Environmental Assessment

Reclamation proposes to provide funding through a WaterSMART grant for Friends of the Teton River (FTR) to perform two watershed management projects, both occurring within Teton County in Southeastern Idaho. These management projects come from the Teton Watershed Users Association Watershed Restoration Plan which aims to address a suite of watershed management issues including water quality and water quantity issues for fish and wildlife, human health and wellness, agricultural and recreational use and management issues that specifically impact Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout (YCT).

The first action includes stabilizing a riparian buffer along 1,500 linear feet of streambank habitat on the upper Teton River approximately 6 miles west of Driggs, Idaho. FTR would work with a local rancher on private land to accomplish the stabilization through willow planting as well as implementation of recommended grazing management and livestock watering best management practices within the riparian corridor. This would help address total maximum daily load exceedance for sediment and temperature in the Teton River.

On the Desert Canal approximately 5 miles east of Tetonia, Idaho, FTR would work with irrigators to construct a corrugated fish screen to move fish into parallel running Leigh Creek, to eliminate entrapment and mortality of YCT in the canal. FTR would place a bypass pipe at the installed fish screen, connecting Desert Canal and Leigh Creek. This would provide 11 miles of connectivity for YCT to complete their life cycle in this high-priority spawning tributary and source population of native trout for the Teton River. This action would also provide improvements to canal infrastructure and reliable delivery of irrigation water.

The analysis of the alternatives is documented in an environmental assessment and the proposed action has been selected as it would have no significant impacts.

Related Documents
10/2022 Finding of No Significant Impact, Final Environmental Assessment, Buxton Streambank Restoration and Desert Canal Fish Screen Project PDF 574 kb


Rochelle Ochoa
(208) 383-2277

Bureau of Reclamation
Snake River Area Office
230 Collins Road
Boise ID 83702-4520

Last Updated: 10/12/22