Yampa River and White River basins: Colorado Trout Unlimited hires a new project coordinator

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Here’s the release from Colorado Trout Unlimited (Randy Scholfield):

Trout Unlimited’s Colorado Water Project today announced the hiring of Brian Hodge as project coordinator for the Yampa and White River basins in northwest Colorado. Hodge will be located in Steamboat Springs.
Hodge will plan and implement habitat improvement projects on key stream reaches in the Yampa and White river basins, with the goal of protecting, reconnecting and restoring trout populations, particularly native Colorado River cutthroat trout. Among other duties, he will work closely with water users, private land owners and agency staff to identify opportunities to improve streams and implement cooperative agreements with irrigators that benefit agricultural operations and fish habitat simultaneously.

Prior to joining TU, Hodge worked as a research assistant with the California Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, leading a multi-year fishery resource study of steelhead/rainbow trout in the lower Klamath River basin. He has also served as the fisheries crew leader for the Carson Ranger District, where he evaluated aquatic habitat and fish passage potential on approximately 150 miles of stream. In his work, he has worked extensively with private landowners and irrigators to create positive working relationships.

“We are pleased to have Brian Hodge’s skills and experience on the ground in the Yampa basin,” said Drew Peternell, director of TU’s Colorado Water Project, which works to improve stream flows and coldwater fisheries in the state. “Brian is a gifted biologist and pragmatic problem-solver who has a strong commitment to finding water solutions that benefit both private landowners and fisheries.”

The Yampa and White Rivers are among the last largely undammed river systems in Colorado, but many of their tributaries are fragmented by diversion dams and other barriers and disconnected from the mainstem rivers. Trout Unlimited, a grassroots sportsmen’s conservation organization, is expanding its trout restoration work in several river basins within Colorado, including the Yampa and White River basins and the Upper Colorado River basin.

Moreover, Northwest Colorado is one of the few fishing destinations in the state that does not have a local TU chapter. Hodge will assist efforts to establish a new chapter in Steamboat Springs and hopes to involve the new chapter in river conservation projects.

Asked about his new position, Hodge stated, “I look forward to working with local partners to protect and enhance the fishery resources of the Yampa and White Rivers.”

More Yampa River basin coverage here. More White River basin coverage here.

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