Shocking Plan… Kill the Brown Trout in Lees Ferry?


Our good friend, Terry Gunn recently called this to our attention, and when T. Gunn has something to say about Lees Ferry, we listen.

From Terry’s Facebook post:

National Park Service Plans to Kill all Brown Trout at Lees Ferry.

Please share this with all your friends. We need your comments!

The National Park Service is conducting an Expanded Non-Native Aquatic Species Management Plan Environmental Assessment (EA) that includes elements having a potentially damaging impact on the Lees Ferry trout fishery and the business and guide services dependent on that fishery. Submitting your comments is the only way to protect and support the fishery. Comments are due by 1/5/18. Please share this with all your angling friends!

The EA proposes electrofishing mechanical removal of brown trout in Lees Ferry/ Glen Canyon with “long-term, intensive and repeated electrofishing.” Collateral damage to the rainbow trout fishery from mechanical removal on the proposed massive scale will be unavoidable. Rainbow trout not removed at the time of brown trout removal will be intensely and repeatedly shocked as the electrofishing process progresses along the river and continues over recurring lengthy periods of time. Surviving rainbow trout, while recovering, would be unfishable for extended periods. This action would have a catastrophic impact on the quality of the Lee Ferry trout fishery, the welfare of the local community, and the regional economic benefits tied to the fishery. We strongly oppose this action and urge you to do the same by commenting to the National Park Service that you oppose any mechanical removal of brown trout at Lees Ferry PERIOD!

More information and comment here:
Or comment directly to the NPS and tell them No Mechanical Removal of Brown Trout…Period!



  1. I am torn on this issue. This same argument could be used against the removal of lake trout in Yellowstone albeit I don’t believe any trout angler would complain about the restoration and protection of the Yellowstone cutthroat that has been decimated by these lake trout.

    Brown trout are not native to the US and are in essence, an invasive species. NPS is charged with the protection of native wildlife and in the long run, I wonder if a truly natural fishery at Lees Ferry would benefit us all even if there are short term pains. This is a tough question.

    I think NPS has one conservation mission and they must apply that mission to all the lands they manage evenly. Otherwise, we risk special interests and economic impact overriding conservation. Face it! in this case, the businesses and guide services mentioned here that will be impacted are “Special Interests” as are those who fish these waters. As anglers and conservationists, we need to be cautions not to make our decisions based on our own special interest or we are no better than those we complain about.

  2. Electroshocking would do very little harm to the rainbows. That aspect of this post is disingenuous. Electroshocking is a innocuous and ubiquitous tool used in fisheries management and stream-census surveys. It will not impact the rainbow fishery.

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