Although the National Elk Refuge is currently closed due to a lapse in federal appropriations, this project can continue because only private, state and federal funds from last fiscal year (FY-2013) will be used.
This blue ribbon trout stream, known for its trophy-class cutthroat trout, has experienced a variety of direct and indirect alterations over the past century. Fish habitat structures were installed in the 1980s to create additional hiding cover for trout. These structures have lived out their lifespan and will be replaced with new structures. Additionally, the stream enhancement project will reduce sediment inputs to the watershed and restore natural stream processes, creating new habitat for all age classes of trout.
The Flat Creek enhancement project calls for treatment to a total of 3.5 miles of stream beginning above the Jackson Hole National Fish Hatchery down to Nowlin Creek. The habitat work is planned to occur during the months of September through November and is expected to take at least three years to complete. The final product will be a stream with more meanders, undercut banks, and deep pools that hold more of the hefty trout Flat Creek is famous for.
The project is a partnership between Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Snake River Fund, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Patagonia, Teton Conservation District, Teton County Weed and Pest, and the National Elk Refuge.
For more information regarding the Flat Creek National Elk Refuge Enhancement Project, contact Wyoming Game and Fish Department Aquatic Habitat Biologist, Lara Gertsch, at 307-733-2321