The Big Springs Tribal Fish Hatchery is a new coldwater hatchery
built for the Ute Tribe to own and operate. Big Springs is located in the Uinta River
basin, in Duchesne County, Utah. The hatchery site consists of a developed water supply system using the Big
Springs as a water supply,
a hatchery building with internal water delivery systems and
fish rearing units, an office and storage space, staff housing and a power supply.
A final Environmental
Assessment for constructing the Ute Tribe Fish Hatchery;
Big Springs Unit and Youth Camp Unit was completed
in May 2007. Based on the document, the decision was
made to construct the Big Springs Tribal Fish Hatchery on approximately
4 acres on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation.
Construction was initiated in June 2009 and completed November 2010. The Mitigation Commission was responsible for providing 75% of the construction cost. Funds were provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The first stocking was made in May 2012 to Midview Reservoir. Stocking in Reservation waters for 2012 was 20,2045 lbs.
The hatchery will help the Tribe meet its long-term fish stocking needs and management objectives for providing cold-water sport fishing opportunities. It will also help conserve Colorado River cutthroat trout in its historic range in Utah. Under the Fish Hatchery Production Plan, other fish species that may be reared here are rainbow, brown, brook and lake trout.
The Central Utah Project and other reclamation
projects created many reservoirs in Utah. These flatwater
areas provide for a variety of water-related recreation
opportunities including fishing. Most reservoir fisheries
are heavily used and not able to sustain themselves
through natural recruitment, requiring management
programs dependent on stocking hatchery-reared fish.
Fish stocking demands in Utah for reclamation projects
have been met in the past through both State and Federal
hatcheries. CUPCA identifies funding for planning
and implementing improvements to existing hatcheries
and/or the development of new fish hatcheries to increase
production of warm-water and cold-water fish for areas
affected by the Colorado River Storage Project in