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Collage of PRRP Project Activities

In 1999, the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission began the Provo River Restoration Project (PRRP) between Jordanelle Dam and Deer Creek Reservoir in Wasatch County, Utah. River reconstruction was completed in 2008.

River reconstruction entailed moving the straightened river channel into excavated meanders mimicking historic conditions, reconnecting the river to existing remnants of historic secondary channels, and constructed small side channels and ponds to recreate aquatic features and provide wetland and wildlife habitat. Existing levees were set back to create a near natural flood plain and to allow the river to change course naturally. The project also entailed acquiring an 800 to 2,200-foot-wide continuous corridor the length of the middle Provo River protected for angler access and wildlife habitat.

Improved Public Access Site on Provo River ImagePublic access to the corridor is designated at seven parking areas that include restrooms, trash recepticles and information displays. Two of the sites also provide accessible fishing platforms. An additional four- to six-car parking lot may be constructed near the head of the Wasatch Canal/Rock Ditch system. Public access to about ½ mile of this stream was obtained through purchases made for the PRRP. The purpose for constructing this small parking area would be to reduce illegal parking along old Highway 40 near the Wasatch Diversion. Click here for a corridor map and more information about access to the middle Provo.

restored provo river side channels and meandersPlanting and fostering streamside vegetation needed for a healthy fishery has been ongoing since the project began. Monitoring of this habitat, as well as other physical features and sensitive species also continues. Specific studies include: monitoring native and game fish populations; monitoring macroinvertebrate (stoneflies, mayflies, midges, etc.) populations; conducting bird, including Bald Eagles, and bird habitat studies and surveys; surveying for spotted frogs, which are on Utah’s Sensitive Species List; assessing native riparian and wetland areas and monitoring revegetated areas; and, monitoring hydrological conditions and conducting flow and river mechanics studies.

The PRRP mitigates for damages associated primarily with CUP construction. Making up for these damages was necessary, whether through the PRRP, or otherwise. Examples of these mitigation commitments and the projects that made them necessary are:

The Provo River Project, which dammed and then channelized, straightened, and diked the middle Provo River in the 1950s and 60s.Many of the river’s abundant resources were lost, such as riparian forest, emergent wetland, backwater and deep fishing holes - prime fish and wildlife habitat.

The Strawberry Aqueduct and Collection System, which dewatered many miles of streams on the south slope of the Uinta mountains and significantly reduced trout populations. As a result, the federal government was required to restore fish habitat and provide angler access elsewhere.

Jordanelle Reservoir, which inundated four miles of Provo River and association wetlands. To offset its impacts, providing angler access, acquiring and restoring riparian woodlands, and providing a 125 cfs minimum flow year round from Jordanelle Dam were conditions for its construction.

Email Link to the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, urmcc@uc.usbr.govAddress for Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, 230 South 500 East, Suite 230, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102-2045, (801)524-3146, Fax (801)524-3148