The National Park Service hopes to hear from the public on how it manages the once blue-ribbon trout fishery at Lees Ferry, on the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam.

Some of the proposals could deal a blow to one of the best trout fisheries in the West in hopes of benefiting native fish many miles downstream.

The Expanded Non-native Aquatic Species Management Plan in Glen Canyon environmental assessment was released on Sept. 11. This document should be of concern to all of us who value the Colorado River system.

Attendance at meetings and written public comment submitted in December for Lees Ferry helped in efforts to mitigate the even harsher initial impacts proposed by the National Park Service on the blue-ribbon rainbow trout fishery. However, the modified plan still provides protections for the endangered humpback chub more than 60 river miles downstream.

This is your opportunity to become informed on this issue and make thoughtful comments to the National Park Service about this plan at upcoming meetings and as part of the public record on the plan.

The summary document of the plan is six pages, but I encourage those who want the details of the plan to read the full document, which is 73 pages of text plus 81 pages of appendices and includes important details missing from the summary.

Click on the Document List tab and then the first file in the list of files (Expanded Nonnative Aquatic Species Management Plan/ EA) pulls up the full document. The list of dates for public meetings is at the top of this page. At the bottom of the page, click the file under the document content tab for the full document to appear. The second file in that document list is entitled Newsletter for Public Release EA. That is the summary document.

The following is important information from the NPS regarding the 30-day public comment window and submitting those comments:

Submitting Comments on the EA

We encourage you to download the EA and provide your comments on the proposed action and the assessment. To be most useful to the planning process, please submit comments no later than Oct. 11, 2018.

There are three methods for submitting comments:

1) Submit comments electronically at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/

Expanded_Nonnative (preferred method)

2) Submit written comments at an in-person public meeting (computers or notecards available)

3) Submit written comments by sending a letter to Kirk LaGory, Expanded Non-Native Aquatic Species Management Plan, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 South Cass Avenue—EVS/240, Argonne, IL 60439.

Comments will not be accepted verbally or by fax, email, or in any way other than those specified.

Include full name and address and/or email address with the comments. See the website for more details: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/Expanded_Nonnative

I’ll be providing more information on this plan in an upcoming article, but wanted to inform you now about these meetings to give you the opportunity to hear about the plan directly from the National Park Service.

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