By Irina Zhorov
LARAMIE, wyo – Removal of the Spread Creek Dam in Grand Teton National Park has started. The dam, which has been there since 1967, is being removed primarily as a conservation effort aimed at the fish, particularly the cutthroat trout, that live in the stream. Project supervisor Scott Yates says the dam's removal will open up more habitat for the fish.
"Once the dam is removed and the channel is re-graded to natural elevation, basically fish will be able to move upstream any time they want past that area," says Scott Yates. "And I think from an ecological standpoint the most important thing is there's 40 plus miles of additional habitat above where the dam currently exists."
Most of the dam will be removed from the area, though some pieces will be buried in the stream to provide infrastructure for the new, less intrusive irrigation framework. Construction is expected to continue until at least mid-October.