Regional Offices > Laramie Region > Laramie Region News > Aquatic Habitat Biologist receives national award

Aquatic Habitat Biologist receives national award

July 17, 2019
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Laramie -

A Wyoming Game and Fish Department biologist was among three conservation partners who received the 2018 “Fish Your National Forest Award” from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for their work restoring fish habitat on the Upper North Platte River Watershed.
The USFS presented the award to Christina Barrineau, Aquatic Habitat Biologist with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, Jeff Streeter, the North Platte River Water Project Manager for Trout Unlimited, and Joe Parsons, District Manager for the Saratoga-Encampment-Rawlins Conservation District. The trio accepted the award in Washington, D.C. in June.
The “Fish Your National Forest Award” is part of the Forest Service’s Rise to the Future award program. Each year, they gave out a total of 18 awards across different categories to recognize outstanding individual and group achievements by natural resource professionals in the Forest Service, as well as our partners in the fisheries, hydrology, soil, and air programs. Award recipients came from across the country. Bill Bear, fisheries biologist for the Medicine Bow National Forest, submitted the nomination for the award.

In the nomination letter, Bear indicated that anglers are drawn from around the world to the North Platte River, which is one of Wyoming’s “Blue Ribbon” trout streams.  A Blue Ribbon trout stream designation is given to streams and rivers when there are greater than 600 pounds of trout per mile.

Water diversion structures, both historic and current, have altered flows and created barriers for fish passage leading to habitat fragmentation. Cobble/boulder “push-up” dams excavated from streambeds create barriers to fish passage, destroy habitat, increase sedimentation, and create boating hazards. Beginning in 2011, the conservation partners began working together to restore aquatic habitat in the North Platte and Encampment Rivers and their tributaries. Some of the partnership’s accomplishments include:

  • Reconnecting more than 111 miles of wild trout habitat by removing 13 barriers
  • Restoring 3.8 miles of river channel
  • Planting thousands of willows and other native shrubs
  • Raising more than $5 million for stream restoration, fish passage, and riparian enhancements
  • Providing numerous stream restoration and watershed health educational opportunities for students and adults throughout the Platte Valley
  • Monitoring 11 projects to gage success and better understand river dynamics
The American Sportfishing Association donated $5,000.00 as part of this award to our efforts in the Upper North Platte Watershed. The money will go toward education efforts.


- WGFD -

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