The Arizona Council of Trout Unlimited received a grant of $2,500 through the Trout Unlimited national Embrace A Stream grant program.
Volunteers from the council and chapter will use the funds to restore portions of Christopher Creek near the R-C Scout Ranch, about 20 miles east of Payson.
The project includes improving coldwater stream flows by habitat enhancements and restoration of native Gila trout. AZTU and its chapters will build rock and log barbs, improve a leaking spring-box diversion allowing cold water flows back into Christopher Creek. Additional improvements include: increased public access to Christopher Creek; reestablishing a youth fishing pond by draining, dredging, removing cattails, adding spawning beds, and refilling the pond by adding native roundtail chub and longfin dace.
“We are thrilled to be able to do more great work restoring and improving Christopher Creek and the R-C Scout Ranch pond thanks to this Embrace A Stream grant,” said Steve Reiter, Arizona Council chair. “With this grant, we will engage more than 100 volunteers from our local community to work on a creek we all know and love as residents and anglers.”
Embrace A Stream is a matching grant program administered by Trout Unlimited that awards funds to local chapters and councils for coldwater fisheries conservation. Since its inception in 1975, the grant program has funded more than 1,100 individual projects for $4.75 million in direct cash grants. Local chapters and councils contributed an additional $14 million in cash and in-kind services to EAS funded projects, for a total investment of more than $19 million.
This year, 17 chapters and councils were awarded grants for projects restoring stream habitat, improving fish passage, and protecting water quality in 18 states. The grant program is funded almost entirely by individual donations from Trout Unlimited members and conservation-minded individuals.
“We are thrilled to support the Arizona Council in its efforts to improve such an important local trout stream,” said Russ Meyer, chair of the Embrace A Stream grants committee, a group of Trout Unlimited volunteer leaders from across the country. “This year’s grant applications were extremely competitive, but the proposal for Christopher Creek stood out in our committee.