December 19, 2014
State wildlife biologists say fish populations are flourishing in a stretch of the Truckee River east of Reno where crews have been restoring the river banks and bottoms to a more natural setting.
A recent population count shows the efforts are paying off at the historic McCarran Ranch about 15 miles east of Sparks.
Kim Tisdale of the Nevada Department of Wildlife says trout are now plentiful where carp and sucker fish used to dominate before a sluggish section of the river was altered into a fish-friendly environment.
The key appears to be the construction of a series of riffles, where shallow areas of rock-strewn whitewater spills into deeper pools. The natural variation of riffles and pools is beneficial to fish, insects and other wildlife.
It's all part of an $8 million project the Nature Conservancy started three years ago. Late last month, crews finished installing the latest round of riffles using rock removed for construction of Reno's train trench.