Research Initiative Cover

research initiative

Research Highlights.

The BHRA recognizes that the health of the Bighorn River Fishery is dependent on the ecological health of the entire river corridor. The BHRA Research Initiative works to better understand the health of the Bighorn, and how it responds to natural and human factors, through in- depth scientific inquiry that examines:

  • Biology

  • Hydrology

  • Water Quality 

  • Channel Morphology of the River

  • Surrounding Land Use Practices 


Through development of a strong scientific foundation, areas of policy,

projects and education can be influenced and developed to benefit working watershed relationships, the wild trout fishery and, most importantly, the long-term health and protection of the Bighorn River. 

Guiding document.

Observed changes in river characteristics pertaining to river flows, river clarity, hatches and trout abundance led BHRA to conduct a thorough literature review of studies completed on the Bighorn which, coupled with feedback from anglers and partner agencies, identified areas of needed scientific investigation. From identifying what we do not know, BHRA created an interdisciplinary working group led by biologist Warren Kellogg to develop a long- term research plan to guide research efforts moving forward. This document, known as the Research Initiative Plans and Priorities Report identifies program objectives and recommended scopes of work in seven areas critical to the long-term conservation of the Bighorn River that include:

  • Socioeconomics

  • Spatial Information and Data

  • Hydrology

  • Geomorphology

  • Biology

  • Water Quality

  • Climate 

2020 Annual report.

Using the Plans and Priorities Report as the guiding document for Research Initiative efforts, BHRA and contractors completed five studies in 2020. A summary of these studies and 2021 work plans are available in the 2020 Annual Report.

2019 research initiative reports

2019 final reports.

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