Ute Indian Tribe

Big springs


The Ute Tribe Fish and Wildlife Department and the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission (URMCC), are in the process of developing a tribal fish hatchery for the Ute Tribe. The proposed hatchery will be located in Big Springs recreational area on the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation.



The Big Springs tribal fish hatchery will raise traditional sport fish such as Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout and Brown Trout for tribal fisheries on the Uintah & Ouray Indian reservation. In addition, the hatchery will produce the conservation species, Colorado River Cutthroat Trout for conservation projects on the Reservation. The establishment of the Big Springs fish hatchery will provide the Ute Tribe Fish and Wildlife Department with the ability to manage tribal waters with tribal reared fish. In addition, The Ute Tribe will possess the resources to effectively contribute to the persistence of our native, Colorado River Cutthroat Trout on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation.

Upper Colorado Endangered Fish Recovery Program

To help protect the habitat for the federally listed endangered fish species that occur on the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, the Ute Tribe Fisheries Department has coordinated conservation projects with the U.S. Fish and Wildlif e Service. The primary project is non-native fish removal of the Duchesne River. Fish species that have been introduced into the upper Colorado River watershed have contributed, through predation and competition, to the decline of native fish populations. By removing and/or relocating non-native species, habitat for the endangered species on the Uintah and Ouray may be conserved, and may ensure successful spawning, rearing, and persistence of these species.

On the Uintah and Ouray reservation, two endangered species occur. Populations of Colorado Pikeminnow, and Razorback Sucker have been observed in the Green, White, and Duchesne Rivers. The Ute Tribe F&WD will continue to contribute to the recovery of these species, and is scheduled for recovery projects in the field year 2006.


3 Species of Utah Conservation Program

Three declining fish species that are native to the Upper Green River Drainage and occupy the Uintah and Ouray Reservation are Flannelmouth Sucker, Bluehead Sucker, and Roundtail Chub. The State of Utah has designated these fish as Species of Special Concern in the State of Utah. The Ute Tribe F&WD has and will continue to coordinate monitoring and conservation projects in conjunction with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) to manage these vulnerable fish species.

The Ute Tribe Fish and Wildlife Department, participates with the UDWR in Monitoring and Population Assessments on the Upper Duchesne River and it's associated tributaries. The F&WD will continue involvement in the effort to conserve the "Three Fish Species of Utah".



Colorado River Cutthroat Trout Project

The UIT F&WD has developed a Colorado River Cutthroat Trout (CRCT) conservation project for the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. CRCT are endemic to the upper Green River watershed, and are the only cutthroat trout species native to the Uintah and Ouray reservation. The F&WD has identified six candidate sites for CRCT rehabilitation. Preliminary habitat and population assessments have been conducted at each location to identify feasible locations for implementing the project. Two sites have been selected for active management, and in field year 2006 prescriptions and habitat enhancement will begin.



In support of this project the F&WD is developing a hatchery project with the Utah Reclamation, Mitigation, and Conservation Commission (URMCC). A percentage of the hatchery production will be dedicated to raising tribal Colorado River Cutthroat Trout for tribal fisheries.


Education and Outreach

The Ute Tribe F&WD has obtained an endangered species permit to exhibit the endangered fish, Colorado Pikeminnow and Razorback Sucker. These fish will be housed at the tribal F&WD offices, and used in conjunction with an interpretive program that will be developed for the tribal high school. Uintah River High School biology students will help in raising these fish to stocking size; at which point, students will help to release the fish into their native habitat. This activity will be accompanied by learning workshops which will educate the students on the importance of the endangered fish, biological diversity, and ecosystem management.

In addition, similar interpretive programs will also be developed for the students on Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, and the tribal hatchery that is in development to support the CRCT project. This educational outreach will be a continually developing program for native fish species that will be supported by the evolution of all the conservation projects of the Ute Tribe, Fish and Wildlife Department.



Bottle Hollow Recreation Area


Bottle Hollow Recreation Area is currently undergoing project design for recreation upgrade in the future.  Conceptual plans for Bottle Hollow include Designated Over Night Camping, Restrooms, Picnic Tables, Swimming Platforms, Walking Trails and RV parking areas. 



In 2006 the Ute Indian Tribe established a Parks and Outdoor Facilities Department within the F&WD. The Mission for the Parks and Outdoor Facilities Department is to Develop and Enhance the outdoor recreation sites and their facilities, reservation wide.


Bottle Hollow Recreation Area is in the process of enhancements which include picnic shelters with tables and swim platforms. Two new permanent vaulted restrooms were installed with more to be added.


Future goals for Bottle Hollow Reservoir include a walking/jogging park, family/group barbeque shelter and a new RV Park. The RV Park will be done in phase’s which will give time to train and educate tribal members for future job opportunities.


Other goals and projects will be carried out reservation wide to areas including, Big Springs, Midview Reservoir, Rock Creek and Twin Potts Reservoir, as well as other tribal recreation sites.

This department has ambitious goals that will be accomplished with positive input from tribal members, for the betterment of the Ute Indian Tribe.

Bottle Hollow Recreation Area

 Bottle Hollow Recreation Area


Newly installed restrooms

Newly installed restrooms at Bottle Hollow

Swimming Platforms at Bottle Hollow













Largemouth Bass

It has come to our attention that some of the Largemouth Bass in Bottle Hollow are currently being parasitized with roundworm and/or tapeworm. Both of these are common parasites for fish, particularly during summer months. Fish with parasites are safe to eat and do not present a health concern as long as the meat is cooked thoroughly. If you would like additional information, please click the following link for detailed information about cooking and consuming fish with parasites:


Update: We have had several questions regarding the safety of Bottle Hollow for recreation. As these parasites are fish specific, it is completely safe to swim and recreate in Bottle Hollow.

Should you have additional questions, please contact Fish and Wildlife. 


Native Fish Management

In 2004, the Ute Tribe Fish and Wildlife Department (F&WD) began development of a comprehensive plan to manage fish species that are native to the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. This Plan was developed as a cooperative project between the Ute Tribe F&WD and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (US FWS). In recent history, native fish species and their habitat have been threatened by water development and storage projects, and historic sport fish stocking procedures. As a result, specific management has become necessary for these declining fish species.

The Ute Tribe, Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation is located in northeastern Utah and is a part of the Green River sub-basin of the upper Colorado River Drainage Basin. Fish populations on the reservation include several species that have been identified as needing special management because of threats to their populations and the deterioration of their habitat. Some of these species have been federally recognized as endangered and threatened, and in the State of Utah, as species of special concern.

The Ute Tribe's Native Fish Management Project consists of a few related objectives. The primary goal is to develop and implement a management plan for the fish species that are native to the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation. Second, the Ute Tribe F&WD will develop and implement annual management prescriptions to maintain and/or restore damaged native fish habitat. And finally, the Ute Tribe F&WD, U.S. F&WS, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) will monitor the recovery progress of the federally-listed endangered and threatened fish species that occupy the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation.

Recreational Management

The F&WD manages and maintains 8 major reservoirs and 6 south slope (Uintah Mountain Range) streams for recreation and angling opportunities. The F&WD maintains an active stocking program and species such as Rainbow trout, Brown trout, Brook trout, Smallmouth bass, Walleye and Lake trout (seasonal) occupy reservation waters. In addition, the Uintah and Ouray Reservation possess some of the states most secluded, beautiful and productive Fly Fishing locations including Rock Creek and Upper Uinta River. Applications for season and day permits, and current proclamations are available here.


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