OGDEN -- Wildlife officials are thinking about naming a newly rehabilitated stretch of the Ogden River as one of the best places in the state to catch fish.
On Sept. 20, the state's Blue Ribbon Fisheries Advisory Council will decide whether to designate a 1.1 mile stretch of the Ogden River a Blue Ribbon Fishery.
The stretch of river, which runs through the heart of downtown Ogden, from Washington Boulevard to the Union Pacific railroad tracks, was fully restored in late May.
The $6 million project included the removal of more than 13 tons of trash, the creation of interior flood plains, stabilization of the river's banks, improved water flow and the creation of 25 new pedestrian access points.
Several types of vegetation were planted to buffer pollution sources, reduce channel temperatures and provide aquatic food sources.
Mayor Mike Caldwell said a Blue Ribbon designation would be a nice feather in Ogden's cap and would fit in with the city's broader goal of turning the city into an outdoor recreation haven.
"We as a city have done an awful lot of work to bring that river back to where it should be," Caldwell said. "So to have an outside organization say 'job well done' would be great."
A Blue Ribbon Fishery is a designation made by government and other authorities to identify recreational fisheries of extremely high quality.
The BRFAC works closely with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to make the determination.
Amy Canning, communications specialist for the UDWR, said Blue Ribbon status is based on a set of criteria which typically addresses the following: water quality and quantity, water accessibility, natural reproduction capacity, fish population and setting.
In the state of Utah, there are fewer than 50 stretches of Blue Ribbon Fisheries, with three of those in the Top of Utah: Pineview Reservoir, the South Fork of the Ogden River between Causey and Pineview Reservoirs, and the Weber River near the Stoddard Diversion Dam.
Caldwell said the city works regularly with the UDWR, which provided extensive help with the river restoration, to stock the river with trout. The river currently has an estimated 6,000 trout per mile.
"We've got a trout about every foot," Caldwell said.
The river restoration project began in January 2010.