OGDEN -- A 1.1-mile stretch of the Ogden River through downtown is Utah's newest Blue Ribbon Fishery.
The state's Blue Ribbon Fisheries Advisory Council voted on the designation on Thursday, making the river Utah's 46th 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.
A joint effort between the city and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the $6 million project included the removal of thousands of pounds of trash, the creation of interior flood plains, stabilization of the river's banks, improved water flow and the creation of 25 pedestrian access points.
Several types of vegetation were planted to buffer pollution sources, reduce channel temperatures and provide aquatic food sources.
"For many years, it has been our desire to transform this neglected and often-abused reach of the Ogden River into an asset that everyone, including future generations, can be proud of," said Ben Nadolski, regional aquatic habitat restoration biologist for the DWR.
"It's a unique and valuable resource that improves our quality of life."
Mayor Mike Caldwell said a Blue Ribbon designation fits in with the city's broader goal of turning Ogden into an outdoor-recreation haven.
A Blue Ribbon Fishery is a designation made to identify recreational fisheries of extremely high quality.
The BRFAC works closely with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to make the determination.
Blue Ribbon status is based on a set of criteria that typically addresses water quality and quantity, water accessibility, natural reproduction capacity, fish population and setting.
Three other Blue Ribbon fisheries are 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.