Protect our Water Resources and Become a Trout Friendly Lawn Ally


Our behaviors impact the ecosystem around us—and landscaping is no different. Thankfully, there are many local businesses in our county that seek to protect our waterways from detrimental lawn practices such as fertilization and overwatering. “Excess nutrients can lead to increased algae and aquatic plant growth, which can harm aquatic habitats and disrupt the ecosystem.” Collectively, individuals, businesses, organizations, and government departments in Teton County are committed to trout friendly lawn practices.

A commitment to trout friendly practices is especially important as our county sees elevated numbers of visitors in addition to more development. Generally speaking, the more people—the more pollution. Let's work together for clean water!

#1 - Limit Fertilizer

Excess fertilizer can negatively impact native trout, insects, plants, and other wildlife. Common fertilizers on the market use high but short-lived nitrogen. This nitrogen can seep into your groundwater or be flushed down a waterway near your land. To avoid this, use our helpful tips:

  • Only use fertilizer if it is absolutely necessary
  • Use slow-release or organic fertilizer 
  • Don’t fertilize within twenty feet of water

#2 - Be Water Wise

Overwatering is not only a waste financially, it is also a poor environmental practice—especially in the west where drought and water shortages are common. Plus, overwatering increases the likelihood of pollution from contaminated water runoff. Be more water wise this year:

  • Water your lawn at dawn or dusk
  • Turn off your irrigation system if it rains
  • Mow your lawn high

Watering the correct amount will reduce pollution risks, establish healthier plant root systems, and reduce your risk of creating mosquito habitat (yay!).

#3  - Plant Natives and Maintain Streamside Buffers

A streamside buffer five feet away from a waterbody will naturally protect water resources near you. 

  • Allow your native grasses to naturally grow tall within five feet of a waterbody—do not mow them 
  • Plant willows or other native species that thrive in riparian areas

Healthy vegetation near a creek or a pond will keep water temperatures cool, reduce pollution, and provide habitat for birds, insects, and mammals.

#4 - Use Herbicides and Pesticides Appropriately

Excessive application of pesticides can damage native wildlife and decrease water quality in our county. If a pesticide is necessary, it should be appropriately applied to treat state and county-listed noxious weeds. Check out our Weed ID page for our priority 1-4 weeds. Before you spray any vegetation, make sure that you have accurately identified the weed and are using the correct pesticide to treat it.

  • Only treat state and county-designated noxious or invasive weeds
  • Follow the label on the pesticide
  • Spot spray instead of cover-spraying an area
  • Use organic pesticides when possible

Contact us to create an invasive species management plan before you use a pesticide.

You Can Officially Certify Your Lawn as Trout Friendly

The Jackson Hole Clean Water Coalition offers “Basic Level” and “Gold Level” certifications. 

So far, over 100 businesses, individuals, and public parks committed to trout friendly practices in our community. 

We Can Be a Part of the Solution

We all need clean water—and the Snake River fine spotted cutthroat trout deserves to live in healthy streams. It’s not just aquatic wildlife that needs clean water. Your children, coworkers, neighbors and pets will benefit from safe water. 

When you commit to trout friendly lawn practices, you join a coalition of people who collectively improve our water resources in Jackson. Be a part of the solution!