Fisheries Biologist and Stream Restoration Expert Profiled in “The River Restored”

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"The River Restored" profiles CFI Global's innovative approach to fisheries stewardship and enhancement.

creek restoration, fishery enhancement, stream mitigation, land management, fisheries research

CFI Global specializes in the development and management of premier fisheries, land stewardship, and providing innovative environmental solutions for fishery enhancement.

One of the things I like about CFI is that their end product looks like Mother Nature could have done it. -- Brian Smith, Hall and Hall.

CFI Global Fisheries Enhancement CEO Shannon Skelton is thrilled to unveil a nine minute short film documenting his company, a worldwide leader in the development and management of premier fly fishing waters. The film, entitled “The River Restored”, profiles the 38-year-old Skelton and CFI Global's unique approach to providing innovative environmental solutions for stream restoration and fishery enhancement. To view “The River Restored,” or for more information on creek restoration, fishery enhancement, stream mitigation, land management, or fisheries research, visit

Skelton and his wife founded CFI Global in 1997 with $1,500 and a used computer. Today, their team of biologists has rehabilitated more than 200 miles of stream and 4,000 acres of fish habitats for landowners across the Rocky Mountains as well as Dubai, Patagonia, Ecuador and Hawaii. CFI Global has earned a reputation as one of the most esteemed fishery fixers in the country and is currently engaged in an array of stream restoration projects nationwide, including four in Colorado.

"CFI tends to utilize more natural techniques to improve fish habitat," said Nathan Green, a regulatory project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers who has worked with Skelton on several fish-habitat improvement projects. “Mr. Skelton has a clear passion for fish-habitat improvement and has changed the minds of particular landowners who would have likely implemented harder, rock-based habitat improvements.”

CFI Global begins each project by identifying problem areas in streams or ponds, such as livestock-trampled banks or the accumulation of nonnative vegetation. Skelton and his team spends months poring over computer models before molding water sources into optimal homes for native species.

“We typically study the biological and hydrological characteristics of a body of water for a year before we turn a stone,” said Skelton. “The level of detail that our company goes through, the data collection, and the engineering is designed to build something that’s going to survive long after we’re gone.”

Brian Smith, a partner with Hall and Hall, the largest full-service ranch real estate brokerage in The United States, is also featured in “The River Restored.” CFI Global rehabilitated a two-mile section of the Elk River on land owned by a member of Smith’s family and has also completed projects for several Hall and Hall clients.

“Shannon and his team took this property from an average stretch of river to one that fishes extremely well,” Smith said. “One of the things I like about CFI is that their end product looks like Mother Nature could have done it.”

Ryan Wood, co-founder of Under Armour and owner of the 500 - acre Sweetwood Cattle Company, retained CFI Global’s services to perform habitat enhancement work on his ranch near Steamboat Springs, CO and gives Skelton and his team the ultimate endorsement.

“From my perspective it was a complete success, more so than a lot of these companies that come in and move some rocks around and stock some fish” said Wood. “I think Shannon’s company provides a much more holistic approach to the entire project.”

For more information on creek restoration, fishery enhancement, stream mitigation, and fisheries research, contact CFI Global at 970.207.9110. To watch “The River Restored,” visit

About CFI Global:

Based in Fort Collins, Colorado, CFI is on the forefront of fisheries enhancement and fishery consulting. Through biological and technological advancements, CFI has carved a niche to create, enhance, and restore first-class fisheries in the United States and the world. With an industry exclusive macro invertebrate rearing program and game fish producing hatchery facilities, CFI is adept in establishing diverse, world-class fisheries in ponds, lakes and streams. Through innovative management techniques and design, CFI is a full-scale fisheries management firm able to create a fishing paradise in both still water and live water environments.

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Adam York
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