FWP Plans Cutthroat Sanctuary in Scapegoat

FWP Plans Cutthroat Sanctuary in Scapegoat

News Type: State Source: Missoulian
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Westslope cutthroat trout may get a new nursery in the southern fringe of the Scapegoat Wilderness.

An online meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday will present the details of how Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists plan to remove a population of hybridized rainbow and cutthroat trout from waters above the North Fork Falls on the North Fork of the Blackfoot River, and replace them with genetically pure westslope cutthroats. The waterfall would protect the new population from hybridizing with other non-native trout species, while giving them access to about 70 miles of streams and lakes suitable to their survival. Those remote waters are expected to remain cool enough to support cutthroats even as lower-elevation drainages become too warm for cold-water trout.

The plan calls for using the fish poison rotenone to kill the existing fish population above the falls, most of which are legacy of past artificial stocking efforts.