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Comment Sought on Yellowstone Cutthroat Conservation Project

LIVINGSTON – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking comments on an environmental assessment for a proposed project to conserve native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the upper Shields River watershed.

The proposal includes removing brook trout, which invaded the upper Shields River watershed in recent decades and have become a primary threat to headwater populations of Yellowstone cutthroat trout. The project area is a stronghold for a core conservation population of Yellowstone cutthroat trout at high elevation and the northernmost extent of their range.

FWP is proposing to remove the brook trout within the project area using a plant-derived fish toxicant called rotenone. Rotenone is routinely used in fisheries management and breaks down quickly in the aquatic environment. It offers an effective means of eradicating fish species that are incompatible with the management goals of a fishery without endangering the surrounding habitat.

FWP staff have scheduled a virtual public meeting over Zoom for June 16 at 5:30 p.m. to offer more information and answer questions about the project. Information on joining the Zoom webinar will be posted on this page prior to the meeting.

Comments on the environmental assessment will be accepted until 5 p.m. on June 23. Comments can be submitted by email to fwprg3@mt.gov or by mail to the following address:

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
R-3 Fisheries
Upper Shields River Yellowstone cutthroat trout conservation
1400 S. 19th Ave.
Bozeman, MT 59718

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