Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks seeks public comments on a draft environmental assessment for a proposal to conduct a fish community inventory of the upper Shields River
watershed and determine the current distribution of Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
The proposal is to sample streams in the project area using electrofishing. All captured Yellowstone cutthroat trout will be measured, weighed, and returned to the stream. Tissue samples comprised of small fin clips may be taken from a subset of captured Yellowstone cutthroat trout to verify genetic status. Other native fish will be identified and their abundance recorded.
The proposal also includes the removal of non-native brook trout that are encountered during the inventory with the objective of suppressing the brook trout to reduce competition with Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the short-term.
The results of the fish community inventory will guide development of a more detailed conservation plan to promote the long-term persistence of the upper Shields River watershed’s Yellowstone cutthroat trout population.
A public meeting will be held on July 11, 2009, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Wilsall Fire Department.
Comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on July 24, 2009, and can be mailed or emailed to:
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
1354 Highway 10 West
Livingston, MT 59047