The enclosed Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared for the proposed Reintroduction of Native Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Ruby Creek by removal of Nonnative Rainbow Trout with Electrofishing and Rotenone. This project proposes to establish a genetically pure westslope cutthroat trout (WCT) population in approximately 9 miles of Ruby Creek, a tributary to the Madison River south of Ennis. The expected donor populations for the proposed project are the only two remaining aboriginal genetically pure WCT populations in the entire Madison Drainage, together occupying about 6 stream miles.
The project would begin in August or September 2012. Prior to applying rotenone, electrofishing will be conducted throughout a significant portion of the Ruby Creek project area to physically capture and transfer rainbow trout to the Madison River. Only after this effort is completed would rotenone treatments to remove the remaining rainbow trout begin. A second rotenone treatment may be necessary in 2013 if all rainbow trout are not captured or removed in 2012.
Upon successful completion of rainbow trout transfer or removal, eggs from the donor populations would be collected, fertilized on-site, reared in the private Sun Ranch Hatchery south of Ennis, and stocked in Ruby Creek either as eyed eggs or fry. Introductions will be conducted for at least two years, possibly more, pending the results of monitoring.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites you to comment on the attached proposal. The public comment period will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. June16, 2012. Comments should be sent to the following:
(Species Removal & Relocation - 05/17/2012)
A Decision Notice has been prepared for the Mount Haggin Forest Management Project Environmental Assessment. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) proposes to remove standing dead and green beetle-infested lodgepole pine from select areas on Mount Haggin Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in order to reduce road- and trailside hazard trees. Merchantable dead and dying timber will be removed from certain expanded road- and trailside units in order to cover costs of the project including removal of noncommercial trees, road improvements, and weed control. (Decision Notices - 05/08/2012)
The enclosed Environmental Assessment (EA) has been prepared for the proposed reintroduction of trumpeter swans to the Madison Valley of southwest Montana for a 5-year period (2012-2016). This proposed project has as its primary objective the re-establishment of breeding trumpeters in this portion of their historic range. With the U.S. portion of the Rocky Mountain Population of trumpeters in continual decline, state conservation agencies in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho are increasing efforts to restore these birds to a sustainable level. This proposed restoration would allow FWP to implement the Pacific Flyway Council’s Rocky Mountain Population Trumpeter Swan Implementation Plan (TSIP) that includes a goal to increase the number of breeding pairs of trumpeter swans in suitable habitats. Releases of trumpeters in the middle Madison are expected to result in more trumpeters pioneering wetlands throughout the Madison Valley where suitable nesting areas are available. Ultimately, these releases are expected to result in establishment of a small breeding flock in the Madison Valley.
The proposed initial release site is the O’Dell Creek Headwaters wetlands south of Ennis, Madison County, Montana, between Quake and Ennis Lakes. O’Dell Creek Headwaters is an 8,000-acre area with extensive wetlands, spring creeks, streams, and riparian areas on the east side of the Madison River. The proposed release site is currently under perpetual protection by a FWP conservation easement. The O’Dell Creek Headwaters has undergone habitat suitability evaluations by MT Natural Heritage Program ecologists as well as biologists from the University of Montana Avian Science Center for six years. Results of these surveys show large increases in breeding waterfowl in the O’Dell Creek Headwaters since restoration began. In addition, the growth of aquatic vegetation to support breeding swans has been determined to be adequate to support the proposed releases beginning in 2012.
The first release of trumpeters would occur in September 2012. FWP would obtain trumpeter swans for release from the Wyoming Wetlands Society facility in Jackson, Wyoming. The reintroduction of captive-reared trumpeter swans into suitable nesting areas is a proven management tool in use in other parts of Montana and neighboring states. Releases would continue until 5 breeding pairs are established in the Madison or until monitoring of the program indicates that the project should be discontinued.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks invites you to comment on the attached proposal. The public comment period will be accepted until 5:00 p.m., May 21, 2012. Comments should be sent to the following:
(Development, Improvements, and Enhancements - 05/07/2012)