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Construction of a Fish Barrier and Removal of Non-Native Fishes with Electrofishing or Rotenone in Elkhorn Creek (Beartooth Wildlife Management Area) Final EA and Decision Notice
Decision Notices - 12/21/2011

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks proposes construction of a fish barrier on Elkhorn Creek (EC; Beartooth Wildlife Management Area) and removal of non-native fishes upstream of the barrier with electrofishing techniques or piscicides. Genetic samples collected in 2009 from the headwaters of Elkhorn Creek revealed that westslope cutthroat trout (WCT) are less than 1% hybridized in the uppermost ½ to 1 mile of stream. These very slightly hybridized WCT would not be removed and would serve as the source of colonists for downstream reaches of Elkhorn Creek where fish removals would occur. If hybridization has increased to unacceptable levels since the last genetic testing in 2008 (> 1%); then complete eradication of hybrid trout and brook trout would be considered. A total of approximately 9 miles of stream would be affected by this project. In the event complete eradication is necessary, non-hybridized WCT (live fish or eyed-eggs) would be transferred from a separate drainage. Two comments on the project were received. Based on the Environmental Assessment, public comment, and the current high risk of extinction of genetically pure WCT in the Missouri River Drainage, the decision to proceed with Alternative 2, the proposed action was selected

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