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Pilot-Level Bioassays and Fish Distribution Testing for Proposed North Fork Blackfoot River Native Fish Restoration Project, Decision Notice

Decision Notices

Mon Aug 13 16:52:50 MDT 2018

FWP has issued the Decision Notice for its proposal, in collaboration with the U.S. Forest Service, to conduct pilot investigations in the North Fork Blackfoot River (NFBR) watershed within the Scapegoat Wilderness. As detailed in the draft Environmental Assessment (draft EA), the objectives of these pilot investigations are to determine the upstream extent of hybridized Rainbow Trout, evaluate the persistence of rotenone in the basin’s streams to allow determination of drip-station spacing, and determine the lowest effective dose of rotenone required to achieve a fish kill, while minimizing effects on nontarget organisms. This pilot study would provide information to guide planning for a proposed fish removal project in the NFBR watershed upstream of the North Fork Falls, a barrier waterfall. Currently, the existing fishery, which is comprised of hybrids of Rainbow Trout, Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, and Westslope Cutthroat Trout, with Rainbow Trout providing the dominant genetic contribution, poses a threat to nonhybridized Westslope Cutthroat Trout in the watershed downstream of the project area. (Proposed plans for full treatment of the watershed above the falls and establishment of the fish assemblage native to the Blackfoot River watershed would be addressed in a separate draft EA.)

Contact Information

Sharon Rose | FWP Region 2 | 3201 Spurgin Rd. | Missoula, MT 59804 | 406-542-5540 | shrose@mt.gov