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Draft EA of Expansion of Native Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Dry Fork of Belt Creek

Restoration & Rehabilitation

03/24/2014

A. Type of Proposed Action: Removal of non-native fishes with rotenone and expansion of existing populations of westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) downstream into Dry Fork Belt Creek. • To mitigate for the short term loss of fishing opportunity in mainstem Dry Fork, MFWP plans to stock sterile hatchery WCT near popular fishing areas in Dry Fork Creek if the Preferred Alternative of non-native fish removals is selected. • Also, the upper reaches of Dry Fork Belt Creek support both brook trout and WCT. An effort will be made to rescue WCT should the preferred alternative be selected. Native WCT would be collected by electrofishing and moved upstream of the treatment area. This EA is focused entirely on potential non-native fish removal efforts in the Dry Fork Belt Creek Drainage. A concurrent/separate action to construct a fish barrier on Dry Fork Belt Creek is underway. This action is being reviewed under CERCLA as a part of Superfund activities occurring in the basin. Should the preferred alternative of non-native fish removals not be selected, construction of a fish barrier will provide a much reduced but important benefit to native westslope cutthroat trout populations.

Contact Information

Dave Moser Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks c/o Dry Fork Belt Creek EA Comments 4600 Giant Springs Road Great Falls MT 59405 454-5840 dmoser@mt.gov Comment Period ends 5/1/2014