Cutthroat trout to get new home in summer

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— The protected strain of Colorado River Cutthroat trout will be getting a new home this summer.

The Colorado Division of Wildlife will remove other species of trout in a 1.8-mile section of Willow Creek and replace them with a pure strain of Cutthroat trout.

The Cutthroat trout is nearly endangered because of the out-competing nature of other trout such as Brook trout, the DOW reported.

The Brook trout, an introduced species, spawn in the spring, giving the species more time to develop in size, and can feed on the smaller, fall hatching Cutthroat.

Currently there is a pure, core conservation population of trout located in northern sections of the creek, but as the river winds toward Moffat County Road 38, the DOW found a mixed population of Brook trout and Yellow trout hybridizing with the cutthroat, DOW representative Boyd Wright said.

“We have a conservation strategy for Colorado River cutthroat trout with an agreement between multiple state and federal agencies with the goal to not only protect those populations, but also to expand them where there are opportunities,” Wright said.

The DOW will start the project in August when the water is at its lowest flow. A barrier will be installed first to prevent other trout from entering the area.

The project is estimated to cost $15,000.

Willow Creek, a catch and release, fly and lure only stream, will see no change in fishing regulations as result of the project.

Comments

rhammel 4 years, 10 months ago

This article is very inaccurate. Cutthroat trout (CRN) spawn in the Spring and hatch a couple of months later. Brook trout(BKN) spawn in the Fall and hatch two months later. If the reporter got this information from DOW, I suspect the project is doomed.. And what the heck is a yellow trout? A German Brown??

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rhammel 4 years, 10 months ago

I forgot to mention that without a fish migration barrier downstream of the project, the brookies will get back into the CRN and outcompete them once again. It is very criticle that this is completed before reintroduction.

I was involved with the Forest Service and GOCO a survey to place a fish barrier in Willow Creek. There was no real good site until 1/2 mile upstream of the Forest Service boundary. It would have been a situation where explosives would be needed to form a barrier that would insure that Brookies would not be able to migrate upstream. The project was scrapped due to the expense. As I said in my previous post, the project, I fear, is doomed.

Rick Hammel, former member of Sage Country Chapter, Trout Unlimited

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fishguy 4 years, 10 months ago

There are a few other inaccuracies in the article, which I'm sure are not the fault of the reporter or the DOW. They are probably the result of conveying compex biological information through a brief inteview. Also, I believe the author meant Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

The fish migration barrier would be constructed at the CR 38 crossing, utilizing the current drop of the culvert and removing the pool below that drop. This has recently been done successfully in several other locations, and is a relatively inexpensive alternative to other more traditional fish migration barrier structures.... no dynamite... no remote access issues... minimal disturbance.

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als362 4 years, 10 months ago

I think the Yampa River as a whole would be much better of if the "fish killers" from the DOW and the US Fish and Wildlife Service would go away.
If the same budget was put into making the fishing better as is put into taking the fish out, the fishing would improve greatly. In the early 1980's I went to one of the original meetings about this stupid squaw fish. At that time I was told that it was to be a 10 year program. Now it is a 30 year program and has had many billions of dollars wasted on it. The federal government can't figure out how to get people back to work, but they can waste money on junk like this so certain people can stick thier hands in the till and fill thier pockets.

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