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FWP and USFS to begin native trout restoration in North Fork Spanish Creek

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A spawning westslope cutthroat trout. PHOTO COURTESY OF MONTANA FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS

MONTANA FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Custer Gallatin National Forest are initiating a project to restore native westslope cutthroat trout to 17 miles of upper North Fork Spanish Creek.

Crews will begin by removing non-native fish species in Big Brother and Chiquita lakes north of Big Sky. The lakes will be treated with rotenone on Monday, July 29. Rotenone is a natural chemical used to remove fish. The two lakes will be closed to the public during the treatment. This closure is expected to last about 24 hours.

As stream flows subside, FWP will treat North Fork Spanish Creek and tributaries upstream of the fish barrier recently constructed on the lower end of the creek. Fish removals are expected to take at least two years to complete prior to re-establishing native fish.

An environmental assessment, which included collaborative planning with the U.S. Forest Service as well as opportunity for public comment, was completed for this project in 2017.

For more information, please call FWP’s Region 3 headquarters at (406) 994-4042.

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