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FWP to continue trout restoration in North Fork of Spanish Creek 

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MONTANA FISH, WILDLIFE AND PARKS

BOZEMAN – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is continuing its efforts to restore native westslope cutthroat trout as part of a multi-phased project in the North Fork of Spanish Creek south of Bozeman.  

A follow-up rotenone treatment is scheduled to begin Aug. 15 and could last until Aug. 20. Remaining non-native fish will be removed above a constructed barrier on private land several miles upstream of the Spanish Creek Road. 

Rotenone is a plant-derived fish toxicant that is used routinely in fisheries management and breaks down quickly in the aquatic environment after use. It offers an effective means of removing fish species that are incompatible with the management goals of a fishery without endangering the surrounding habitat.  

A detoxification station will be installed at the barrier to ensure there are no negative effects to gill-breathing organisms downstream. The South Fork of Spanish Creek, accessed from the trailhead at the end of Spanish Creek Road, will not be impacted by the treatment.  

Westslope cutthroat trout are native to Montana but have experienced substantial declines in distribution and abundance throughout their historical range due to habitat degradation and hybridization with rainbow trout. However, the results of this restoration project will more than double the number of stream miles occupied by westslope cutthroat trout in the Gallatin River drainage.

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