Yellowstone is taking another step forward in efforts to restore native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in park waters.
Elk Creek and its tributaries including Lost and Yancey creeks are located near Tower Junction in the Yellowstone River drainage.
Decades ago, the streams were stocked with non-native brook trout. Their presence has contributed to a decline in native cutthroat trout in these creeks. Brook trout compete with cutthroat trout and often completely displace them and other native fish species.
Next week, biologists will introduce a fish toxin into the streams to remove the non-native brook trout as part of Yellowstone’s Native Fish Conservation Plan and Environmental Assessment, which was approved in May 2011. The project will not impact the nearby Yellowstone River.
While the chemical rotenone will be introduced in small quantities, visitors are advised not to swim in or drink from the streams through September 30. Warning signs will be posted at all treated areas.
After all brook trout have been removed, the park will reintroduce genetically pure native Yellowstone cutthroat trout to the streams.
More information on the park’s Native Fish Conservation Plan can be found online at Yellostone - Park Planning.
(via: Yellowstone National Park)