A type of Cutthroat Trout is not native to Western Montana and Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks want to remove the species from a creek in the south end of the Bitterroot Valley.

Overwhich Creek, above Overwhich Falls, has populations of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout. FWP would like to see only Westslope Cutthroat Trout there and would apply poison to get rid of the Yellowstone and other "hybridized" cutthroat fish populations, according to Vivaca Crowser of Montana FWP.

A fish poison called rotenone would be used in the creek and its tributaries above Overwhich Falls, about 15 miles upstream from where the creek enters the West Fork of the Bitterroot River.

Fisheries Biologist Chris Clancy said that at least 200 miles of the streams above Painted Rocks Reservoir are pure Westslope Cutthroat areas.

The Yellowstone Cutthroats in Overwhich Creek might have happened accidentally when a mountain lake was restocked.

The affected area for removal would be about 10 miles in size.

FWP wants public comments on the plan, which will be discussed in a public hearing Mary 23 in Hamilton. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Bitterroot National Forest hadquarters on the north end of Hamilton on US 93.

The draft Environmental Assessment has been prepared and is online at fwp.mt.gov

You can send your comments to Montana Wildlife and Parks by:

  • srose@mt.gov
  • at the FWP Region 2 headquarters
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