The largest conservation project in the country aimed at restoring native westslope cutthroat trout has successfully reached its conclusion in northwest Montana. Governor Steve Bullock presented the Award for Excellence to FWP’s Region One fisheries crew for their dedicated efforts in protecting our state fish.
More than 10 years since planning began, treatment of Sunburst Lake in the Bob Marshall Wilderness wrapped up the final push to remove the threat posed by nonnative trout from 21 alpine lakes in the South Fork Flathead drainage upstream of Hungry Horse Dam.
While controversial at times, the Westslope Cutthroat Trout Conservation Project gained widespread support with annual successes in protecting an important stronghold for pure westslope cutthroat trout in the nation. The dedicated efforts of FWP biologists and crew helped bolster westslope cutthroat trout, keeping them off the Endangered Species Act list and protecting the South Fork Flathead’s world-class fishing opportunities.
Photo caption: FWP fisheries crew recipients of the 2017 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Helena, MT on Monday, September 25th, 2017. Front row: Leo Rosenthal, Mark Schnee, Brian Marotz, Sam Bourret; Back row: Lynda Fried, Jim Deraleau, Governor Steve Bullock, Jon Cavigli, Matt Boyer. Not pictured: Gary Michael, Scott Relyea, Toby Tabor.