By Montana Grant

Posted: July 9, 2020

A great place to still catch native Cutthroat trout is along the upper Yellowstone, near Gardiner. MT. This area still has great populations of beautiful Cutties. To help conserve this wonderful fish, the state and local government is completing a culvert replacement project that will restore native Cutthroat spawning habitat.

Currently some culverts are too small or have eroded potential migration. Culverts at Eagle Creek Rd. will be replaced. These culverts are about 3 miles outside Gardiner. The bad culverts are “perched, or too small. Cutthroats traveling up Eagle and Davis creeks are blocked from traveling further upstream.

This project will expand the trout spawning habitat form 2 miles to almost 5 miles. Small culverts cause the water to speed up and create erosion. Perched culverts have eroded to the pint where fish cannot jump into the pipes. These creeks are two of four potential spawning sites in the Gardiner Basin.

To make sure the pipes work, 200 cutties will be tagged and antennas will be located at the culverts. This work will happen between July 13 for about 10 days.

The Yellowstone River has a mix of Cutthroats, Rainbows, and Brown trout. The Cutties are the only native trout.

Go with the flow!

Montana Grant

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