Restoring native Yellowstone cutthroat trout to streams can rile up anglers, even though the native species has disappeared from 70% of its historic habitat in northwestern Wyoming and was considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Wyoming Game and Fish Department found out some anglers were upset when they proposed Yellowstone cutthroat trout restoration projects in the Cody region. Some people didn’t want to see brook trout streams they had long fished go away. So the agency had to rethink its process. Instead of biologists devising projects and then going to the public, the public was involved on the front end to help identify the best places. The workaround resulted in WGFD refocusing on projects the public found acceptable. Crandall Creek, near the border of Yellowstone National Park, is one of the biggest, with more than 64 miles of stream eligible as cutthroat habitat. Another project is in the Bighorn Mountains on East Tensleep Creek.
To learn more about the projects, and Yellowstone cutthroat trout, check out my story at https://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-fisheries-biologists-adapt-to-elude-controversy-on-cutthroat-trout-restoration/article_cf67e06e-dfbe-11ed-a908-bf1372cdc710.html.
Written by Brett French | | Outdoors editor | Billings Gazette Communications