Cody – A group of citizen volunteers endorsed a controversial plan to replace non-native fish with Cutthroat Trout near Yellowstone. The group met in Cody Wednesday night and voted to bring the Cutthroat back to Eagle Creek, two years after some area outfitters protested the idea.
The outfitters were concerned that Brook Trout would have to be killed before the Cutthroat could be stocked there.
Eagle Creek in the Shoshone National Forest about five miles from Yellowstone’s East Entrance is the only creek on the North Fork that has a natural barrier, a water fall, which would stop non-native trout from coming up and breeding with the cutthroat.
Wyoming’s Game and Fish biologists have been meeting with people in Cody, Lovell, and Worland since January to find the right places to reintroduce Cutthroat in northwest Wyoming. Dave Sweet has been attending the meetings.
He says there is a real threat that the Cutthroat Trout could be put on the Endangered Species List if nothing is done to bring the fish back to its native range…
Sweet said, “I think Eagle Creek deserved its very high rating. It’s a very well thought out project. It meets all the criteria for Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout conservation. It makes sense that it would be rated very highly.”
A spokeswoman said the Game and Fish Department will consider the groups’ recommendations for other creeks on the North Fork, the South Fork, and Clark near Cody. She said they’ll produce a report in a couple of weeks.