The western United States is home to cutthroat trout. There are a limited number of subspecies (9-12, depending on who’s counting and how they’re counting–but this isn’t about debating that right now). Each subspecies has a fairly limited range. (See historic range map of native trout, including cutthroat).
One of those subspecies, the Paiute cutthroat, a federally threatened species, has the smallest range of any subspecies, approximately 10 miles of river! (see the map at the bottom of this post) The largest Paiute cutthroat only gets to about 10″ in length and is found in a fairly remote area. So this issue isn’t really about fishing, it’s about native fish. And about what’s doing right for them. Through human interference, non-native trout species have infiltrated the Paiute’s historic range. Now it’s time to undo those effects.
This is not the first time that a recovery project has been attempted here. And, although I don’t always agree with his style (the name calling can be a bit overbearing—but the content spot on), Ted Williams has a couple of good pieces concerning some of those earlier attempts: State of Our Trout Part I [PDF file] and Hindering Sport Fishing.
The current “Paiute Cutthroat Trout Restoration Project Environmental Impact Statement/Report by the USFWS and CDFG” [PDF file] is available. Section 5.10, Silver King Comparison of Alternatives, presents 3 possible actions: 1) No Action 2) Proposed Action (Rotenone Treatment) and 3) Combined Physical Removal (electro-fishing).
The Cutthroat Stalker officially endorses Alternative 2. And I’m asking you to get personally involved. Maybe this isn’t your cup of tea. Maybe it’s just a little out of your comfort zone. Maybe you just don’t care. Think if your favorite river contained the last 10 miles of your favorite fish—what would you do? Can you extend that same desire to the Paiute cutthroat?
It only takes a minute to send a quick email during this “Public Comment” phase. Here is a sample email to send:
Subject: In favor of Alternative 2
Body: To whom it may concern. I am writing concerning the Paiute Cutthroat Trout Restoration Project. I’m in favor of implementing Alternative 2, Proposed Action (Rotenone Treatment), to help restore the Paiute cutthroat to it’s native range.
It is important when calling or emailing to voice your concern, that you specifically mention Alternative 2 as your choice. Don’t just say that you are “for it,” be specific! I believe it is important to include this in the “Subject” as well.
Please mail/email/call/fax so that your voice is heard before May 4, 2009.
And spread the word to everybody you think could/should help!
For additional information:
California Fish and Game information about Paiute Cutthroat Trout.
Nevada Fish and Wildlife information about Paiute Cutthroat Trout.
Written public comments will be accepted though May 4, 2009.
Comments should be submitted to:
California Department of Fish and Game
1701 Nimbus Road
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
Robert D. Williams, Nevada State Supervisor
1340 Financial Boulevard
Suite 234Reno, Nevada 89502
fax number (775) 861-6301
Comments can also be emailed to: SilverKingPublicComment@dfg.ca.gov
Additional questions or information, contact:
Stafford Lehr, DFG Senior Environmental Scientist, (916) 358-2900
Bob Williams, USFWS Nevada State Supervisor, (775) 861-6300
Christie Kalkowski, USFS Public Affairs Officer, (775) 355-5311
Dana Michaels, DFG Information Officer, (916) 322-2420