Creation of a Westslope Cutthroat Trout Brood in Yellowstone (MT, WY)
Total Funding: $153,000
Yellowstone National Park will develop a wild, self-sustaining, and abundant brood source of westslope cutthroat trout (WCT) in the Goose Lake chain, located in west-central Yellowstone National Park, to support WCT restoration throughout the region and bring public awareness to the species. No such brood currently exists and managers are often forced to turn to hatchery stocks or vulnerable existing populations as sources for reintroduction. The Goose Lake Chain (Goose, Gooseneck, and an unnamed lake) in the Fire Hole River drainage represents an opportunity to develop a brood that not only meets all the criteria given above but also provides the public an opportunity to experience WCT in a way not currently possible in Yellowstone National Park. The proposed project would require the removal of non-native rainbow trout from the lakes followed by the introduction of WCT to ensure a healthy population. Project partners include the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana State University, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Yellowstone Park Foundation.