Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is proposing to remove non-native trout species in Cooney Creek, a tributary of the upper Swan River in northwest Montana, in an effort to boost native westslope cutthroat and bull trout populations.
FWP manages these species as “species of conservation concern.” Bull trout are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act.
The agency is taking public comments on an environmental assessment of the proposal through August 16.
FWP’s plan is to use backpack electrofishing equipment to capture and remove all brook and rainbow trout in Cooney Creek’s core westslope cutthroat trout habitat. The proposed project is in collaboration with the University of Montana and MPG Ranch, a privately-owned conservation ranch. Funding for the project would be primarily provided by MPG Ranch with labor assistance from FWP.
The public comment period ends Friday, Aug. 16. Comments may be emailed to LRosenthal@mt.gov, or mailed to Leo Rosenthal, Fisheries Biologist, FWP Region 1, 490 N. Meridian Rd., Kalispell, MT, 59901.