Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is asking for public feedback on a native fish project currently under consideration on the North Fork of the Blackfoot river. FWP spokesperson Vivaca Crowser explains where the project could occur.

“It is really a specific section of the North Fork above the falls,” Crowser said. “This is a spot that is kind of unique. It is isolated. If we were to introduce native fish, we wouldn’t have natural recolonization of others that would hybridize. It is a great spot for conservation, specifically for west slope cutthroat and bull trout.”

The reason the project might be a little controversial is that some of the fish already there, would need to be killed in order for the native species to thrive.

“In order to look at conservation of these species, we have to remove what is there now with a fish poison called rotenone,” Crowser said. “That is kind of the long term look at the project. Right now we are just in phase one, which would be doing some field work this summer that would give us a better idea of the distribution of the fish that are in there right now and the levels of rotenone that we would need to use if we move forward with the project.”

There is a public hearing on the project next Wednesday, June 6th, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Missoula at 6:30 P.M.  If approved, the project could be underway as early as next year.

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