Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

March 29, 2012

Contacts:
Otto Jose, 303-236-8156
David McGillivary, 303-236-4411
Leith Edgar 303.236.4588; leith_edgar@fws.gov

 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Seeks Public Comments on Native Fish Restoration and Enhancement Projects in Northern Utah

Bonneville Cutthroat Trout Credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Drawing Credit: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment (Draft EA) regarding the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) proposed “Native Fish Restoration and Enhancement Projects in Northern Utah.” Public comments will be accepted for a 30-day period, which ends April 27, 2012.

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources is proposing to implement rotenone treatments in eight streams in northern Utah from 2012 to 2018.  Rotenone is a naturally occurring substance derived from the roots of tropical plants in the bean family, which is commonly used in fisheries management. The proposed action will be implemented in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Salt Lake Field Office (SLFO), and in coordination with both the Sawtooth National Forest (NF) and the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache NF.  National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance is necessary because partial funding will be provided pursuant to the Sport Fish Restoration Act administered through the Service. 

The purpose of the action is to remove non-native fish and then re-establish populations of native fish, including Bonneville cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii utah) and Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri). Streams affected include: 24 miles of Big Creek, seven miles of Little Creek, and 18 miles of Otter Creek all in Rich County; 11 miles of George Creek and 24 miles of Johnson Creek in Box Elder County; five miles of Lost Creek (above Lost Creek Reservoir) in Morgan County; 21 miles of the Middle Fork of Ogden River in Weber County; and six miles of Right Hand Fork of Logan River in Cache County.

The Proposed Action would expand the number of native fish populations and the extent of occupied stream miles within native fish historic ranges, thus implementing specific conservation actions listed in conservation agreements and strategies for native trout in Utah as well as recommendations from the Service to reduce threats to native fish and to provide for the long-term conservation of these species. 

Implementation of this project would offset threats to Bonneville cutthroat trout, a species petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), as amended, and recognized by state and federal agencies as a species in need of special protection.  The Draft EA documents an analysis of the effects of the “No Action” Alternative, the Proposed Action, and the Mechanical Removal with Electrofishing Alternative.

Copies of the Draft EA, which include details of the proposed action and the alternatives considered, are available online by clicking on the title of the document at http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/federalassistance/nepa.  Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Services’ Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program at 303-236-8156.  Comments will be accepted until April 27, 2012 and should be sent to:
Chief, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
P.O. Box 25486,
Denver, CO, 80225.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/. Connect with our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/USFWSMountainPrairie, follow our tweets at http://twitter.com/USFWSMtnPrairie, watch our YouTube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/usfws and download photos from our Flickr page at http://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmtnprairie/

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