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The Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

Lynn Kaeding 406-582-0717
Diane Katzenberger 303-236-7917 ext 408

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Extends Public Comment Period for
Westslope Cutthroat Trout

In response to requests received from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the Idaho Fish and Game Department, and the U.S. Forest Service (Regions 1 and 4), the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the deadline for public comments pertaining to the status of westslope cutthroat trout. The extension until October 9 will allow the public additional time to provide comments and the requesting agencies time to compile and provide the best available information on westslope cutthroat trout.

In preparation of the 12-month status review, the Service is seeking information on the present status of westslope cutthroat trout and measures now underway to protect its remaining populations. On June 10, 1998, the Fish and Wildlife Service published a Federal Register notice announcing a 90-day finding that an amended petition to list the westslope cutthroat trout as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act provided substantial information to indicate that such a listing may be warranted.

Written comments and materials regarding the status of westslope cutthroat trout should be postmarked by October 9, 1998 and sent to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Branch of Native Fishes Management, 4052 Bridger Canyon Road, Bozeman, Montana 59715. All data received will be reviewed by the Service. Extension of the comment period will not postpone or hinder preparation of the 12-month status-review finding due in January 1999..

The westslope cutthroat trout exhibits bright yellow, orange, and red colors and is generally distinguishable from other inland subspecies of cutthroat trout by a pattern of black spots on the body. It is found in streams and lakes in the upper Columbia River basin of western Montana, northern and central Idaho, and southern British Columbia. It also occurs in the upper Missouri River basin of Montana and northwest Wyoming, the upper South Saskatchewan River basin of Montana and Alberta, the Methow, Entiat, and the Wenatchee River drainages in Washington, and the John Day River in Oregon.


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