Wildlife expert determined to save rare cutthroat trout | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Wildlife expert determined to save rare cutthroat trout

Jo Rafferty

MARKLEEVILLE – A U.S. Fish and Wildlife representative said he won’t give up on his efforts to save what experts call “the rarest trout in America,” through poisoning of a stream in Alpine County.

Robert Williams, Nevada Fish and Wildlife field supervisor, approached Alpine County supervisors last week to ask if they would consider a revised recovery plan to rid Silver King Creek of rainbow trout in order to reintroduce the native Paiute cutthroat trout.

Alpine District 1 Supervisor Donald Jardine said he would like a study conducted on unknown impacts to “micro- and macro-invertebrates,” and said he fears the two or three applications of rotenone in the 11-mile stretch below Llewellyn Falls would keep the fishing area closed for a long period of time.

“It is counter-productive to kill sport-fishing waters,” he said.

District 2 Supervisor Herman Zellmer said untruths had been told to them in the past by Fish and Wildlife.

“We have been left on the back burner and Alpine County doesn’t like to be there,” he said.

“Recognizing we haven’t approached it properly in the past, we now want to do it right and move forward,” said Williams.

Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board had declined to vote on a permit for the project on Sept. 8 because of “a number of concerns,” including the timing of the project, said Senior Water Resource Control Engineer Alan Miller.

“Other parties had no time to appeal,” he said.

The State Water Resources Control Board in Sacramento has currently received two petitions appealing the regional board’s decision to not renew the project’s permit – one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and one from a fishing group, Trouts Unlimited, according to Miller.

“We haven’t seen any action taken by the state water control board yet,” he said.

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