About this blog

This blog is all about fly fishing for native trout. On it I cover trip reports, fishing tactics, conservation, the latest news about native trout species and much more. This site provides a companion to my web page nativetroutflyfishing.com.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Support Needed for the Restoration of the Paiute Cutthroat

The Paiute cutthroat are a subspecies of cutthroat trout native to only one small watershed in the Sierra Nevada of California and they need your help. These fish were eradicated from their native stream - Silver King Creek, after non-native rainbow and brown trout were stocked there. These fish were only saved from extinction by a chance stocking by a Shepard who carried a coffee can of these trout above Llewellyn Falls, isolating them from the invasive species below. Now the California Fish and Wildlife Department is seeking to restore them to their native waters below Llewellyn Falls in what could be the first project to fully restore a subspecies of cutthroat to their entire native range.

The Paiute cutthroat, often called the rarest trout in North America: Photo Credits (USFS 2005)

The California Fish and Wildlife Department is asking for public support in favor of this project. As seen in the message from the department's threatened trout coordinator; David Lentz below:
I would like to request that Sac-Sierra TU write a letter of support for the Paiute cutthroat restoration project on Silver King Creek. This would entail endorsing the alternative number 2, eradicating non-native trout below Llewellyn Falls using rotenone, from the draft EIS/EIR that is in comment period now.

Here are links to information about the restoration project. First, DFG's website which has the NEPA/CEQA documents(600+pgs, about 9MB). Comment letters can be snail mailed to DFG in Rancho Cordova or emailed, as well. Comment Deadline is May 4.--


Also, a link to Ted Williams, Conservation writer for Fly Rod and Reel Magazine that has a lot of background on the Paiute cutthroat project and other western native trout restoration issues:


Letters from individuals (in addition to a chapter letter) that support restoring the Paiute cutthroat would be greatly appreciated--this may turn out to be "numbers game", supporters v. opponents, in certain of the approval arenas that the project must pass. There are several permitting steps that are vulnerable to opposition. Supporters should favor Alternative 2 in the EIS/EIR and support returning the Paiute to its native home. So, this would be asking a favor of you individually, as well to write.

Letters to: Stafford Lehr, Calif. DFG, 1701 Nimbus Rd., Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

or email letters: SilverKingPublicComment@dfg.ca.gov

let me know if you need more info. Have a great board meeting and keep up the good work!!

thanks, Dave Lentz

David Lentz
Threatened Trout Coordinator

California Department of Fish and Game
Fisheries Branch
830 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
I urge my readers to write in support of this project, so that in the future when people discuss the Paiute cutthroat it will be about the success story of how this trout was completely restored to it's native range and not about how it was allowed to slip into extinction when there was every opportunity to save it.


wyoflyfish said...

I sent in my email in support. I hope this project moves forward. It is exactly the kind of restoration work that needs to be conducted around these very small remnant populations that find themselves confined to last gasp headwater footholds. Extending their habitat is the only way to improve the chances of preventing extinction.

EcoRover said...

I found your link over on Cutthroat Stalker, sent a comment, and asked Montana TU friends to do the same. I've been involved for years on salmonid restoration, including a Westslope Cutt restoration project on Cherry Creek of the Madison River where rotenone was used. Good luck!

Gary said...

Thanks for the support guys!! Everybody definitely counts on this one!

Zach said...

Those are some awesome cutts. I'll be sending in my email.