Nonnative brook trout will be poisoned in Elk Creek and its tributaries in Yellowstone National Park beginning this week as part of a project to restore native Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
Elk Creek, located near Tower Junction in the Yellowstone River drainage, will be poisoned as well as its tributaries, Lost and Yancey creeks.
The streams were stocked with brook trout decades ago. Brook trout compete with cutthroat trout and often displace them and other native fish.
Biologists will introduce the fish toxin rotenone into the streams to remove the brook trout as part of Yellowstone’s Native Fish Conservation Plan. The project will not affect the Yellowstone River.
During the work, visitors are advised not to swim in or drink from the streams through Oct. 7. Warning signs will be posted.
This year’s treatment is the first in a series that is expected to continue over the next two to three years until brook trout have been completely removed from the streams. The park will then reintroduce genetically pure native Yellowstone cutthroat trout to the streams.
More information on the park’s Native Fish Conservation Plan can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=30504.