A public meeting will be held June 28 in McLeod to discuss Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' draft Environmental Assessment for replacing existing rainbow trout fisheries with native Yellowstone cutthroat trout in Silver and Prospect lakes. Replacing these fisheries would be the first step in converting the entire Four Mile Creek drainage within the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness to a Yellowstone cutthroat trout fishery.
The meeting will be held in conjunction with the meeting of the Boulder River Watershed Group, starting at 7 p.m. at the McLeod School.
The proposed action is part of a larger project to protect the cutthroat population in Meatrack Creek, a tributary to Four Mile Creek. Meatrack Creek harbors the largest Yellowstone cutthroat trout population in the Boulder River drainage upstream of Natural Bridge Falls.
There are no natural barriers preventing movement of rainbow trout from Four Mile Creek into Meatrack Creek. Hybridization between cutthroat and rainbow trout threatens the long-term preservation of the native trout population.
The Environmental Assessment describes the first phase of the project, which seeks to remove rainbow trout from the two lakes at the head of the drainage. The proposed project is estimated to begin July 1 and be completed by August 30, 2011.
The draft assessment is posted on FWP's Web site, at fwp.mt.gov. Comments can be sent to Gary Hammond, FWP, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive, Billings MT 59105, through June 30. For more information, contact Jim Darling at 247-2961