Help for the Westslope Cutthroat Population Coming to Yellowstone

Westslope cutthroat trout specimen
Westslope cutthroat trout. Image courtesy of USGS

A new plan has been put into place to help ensure the westslope cutthroat trout population in the West. A team of fisheries will create a new area for brood stock of the westslope cutthroat strain. Currently the only way to populate an area with this species of trout is to rely on hatcheries or to remove trout from already existing populations elsewhere. The plan involves removing problematic non native rainbow trout from the Goose Lakes chain in the Firehole river drainage inside Yellowstone National Park. The rainbow’s hybridize with the cutthroats diluting the pure genes and diminishing the genetic purity within the native cutthroat species of the area.

With the help of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Montana State University and the Yellowstone Park Foundation this project could become a reality, helping to ensure the uncertain future of the delicate westslope cutthroat trout species.


Westslope Cutthroat restoration program plans PDF