Restoration: Woods Lake fish are going to get a dose of Rotenone to pave the way for expanded cutthroat habitat


From The Telluride Daily Planet (Collin McRann):

Over the past year, the lake and its tributaries — located off of Forest Service Road 618 west of Telluride — have been the subject of a Colorado Parks and Wildlife project to eliminate non-native trout, mainly brookies and browns, to make way for native cutthroats. Though the project was supposed to be complete by this summer, an assessment revealed brooke trout are still living the lake.

“Last year we treated the lake and tributaries and then they went back this summer, and we found mainly young of the year — brooke trout,” said John Alves, a Senior aquatic biologist with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “It looks like some of them might have spawned before we got the project going last year, so there’s some that we have to go hit again this year, that’s going to happen next week.” The lake will be treated Aug. 14-16 with a chemical called Rotenone. Alves said the treatment will focus on areas of the lake where the brooke trout were found.

Another assessment will be done after the treatment via electro fishing and gill netting. If it is then determined the lake is ready for a transplant of cutthroat, the fish could be transported into the area as soon as this fall. If not, the lake will be left barren until next year…

The transplant will involve at least 2,000 cutthroats a year, which will be taken from different brood stocks and hatcheries around the state. Though no specific source for the fish has been determined, Alves said Kelso Creek in the Uncompahgre National Forest is a likely candidate.

More restoration/reclamation coverage here and here.

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