Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rotenone again

Even after last year's debacle at Cherry Creek (lower Madison trib - see current Montana Sporting Journal for more on that), Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks is proposing to poison three more streams this year to reintroduce Westslope cutthroat trout: Dyce Creek (tributary to Grasshopper Creek which dumps into the Beaverhead), Cherry Creek (near Melrose, tributary to the Big Hole), and McVey Creek (dumps into the Big Hole near Wisdom). The FWP press release.

An article in the Montana Standard by Nick Gevock details this.

My favorite quote from that article: "While projects to remove invasive sport fish including rainbow and brook trout are sometimes controversial, Nelson said FWP has had good success at the efforts. A prime example is a different Cherry Creek located west of Bozeman, where FWP nearly a decade ago conducted a similar poison and plant operation.
Today that creek is thriving with thousands of native cutthroats, he said."

I would actually argue that that's the worst example. The poisoning went awry, and hundreds or thousands more trout died than they intended. Read about that here. If that weren't bad enough, rotenone has been linked to Parkinson's disease, so when it spreads to sections of river that weren't intended for poisoning, we're put at risk.

For more about the dangers of rotenone, click here.

FWP is seeking comment on the poisoning projects for this summer.
Send your comments to Lee Nelson: leenelson@mt.gov.

I am not urging anyone one way or the other about whether or not we should restore native cutthroats - you can make that decision yourself. I am urging folks to consider commenting to FWP about finding a better way to do such a thing than using rotenone.