Westslope cutthroat

Westslope cutthroat trout will be restored to the upper Gibbon River following a poisoning to remove nonnative fish.

Portions of the Upper Gibbon River in Yellowstone National Park will be closed to angling Sept. 2-13 as fisheries personnel work to remove nonnative fish.

In addition to the river, the closure includes streams that flow out of Grebe, Wolf, and Ice lakes.

The area closure applies to: Virginia Cascades Drive; Wolf Lake Trail; Wolf Lake Cutoff trail (to Ice Lake); and areas of the backcountry to the north and south between Canyon and Norris Junctions.

Gibbon River closure area

This map depicts the Gibbon River closure area, set to take effect from Sept 2-13. Fisheries personnel will work to remove nonnative fish from that portion of the river.

All campsites in the area will remain open. Closures may be lifted if the project is completed ahead of schedule.

The work will remove nonnative rainbow and brook trout using the fish toxin rotenone, a naturally occurring chemical derived from the roots of tropical plants. Below the treatment area biologists will add potassium permanganate to the water to remove the effects of rotenone and prevent impacts to downstream waters. To ensure the removal of nonnative fish, the treatments may be repeated in 2020. Reintroduction of native westslope cutthroat trout will begin in 2020 or 2021.

The work is a continuation of the park’s efforts to create refuges that support the introduction of westslope cutthroat trout and Arctic grayling. The historic stocking of nonnative fish nearly eliminated the native species from Yellowstone.

In recent years the park has attempted to restore them to the East Fork of Specimen Creek, Goose Lake, and Grayling Creek. Planning documents describing this work can be found on the National Park Service planning website.

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