Project to Save Paiute Cutthroat Trout Postponed

Media Contacts:
Katherine Hill, North Central Region, (916) 358-2935
Dana Michaels, DFG Communications, (916) 322-2420

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and partner agencies are postponing the Paiute Cutthroat Trout Restoration Project until next year. The delay is due to extremely high water flows in the Silver King Creek project area of Alpine County.

Paiute cutthroat trout
Paiute cutthroat trout

DFG worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board to develop the project to restore the rare Paiute cutthroat trout to its historic habitat in Silver King Creek in California’s Carson Iceberg Wilderness.

Project scientists measured high flows of 79 cubic feet per second in Silver King Creek during the first week of August. The unusually high flows will continue through the autumn, making the project extremely difficult to implement responsibly in this near-record precipitation year.

“This rare trout species in Silver King Creek has been decimated by non-native species introduced to the area during the past 150 years,” said Fishery Program Manager Katherine Hill. “After more than five decades of research and restoration activities, public input and planning, we’re disappointed to have to delay the project. But we would rather wait until next year than proceed when the environmental conditions hinder the likelihood of success.”

Interagency survey crews are re-evaluating the project site this week.