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June 11, 2015
Contact: Brian Walker, 509-684-2362 Ext 14

June 18 meeting in Cusick to discuss
proposed Smalle Creek native trout restoration

Washington state and tribal fish biologists will discuss proposed restoration of native trout in Smalle Creek, a Pend Oreille River tributary west of Cusick in Pend Oreille County, at a public meeting Thursday, June 18, in Cusick.

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and Kalispel Tribe of Indians' Department of Natural Resources (KNRD) staff will conduct the 6 - 8 p.m. meeting at the Cusick American Legion, 105 E Timber Street, in Cusick. It is the third in a series of public meetings this spring about similar past projects to restore native westslope cutthroat trout in the Pend Oreille River basin.

WDFW fish biologist Brian Walker of Colville explained the Smalle Creek project proposal involves only the upper segment of the creek, located above Smalle Creek Falls. The project would include treating approximately seven miles of stream with rotenone this fall to remove non-native fish before native Westslope cutthroat trout would be reintroduced.

In addition to input received at the public meeting, WDFW will consider written comments on this stream rehabilitation project through Aug. 22. Comments should be addressed to Brian Walker, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2315 N. Discovery Place, Spokane Valley, WA 99216, or brian.walker2@dfw.wa.gov .

The Westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) acquired its common name from being first described west of the Continental Divide and its scientific name from explorers Lewis and Clark. It is one of two Cutthroat Trout subspecies native to Washington (the other is the coastal cutthroat.)

Westslopes have olive/bronze colored backs and greenish-gold colored sides. As with all cutthroat trout, they have the distinctive red slash mark on each side of their lower jaw. WDFW's "Fish Washington" interactive website has more information on Westslope Cutthroat Trout at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/Species/2311/ .