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

Restoration of native Pend Oreille River
trout to be discussed May 18 in Cusick

SPOKANE - Washington state and tribal fish biologists will discuss opportunities to build on the success of a recent project to restore native westslope cutthroat trout in the Pend Oreille River Basin of northeast Washington at a public meeting Monday, May 18, in Cusick.

Staff from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Kalispel Tribe of Indians Natural Resources Department will lead the discussion, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Cusick American Legion hall, 105 E Timber St.

The meeting will build on discussion at a meeting in April about the success of a seven-year project to remove non-native fish species and restore westslope cutthroat in Cee Cee Ah Creek in Pend Oreille County, a tributary of the Pend Oreille River in the Colville National Forest.

WDFW fish biologist Brian Walker of Colville said participants in the May 18 meeting will discuss possibilities for additional trout restoration in other streams in the drainage, such as Smalle Creek, that meet selection criteria used to identify Cee Ce Ah Creek for the first project.

The westslope cutthroat (Oncorhynchus clarki lewisi) acquired its common name from being first described west of the Continental Divide and its scientific name from the explorers Lewis and Clark. It is one of two cutthroat subspecies native to Washington, along with the coastal cutthroat.

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