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Public invited to help chart the future for cutthroat trout in the Bighorn Basin

Public invited to help chart the future for cutthroat trout in the Bighorn Basin

CODY- The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is convening a series of public gatherings later this month that will determine the path of future cutthroat trout restoration efforts in the Bighorn Basin.

Game and Fish invites you to attend a gathering in a community near you to share your interests, thoughts, ideas, and concerns about this important topic and to discuss future restoration projects for cutthroat trout.

“We want to hear from you and we need your help to make this effort successful,” said Cody Regional Fisheries Supervisor Sam Hochhalter.

This will be a very different level of public engagement than what has occurred in the past on cutthroat trout restoration projects. Game and Fish will not be proposing specific projects and asking for public input on them. Instead Hochhalter said, “Game and Fish is asking the public to work with us to develop a set of specific recommendations for future cutthroat trout restoration efforts in the Absaroka, Beartooth, and Bighorn Mountains.”

Participants of the meetings will not only have the opportunity to share their thoughts, but will also be afforded the opportunity to listen to other participants and learn about the current status and conservation challenges associated with cutthroat trout.

“We have a lot to learn from each other through this process,” said Hochhalter. “We are asking people to roll up their sleeves and work with us.”

Yellowstone cutthroat trout populations continue to be lost. Without active restoration, long-term persistence of Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the Cody Region is questionable.

With your help, Game and Fish will be able to better balance the public’s interests and needs with the obligation to secure cutthroat trout for present and future generations.

Past restoration locations such as Eagle Creek and Porcupine Creek are likely to be discussed in addition to other popular streams in the Absaroka, Beartooth, and Bighorn Mountains.

“If you have an interest in fishing or recreating in mid to upper elevation streams and lakes, this will be your chance to have your interests and ideas heard and considered,” Hochhalter said. “This is your opportunity to help shape the future of Yellowstone Cutthroat trout restoration in the Cody Region.”

Meetings will be held:

Jan. 25 in Worland at the Washakie Co Fairgrounds, Emergency management room from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 29 in Cody at the Park Co Library, Grizzly room from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Jan. 31 in Lovell at the Lovell Community Center from 5:30-7:30 p.m.