Outdoors

Idaho seeks comments on cutthroat plan

Is it a cutthroat trout or a cutthroat-rainbow hybrid? To end confusion, Idaho is classifying all trout with an orange slash under the jaw as cutthroat trout, which must be released immediately when caught in the Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe river systems. (Rich Landers)
Is it a cutthroat trout or a cutthroat-rainbow hybrid? To end confusion, Idaho is classifying all trout with an orange slash under the jaw as cutthroat trout, which must be released immediately when caught in the Coeur d’Alene and St. Joe river systems. (Rich Landers)

FISHING — The Idaho Fish and Game Department is asking anglers to comment on a draft management plan for maintaining and restoring native westslope cutthroat trout — a prized fishery linked to pure forest watersheds.

These fish, characterized by spotting and distinctive red coloring near its gills, still occupy about 80 percent of historical range in Idaho. That includes streams like the Moyie River and Kootenai River in northern Idaho, and, of course, the prime headwaters of the Spokane River system — the Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe Rivers.

Westslope cutthroats still occupy roughly 80 percent of their historical range in Idaho, but fish managers seek to avoid petitions to list them as threatened.

This draft plan is good reading.  It discusses the population status of westslope cutthroat trout in major watershed groupings and the conservation actions the Department intends to pursue to protect and enhance populations and habitat across the species range in Idaho. 

Comment on the plan by July 26, 2013.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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