DWR to begin chemical treatment of Uinta streams to remove brook trout

UINTAH COUNTY, Utah — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) will begin chemically treating several streams in the High Uintas on August 17.

DWR completed a similar project in both 2019 and 2020 at the Potter and East Fork Carter Creek areas.

The biologists treat the streams with rotenone — a naturally occurring organic substance that is found in the roots of several plant species.

The chemical is toxic to fish and isn’t harmful to humans in the small quantities used by DWR.

Their goal is to restore the cutthroat trout population while removing brook trout. DWR says that without intervention, brook trout could completely replace cutthroat trout in these areas.

“In addition to increasing the diversity of angling opportunities, these project treatments will help the native fish,” a DWR press release said. “Habitat loss, breeding with non-native trout and competition from non-native trout have caused dramatic declines in native cutthroat trout populations around the West, leading to concerns about the species’ future.”

Photo: Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

From Aug. 17-25, the DWR will chemically treat the following locations with rotenone:

  • East Fork Carter Creek above the Sheep Creek canal

  • Ram, Mutton and Bummer lakes

  • West Fork Carter Creek above the Sheep Creek canal

“The treatment areas will be well signed and the area within 20 feet of the water is closed to the public for hiking and other uses the day before each treatment occurs,” DWR Regional Wildlife Recreation Specialist Anthony Christianson said. “The areas will reopen after the treatment process is over.”


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