A new experiment could expand the population of Utah’s state fish, the Bonneville cutthroat trout.
Paul Thompson, Division of Wildlife Resources aquatics manager for the Northern Region, says they’re collecting eggs and sperm from the trout out of Logan River’s Temple Fork, spawning them on site and transporting them to experimental streamside incubation boxes on the river’s Right-Hand Fork, where water will be pumped into them.
“So they’ll kind of hatch themselves and we don’t have to take them to a hatchery this way. But our hatchery space is really limited these days, so if this does work out in the future, this might be a good way for us to go ahead and collect eggs and re-seed streams.”
Bonneville cutthroat trout are native to the Bonneville Basin. In the 1970s the fish were thought to be extinct, so Thompson says the state has worked hard to protect them over the past 30 years, keeping them from being listed as a threatened species.
“This fish has been petitioned to be listed federally as a threatened species. But with the work that the state of Utah is doing and its partners, we have been able to show really good progress through the years and increased the number of stream miles that Bonnevile cutthroat trout occupy and we’ve been successful at keeping them from being listed.”
In September, the DWR will conduct a survey to see whether the new method was successful.