On Nov. 7, the Wall Street Journal ran an article called, "Flys, and Their Lawyers, Keep Rare Trout From Going Home," (see link below) about efforts to restore Paiute cutthroats to their historical range on a portion of Silver King Creek in the Sierra Nevadas. Here is a response from former TU California State Council Chairman John Regan, who has been working on this project for more than 20 years:
As former State Council Chairman for Trout Unlimited in California, I have worked closely for over twenty years with the California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service to keep the Paiute cutthroat, the rarest trout in North America, from going extinct. This effort has never been driven by any proposal to create new angling opportunities in Silver King Creek – rather, we are committed to restoring the Paiute cutthroat in its tiny native range, and getting it removed from the Endangered Species List, simply because it’s the right thing to do.
Rotenone has been used successfully in many other water bodies in the West to enable restoration of native trout to their historic ranges, with no long-term harm to stream ecology and function. Silver King Creek has been surveyed several times by field biologists, and no rare or threatened species of insects have ever been found there.
The Paiute cutthroat restoration project has been carefully planned and studied for more than two decades, and is backed by top fisheries biologists. This initiative is not about fishing, now or in the future – it’s about preserving a unique component of California’s remarkable natural heritage. And it’s time to move past the fear-mongering obstructionism and get it done.