Greenback cutthroat trout restoration project proposed for Northern Larimer County

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a multiphase greenback cutthroat trout restoration project, in collaboration with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in George and Cornelius Creeks on the Canyon Lakes Ranger District in Larimer County. Cornelius Creek is located in Northern Larimer County near Cherokee Park Road. George and Cornelius Creeks combine to flow into Sheep Creek, which dumps into the North Fork of the Poudre River.

These streams have been identified as priority areas for establishing a population of native cutthroat trout, listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.

Before stocking native greenback cutthroat into these creeks, non-native trout must first be removed, which would also serve to eradicate whirling disease known to be present in these creeks. To accomplish this, the project proposes to construct temporary barriers to fish passage and drain beaver dams to prevent non-native fish from hiding in beaver dam areas. If beavers are present in these areas, Colorado Parks and Wildlife plans to relocate them to other stream systems. Following this work, a fish toxicant, rotenone, would be applied to eradicate the non-native fish. A decontamination station downstream would neutralize the rotenone and prevent its further spread.

Due to the size of the stream system and the necessary phasing of this project, it could take as long as nine to ten years to complete.

Additional information about this project, including the entire proposed action, is available online at www.fs.usda.gov/goto/arp/georgecreek. The project is being planned under a Categorical Exclusion, which is not objectionable. The Forest Service is soliciting public comments on this proposal. Comments can be mailed to the attention of Nehalem Clark at 2150 Centre Ave, Building E, Fort Collins, CO 80525, or emailed to comments-rm-arapaho-roosevelt-canyon-lakes@fs.fed.us.

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