California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Llewellyn Falls
Lower Fish Valley
Paiute cutthroat trout

Paiute Cutthroat Trout: Restoration Project

Oncorhynchus clarkii seleniris

The Paiute cutthroat trout remain at risk from interbreeding with non-native trout as long as they exist below Llewellyn Falls. CDFW, in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest propose to restore Paiute cutthroat trout below Llewellyn Falls to their historic native range. This section of Silver King Creek is identified in the Revised Paiute Cutthroat Trout Recovery Plan (PDF)

The ultimate goal is to recover the Paiute cutthroat trout to a sustainable level that will allow it to be delisted as a federally listed threatened species. The project is to chemically treat the stream using rotenone to remove non-native trout from Silver King Creek and associated tributaries between Snodgrass Creek (Silver King Canyon) and Llewellyn Falls. Chemical treatment was the preferred alternative identified in the Paiute Cutthroat Trout Restoration Project Final EIR/EIS. Rotenone is a naturally occurring compound that is derived from the roots of a tropical plant of the bean family. Rotenone compounds have been used by people worldwide to stun and kill fish. Rotenone has been used successfully throughout the United States as a management tool to eliminate invasive fishes and restore native populations. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that rotenone use for fish control does not present a threat or risk of unreasonable adverse effects to humans or the environment. For more information on rotenone visit the American Fisheries Society Rotenone Stewardship Program.

The revised Paiute Cutthroat Trout Recovery Plan, written by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recommends restoration of Paiute cutthroat trout downstream of Llewellyn Falls to fish barriers in Silver King Canyon.. This project will extend the distribution of Paiute cutthroat trout 6 miles downstream, and combined with stream habitat in tributaries will provide a total of over 9 miles of stream habitat. Restoration of Paiute cutthroat trout to their historic range will nearly double the amount of habitat and numbers of adult fish in the Silver King Creek basin, reduce the risk of extinction from catastrophic events, reduce the threat of non-native trout introductions, and enhance the long-term genetic viability of the fish.

Paiute cutthroat trout historic range map