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199101904 - Hungry Horse Mitigation - Stocking of Offsite Waters - Creston NFH

Sponsor: Creston NFH

Budgets: FY07: $139,393 | FY08: $143,619 | FY09: $148,001

Short description: The Creston National Fish hatchery produces fish for offsite stocking locations to mitigate for losses to the Flathead Lake and River system caused by the construction and operation of Hungry Horse Dam.

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Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $139,393 | FY08: $143,619 | FY09: $148,001

Comment: ISRP fundable qualified. Address ISRP concerns during contracting.

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable (Qualified)


The ISRP carefully considered this longstanding project for consistency with Council's Fish and Wildlife Program (FWP) and for scientific rigor and justification. The ISRP concluded that the project's offsite mitigation approach is consistent with FWP although the sponsors - or their partners - should more thoroughly address how off-site release of produced non-native trout fingerlings redirects pressure on native trout populations. Other mitigation proposals in the subbasin indicate that hybridization between native westslope cutthroat and introduced rainbow trout is a pervasive problem -- the potential for antagonism between these mitigation activities needs to diminish. Ultimately, the response did not truly address two issues and for this reason we recommend that funding carry "qualification." First, the sponsors should more tangibly demonstrate coordination with receiving agencies and that the production is supported as a priority mitigation program in the subbasin by MFWP and CSKT. Such demonstrated support, such as letters of support, should indicate MFWP and CSKT commitment to monitoring the biological or angler responses to these releases. It is insufficient for Creston NFH to limit their responsibilities solely to production and delegate monitoring responsibilities without some institutional agreement. Second, the questions regarding production of westslope cutthroat trout (the native) versus rainbow trout (a non-native) should be addressed by the co-managers. The sponsors answered the question regarding westslope cutthroat in context of the releases in the current waters rather than where the potential needs might be elsewhere in the subbasin (i.e., a need justifying the potential development of the Sekokini Springs facility).

Response loop edit

See the sponsor's revised proposal from the response loop. You'll be taken to CBFWA's proposal system in Section 10 where most sponsors uploaded revised narratives or other responses to the ISRP comments.

State/province recommendation: Fundable

Review group: Mtn Col

Recommended budgets: FY07: $139,393 | FY08: $143,619 | FY09: $148,001

Comment: The Creston Hatchery needs to correct the problem that the hatchery has had in the past with the wrong species getting into runways, and it needs to take steps to prevent disease contamination. The OG strongly believes the hatchery needs to use funding from this year to get this done. Future funding is contingent upon addressing these concerns. The OG also believes the Hungry Horse Mitigation Team needs to facilitate the above two improvements at Creston.