Relative survival and contribution of different source stocks to restoration of westslope cutthroat trout in Cherry Creek, Madison County, Montana
Dr. Andrew Whiteley, University of Montana
Dr. Ryan Kovach, University of Montana
Dr. Donovan Bell, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
Dr. Carter Kruse, Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture
Embryos from five wild or hatchery populations were used to establish a population of westslope cutthroat trout in the renovated (i.e., piscicide treatment) habitat of upper Cherry Creek with the hypothesis that embryos from source populations in habitats that more closely matched Cherry Creek would survive better. Further, there is a growing body of evidence that source populations with increased genetic diversity will have higher survival. Tissue samples have been collected from multiple generations of growing population of cutthroat trout in Cherry Creek. The Institute will use these samples to further test the hypothesis that genetic diversity of source individuals is a key component for successful establishment of native trout populations in new or renovated habitats.