Baby Bonnies Growing Up _ Bill Thorne

 

You have probably seen a few pictures of Bonneville Cutthroats that have been caught on the Norfork and White in the past few months.

As one of the volunteers that have been on the business end a garden hoe, digging artificial redds, I can tell you these photos are a sight for sore eyes! Are they positive proof that we have a viable population of “Bonnies,” no, but they are proof that we have had some success using the “Whitlock-Vibert” box to plant eggs and with a little luck we may establish a wild strain of naturally reproducing Cutthroats in our tailwaters.

AR’ White River TU Chapter #698, made a commitment to plant 50,000 eggs a year for a minimum of 5 years (and probably more), in the Norfork Tailwater and White Rivers. So far 150,000 eggs have been distributed in the Norfork Tailwater and 100,000 in the White.

These photos if nothing else will help fuel the volunteer efforts for future work days. We know we have some obstacles to face in our attempts to successfully establish a new wild strain of fish in our rivers. The fact that sculpins and the huge population of apex predators (Brown Trout), will both feed on our young “Cutties”, it may be tough to achieve a high survival rate. But, the fact that 10” fish are being caught is a great start.

We are really excited to show off our new baby pictures and hope they will inspire some of you to come out next spring and join in the fun.

Bill Thorne

AR Council Chair, Trout Unlimited