TL Lauerman, the Conservation Chairman for our local Trout Unlimited Chapter, came up with the idea of introducing Bonneville Cutthroat to Twin Lakes Area rivers using Vibert Boxes designed by Dave Whitlock. June 2014 was the third year of this planned five year planting program.
The Bonneville cutthroat, also known as the Bear River cutthroat, was chosen due to its ability to survive in harsh and often degraded (by man) habitats. We expect the cutthroat to compete well with the established brown trout population, and be easily identified, having a larger, bolder spot pattern than the existing AGFC fine-spot cutts.
Vibert Boxes are used throughout the world for the introduction and/or enhancement of wild trout and salmon. In the 1970s, Whitlock successfully planted wild brown trout eggs in the White River after the existing browns were nearly wiped out from unrestricted fishing. Many of the spawning brown trout that we have in the White River system today are descendants of the eggs introduced over 30 years ago.
Hopefully, the Bonneville eggs planted now will have a similar success story, and eventually will have a self-sustaining population of wild Bonneville Cutthroat in the North Fork and White rivers within the next few years.
Portions of this article were written by Michael Schraeder.