The Maggie Creek drainage in northeastern Nevada supports multiple remnant Lahontan cutthroat trout populations. The Bureau of Land Management, Newmont Mining Corporation, and private ranchers have conducted active habitat restoration over the last decade, visually improving riparian and instream habitat throughout the basin. Unfortunately, road culverts at the base of some tributaries, such as Beaver Creek, isolate cutthroat trout and effectively bar migrants from accessing these habitats. Therefore, project partners plan to replace the existing road culvert on Beaver Creek with a structure that would allow fish passage.
As part of this restoration effort, we plan to evaluate the effectiveness of culvert replacement by monitoring movement of cutthroat trout within the drainage and documenting any changes to the local tributary populations including genetics, population size, and age structure. We initiated research efforts in fall 2001 with intensive fish distribution and abundance surveys on portions of the main stem and three major cutthroat trout tributaries, Beaver, Coyote, and Little Jack creeks. In addition to annual fish surveys on these tributary populations, we have also conducted weir trapping to identify migratory individuals and genetic analyses to assess probable historical patterns of gene flow.. These data will provide necessary background information for monitoring movement of trout into and out of Beaver Creek after culvert replacement and for documenting connectivity within the Maggie Creek drainage.
Local project partners on the Maggie Creek Project include the Elko District of the Bureau of Land Management, Nevada Division of Wildlife, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Newmont Mining Corporation, Maggie Creek Ranch, TS Ranch, and 26 Ranch.
1020 W. Main St., Ste. 440
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