5/23/2000 -- -- Contacts:
David Bobzien, President, Trout Unlimited's Sagebrush Chapter, Reno: (775) 324-6216
Steve Trafton, Trout Unlimited's California Policy Coordinator: (510) 528-4772
May 23, 2000. Reno, Nevada…Trout Unlimited, the nation's leading coldwater fisheries conservation organization, today released its official policy statement (see below) supporting science-based recovery of Lahontan cutthroat trout in the Truckee River watershed. The Truckee flows out of California's Lake Tahoe and into northwest Nevada's Pyramid Lake. Lahontan cutthroat trout have been listed under the Endangered Species Act for over 25 years.
Trout Unlimited (TU) drew on its longstanding commitment to native salmon, trout, and steelhead restoration and overall watershed health in drafting its Lahontan cutthroat policy. The policy calls for continuing detailed biological research to fully document the primary factors that led to the disappearance of the Truckee's Lahontan populations, as well as the specific measures that can be taken to restore these magnificent native fish. In addition, the policy supports the ongoing inter-agency, tribal, and conservation group cooperative efforts to restore Truckee River Lahontans.
"TU is about fixing broken watersheds," said David Bobzien, President of TU's Sagebrush Chapter in Reno. "When native fish are absent from a river, that's a broken watershed, and that's exactly why we're committed to recovering Lahontans to the Truckee."
The Truckee's Lahontan cutthroat trout have fallen victim to decades of river damming, diversion, and channelization, the loss of streamside habitat, and impacts from introduced non-native species that compete for food and habitat. Still, TU firmly believes that marked progress is being made in areas such as habitat improvements, including, for example, proposed modifications of Derby and Farad dams on the Truckee, which leave Lahontan recovery a worthwhile and reasonable goal.
"These fish have been hammered for years by every conceivable source," said Steve Trafton, TU's California Policy Coordinator. "But in no way are we willing to write them off as damaged goods. As long as there are sound, science-based efforts underway to recover Lahontans in the Truckee watershed, we'll be a part of it."
Founded in 1959 on the banks of the Au Sable River in Michigan, Trout Unlimited celebrated its 40th anniversary in 1999 of working to conserve, protect, and restore America's wild trout and salmon waters. Trout Unlimited, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, is the nation's largest coldwater conservation organization with over 125,000 volunteer members and 500 chapters.