DWR to treat creeks in High Uintas with rotenone in effort to restore native species

Jul 2, 2024, 5:00 PM

A woman fishes in the High Uintas. Clouds are reflected by the surface of the water....

FILE - Megan Olsen hooks a brook trout while standing in Island Lake among reflections of clouds in the High Uintas. (Ravell Call/Deseret News)

(Ravell Call/Deseret News)

VERNAL, Utah — Later this summer, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will work with the Ashley National Forest to apply rotenone treatments to two creek drainages in the High Uintas. 

The goal is to restore the Colorado River cutthroat trout, a native fish species. 

According to the DWR press release, rotenone is naturally occurring and is a respiratory toxin for fish. However, it is not dangerous to people, pets, or other wildlife. 

The treatment will remove non-native fish from the area. Per the press release, brook trout, rainbow trout, and other species of cutthroat trout are non-native but currently living in the streams. 

“The activities will protect the species, while also providing people with great areas to fish for these native species,” said DWR Regional Sportfish Biologist Bryan Engelbert in a press release.

If action is not taken, brook trout could completely replace the Colorado River cutthroat trout in less than 20 years. 

While rotenone does not pose a threat, the press release said the U.S. Forest Service will be closing areas that are being treated.

Closures of two High Unitas areas

The public has been told to stay away from water being treated. There will be a large number of crews and equipment in the area during treatment. 

“The temporary closure of the treatment area only affects treated waters and prohibits the public from entering the water and obtaining drinking water from sources in the treatment area. All hiking trails and other access will remain open to public use,” said Tonya Kieffer-Selby, the DWR Northeastern Region outreach manager. 

First, the forest service will close the Oweep Creek drainage area. Located on the south slope, it will close on July 28. Treatments will take place until July 31, according to the DWR

The Oweep Creek drainage area is expected to reopen to the public on Aug. 2. 

Next, the South Fork Sheep Creek drainage area, on the north slope, will close on Aug. 28. It is expected to be reopened on Sept. 2. 

“The treatment areas will be well signed and will reopen after the treatment process is over and rotenone levels are no longer detectable in the streams,” said Kieffer-Selby. 

Following the treatments, the DWR said that the creeks will be re-stocked with native species. However, that can not be done until all treatments are complete. 

Related: Police release identity of hiker found dead near Sundial Peak



We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Outdoors + Recreation

The state law doesn't require people of all ages to wear a life jacket while they’re out in the w...

Michelle Lee

Be mindful of these summer water safety tips

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Cassidy Hadden, Utah Drowning Prevention Coalition Chair of 2024, to learn water safety tips.

22 hours ago

The Unified Fire Authority received a call on Saturday about a helicopter having to emergency land ...

Kennedy Camarena

Helicopter emergency lands in Herriman

A helicopter pilot had to perform an emergency landing in a field in Herriman, Utah on Saturday after a mechanical failure occurred.

2 days ago

There’s still hope if your lawn turns brown between July and August. Once it cools down during mi...

Michelle Lee

Keep your lawn healthy with these summer lawn care tips

How is your lawn coping with the recent triple digit temperatures? If you’re seeing any yellow or brown patches, there are ways you can care for it this summer to make it green and healthy again.

3 days ago

Utahns are taking to the hills to find cooler temps. However, DWR is sending a message: steer clear...

Andy Cupp

When it comes to mountain goats, DWR says keep your distance

Utahns are taking to the hills to find cooler temps. However, DWR is sending a message: steer clear of the mountain goats.

4 days ago

Skiers wait for the lift chair at Sundance Mountain Resort in Provo Canyon on Wednesday, March 13, ...

Verl Johansen

Ski Utah is celebrating its second most attended ski season in history

This year, Utah Ski had almost 7 million ski visits, making this year the second-best ski season in history.

4 days ago

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall speaks during the event where Salt Lake City announced the lau...

 Carter Williams, KSL.com

How Salt Lake City’s new e-bike incentive program works

With this program, Salt Lake City hopes it'll make it easier for people to purchase an e-bike and reduce car usage in the city.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

A young woman smiles while reading the menu at a lakeside restaurant, enjoying the panoramic view o...

Bear Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau

The best restaurants to try in Bear Lake

Save this guide to the best restaurants in Bear Lake when you need to find a place to dine during your next visit.

Female leg stepping on weigh scales. Healthy lifestyle, food and sport concept....

Health Utah

Sustainable weight loss: the science-backed way to achieve it

Learn more about Debbie's weight loss journey with Health Utah, who have a unique weight loss philosophy for success.

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...


Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

DWR to treat creeks in High Uintas with rotenone in effort to restore native species