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Paiute Cutthroat Trout in the White Mountains Cottonwood Creek

Our featured speaker for the 7 February Aguabonita Flyfishers general meeting will be Nick Buckmaster, Fisheries Supervisor, from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Bishop Office.  He will describe the Paiute Cutthroat Trout journey from its native waters in Silver King Creek, a headwater tributary of the Carson River, to Cottonwood Creek in the White Mountains.  

Paiute cutthroat trout at Silver King Creek, Alpine County. Photo by Jeff Weaver of the DFG Heritage and Wild Trout program.

Paiute Cutthroat Trout are eye-catching for their purplish iridescent hue and a lack of body spots that mark many of the 14 subspecies of cutthroat trout.  Decades of restoration and conservation work got a boost in 1967 when the Paiute cutthroat received federal protection as one of the first animals listed under the Endangered Species Act.  Threats to the Paiute Cutthroat Trout included overfishing, disease, interbreeding, and competition with non-native trout.

Nick was recently promoted to Fisheries Supervisor for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Inland Desert Region serving Imperial, Inyo, Mono, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. An environmental scientist, he helps protect and restore native trout and habitats through field studies and data analysis.  He initially joined CDFW six years ago to work in habitat conservation.  He’s a graduate of UC Davis with Bachelor’s degrees in Wildlife Fisheries Conservation and Geology. His Master’s degree is in Ecology. 

The Aguabonita Flyfisher program begins at 7:30 PM Tuesday 7 February at the United Methodist Church (639 N Norma).  All fly fishers, want-to-be fly fishers, any kind of fisher, or just interested in fishing are welcome.