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Trout are returning to Davis streams

KAYSVILLE — Mudslides in 1983 and 1984 destroyed the fish population in various streams along the Wasatch Front, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources wants to bring those fish back.

Tuesday, Davis County commissioners gave their approval to the division to reintroduce Bonneville cutthroat trout to Holmes Creek in Kaysville and Mill Creek in Bountiful.

A study of the fish population in Holmes Creek found no fish, said Craig Schaugaard, DWR aquatic program manager.

A preliminary study of Mill Creek also found no fish, but further study may be needed, Schaugaard said.

DWR biologists plan to hike up the canyon toward the top of Holmes Creek with buckets of hatchlings to release them into various pools, allowing the young trout to learn their habitat, he said.

Davis Commissioner Bret Millburn, an avid fisherman, said he couldn't suppress the grin on his face at the thought of a native species of fish being reintroduced to a Davis County creek.

Sporting a fish pin in his lapel, Millburn said he wanted to bring his fly rod to the commission meeting.

"I think it's exciting and a great opportunity for folk in Davis County to have that experience," he said.

Bonneville cutthroats are regularly bred by DWR and released into sport fisheries throughout the state, Schaugaard said. He said Holmes Creek could become fishing grounds again once the trout are established and reproduce.

"We make sure we have enough fish in our waters for the anglers to catch," Schaugaard said.

DWR biologist Matt McKell plans to lead a restocking expedition sometime in the spring and possibly again in the fall to hike a few miles up the creek's drainage, depositing fish as high up as possible.

DWR officials also plan to investigate Perry Creek in Box Elder County to determine if it could support Bonneville cutthroat, as well.

Commissioners' approval Tuesday was the first of various approvals the Division of Wildlife Resources must obtain. Further approvals come from the division's regional advisory councils.

e-mail: jdougherty@desnews.com

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