A little update on the work being done on Soda Butte this August. Today, the National Park Service, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, US Forest Service, and Wyoming Game and Fish Department will start its project on Soda Butte Creek in Yellowstone National Park. The goal of this project is to remove all non-native Brook Trout to protect the Native Cutthroat populations in Soda Butte and Lamar. Today the crews will be doing some flow testing and will be using neon green dye to collect information. This means that small tributaries and some of Soda Butte (near the Ice Box Canyon) will be neon green today. They expect the color to dissipate by the time it reaches the confluence with the Lamar. On 8/19 crews will begin electrofishing Soda Butte to collect Cutthroats and keep them alive in hatchery trucks or put in tributaries upstream to keep them away from the “treatment area”. Then on 8/24 the crews will begin a low level treatment on a section of Soda Butte upstream of Cooke City, MT. This low level treatment is done to determine chemical concentrations needed for treatment of the entire creek. The crews will then begin full treatment on Soda Butte on Tuesday 8/25 using Rotenone (look it up, pretty interesting). After the Rotenone is through the treatment area it will be neutralized with potassium that may turn the river purple downstream up to a mile. Treatment will be completed by 8/29 (weather pending) and after all the Rotenone is out of the system the Yellowstone Cutthroats will be put back.
Just be aware of what is going on. I would stay out of Soda Butte from 8/24 until the crews give it the all clear. This entire project is weather dependent and may take longer than expected. We will keep an eye on it and let you know of any updates. Comments, questions? We would love to hear them!
Note: This is not an actual picture of Soda Butte. It is a picture of the Yellowstone that we photo-shopped, poorly. That is all.
On that note the upper river is looking okay today. We should have some reports from guides by tomorrow. Clarity should continue to get better throughout the week!