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Greenback trout gets protection

Emergency change will protect this rare cutthroat population

What could be the first population of greenback cutthroat trout ever found in Utah will get some added protection through a change to the state's fishing rules.

Division of Wildlife Resources Director Jim Karpowitz signed the emergency change this week. The change takes effect May 1.

Greenback cutthroat trout

Effective May 1, Beaver Creek, a tributary to La Sal Creek in southeastern Utah, will be closed to the possession of cutthroat trout.

Anglers will also be restricted to fishing with flies and lures only.

"Trout were taken from Beaver Creek recently and genetically tested," says Roger Wilson, cold water sport fisheries coordinator for the DWR. "The testing indicates this stream may contain a population of pure greenback cutthroat trout.

"Because greenbacks are currently listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, anglers may fish for them on a catch-and-release basis only."

Wilson says protecting this unique cutthroat trout population will give biologists more time to study it and develop a conservation plan.

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