Evaluation of the efficiency and efficacy of non-native fish eradication and exclusion techniques for native fish restoration
Funding: Wild Fish Habitat Initiative of the Montana University System Water Center
Duration: October 2003 to December 2005 (Phases I and II)
Personnel: Peter J. Brown (PhD student) and Alexander V. Zale

Native fish conservation has become a pressing issue for resource managers, often because of threats posed by non-native fish species.  Predation and competition for resources can drive native populations extinct and hybridization reduces the genetic integrity of native populations.  When presented with a non-native fish species problem, managers frequently undertake native fish restoration projects.  These projects use a combination of techniques to eradicate non-native fish species and prevent their reinvasion.  Yet, despite their widespread use as management tools, the success rate of these projects varies widely and they are rarely evaluated sufficiently.  The goal of this project is to increase the success rate of native fish restoration.  To achieve this goal, we will carry out a thorough investigation of the techniques used to remove non-native fish and the design of barriers to reinvasion.  Initially, interviews with project leaders and site visits of ongoing and past restoration projects will be used to determine the current methods of fish removal and barrier design.  These interviews will also identify projects for which a more thorough evaluation needs to be made.  Evaluation of unsuccessful restoration projects will identify potential causes of failure.  With these causes identified, field and laboratory studies of fish removal and barrier design will be used to increase the efficacy of these techniques.  Understanding the inefficiencies of fish removal techniques and barrier design will increase the overall effectiveness of native fish restoration.

For more information, please visit: http://wildfish.montana.edu/projects/fancreek_summary.asp