Featured Image from California Department of Fish and Game

For the first time in almost 100 years, the Paiute Cutthroat Trout will once again swim freely in an area they once natively inhabited, which many conservationists are hoping will allow the species to recolonize and eventually remove itself from the list of threatened species. Briefly thought extinct, the species was saved when sheepherders moved a small population of trout above a waterfall on Silver King Creek, which inadvertently protected the species from other invasive species of trout and fish.

Around 30 individual Paiute trout were taken from an existing population in Coyote Valley Creek in the eastern Sierra Nevada wilderness in September and were transported by mule 2 miles to their final destination in Silver King Creek, another stream in the wilderness area.

The Paiute Cutthroat Trout was one of the first species added to the Endangered Species List in 1967, and its reintroduction marks decades of hard work from conservationists. Another reintroduction is scheduled to take place soon to ensure the new population reaches the numbers needed to become self-sustaining.

To read more about the Paiute Trout project, check out this article on USA Today!

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