Government Agencies Agree to Consultation on Bull Trout

Agreement comes after a conservation group threatened to sue

MISSOULA — U.S. officials have agreed to consult over the management of two Montana threatened bull trout populations after a conservation group threatened to sue.

The Missoulian reports Alliance for the Wild Rockies allege the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s failure to hold a formal consultation was a violation of the Endangered Species Act.

Alliance executive director Mike Garrity says his organization wants fish screens installed in the East Fork of Rock Creek and in the St. Mary River drainage.

Bureau of Reclamation area manager Steve Davies says the entire St. May Diversion Dam must be rebuilt at a cost of $42 million.

His agency will present a biological assessment to the Fish and Wildlife Service, which will then issue a biological opinion on whether proposed activities will help or harm the threatened fish.