SPEARFISH, S.D. — Several Black Hills streams have a new species of fish for anglers to catch, but where the cutthroat trout came from is a mystery.
The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks officials recently have found small numbers of Snake River cutthroat trout during sampling, the Black Hills Pioneer reported.
Jake Davis is an area fisheries supervisor with the state Game, Fish and Parks. He said fisheries crews have encountered cutthroat trout in Spearfish, Whitewood and the north fork of Rapid creeks.
Davis says it’s not known where the fish came from.
“They aren’t stocked by the state of South Dakota,” Davis said. “There are cases where we have allowed a private individual to stock fish.”
He said those people are required to have a permit as well as a clean fish health report.
Two stocking of cutthroat trout have been permitted in the state so far this year. Both were by the same hatchery.
Mike Clark owns Clark Trout Farm located in Wyoming. Clark said he stocked Snake River cutthroat trout in the Deerfield Park subdivision area, which feeds into Deerfield Reservoir and eventually the north fork of Rapid Creek.
Clark also previously stocked a private pond near Mattson Lane, outside of Deadwood. He said a strong rainstorm washed out the dam of that pond as well as the fish. It’s possible they ended up in Whitewood Creek.
In its display ponds, D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery and Archives has the same strain of cutthroat – some of which may have escaped while cleaning screens.