Court Orders Review of Cutthroat Trout

Ruling might force fish onto endangered species list

Outdoor Life Online Editor

The health of the Yellowstone cutthroat trout is to be reevaluated by the U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service according to a ruling by a federal court judge. In 1998 several conservation groups filed a petition with the Interior Secretary requesting protection for a fish they claimed was dying off from disease and habitat degradation.

By 2001 the Fish and Wildlife Service had finished a review of the initial petitions and decided the trout didn't warrant any further protection. The decision said the conservation groups presented information that was "outdated" or "contradictory."

Such logic didn't work on the judge, who said in his ruling that the Fish and Wildlife Service acted "arbitrarily and capriciously" with its results. Now begins another 12 month review to determine the state of the cutthroat trout.