The numbers are in, and Flat Creek Cutthroats are as good as ever!
JACKSON – The summer field season is relatively short for the Jackson fish managers, so they spend nearly every day possible sampling area waters and recording the data to be analyzed later during the winter months. Recently, fish managers were able to crunch the numbers from their September sampling of the renowned stretch of Flat Creek that runs through the National Elk Refuge and the numbers are looking good.
The estimate for cutthroat trout greater than 13 inches was 129 fish/mile and 178 pounds of fish/mile, which is well within the range of recent years and an increase from cutthroat numbers in the early 2010’s.
Compared to other local rivers, Flat Creek has a high proportion of large fish. The last estimate on the Gros Ventre (above the town of Kelly), for example, recorded an estimate of 68 cutthroat per mile that were larger than 13 inches. Similarly, the Salt River near Etna was estimated to have 62 cutthroat per mile greater than 13 inches. The much larger Snake River below Wilson, boasts only a few more large cutthroat per mile than Flat Creek at 150.
Jackson Fish Biologist Diana Miller holds a hefty cutthroat repesentative of the fish that can be caught in Flat Creek on the National Elk Refuge.