Oklahoma's Spring Creek will remain free of non-native and invasive trout under a decision released by the Oklahoma Court of Appeals. Spring Creek is considered the only pristine Ozark Stream of its kind in the state.
The original case was brought by a coalition of landowners who objected to the Wildlife Department allowing private fishermen to stock the creek with trout, a species foreign to the area. The landowners feared that the trout would crowd out native fish, triggering a domino effect in the stream's ecosystem.
"You just don't want to mess with a steam that is still in its pristine, natural state," said Charles Shipley, the Tulsa lawyer for the Spring Creek Conservation Coalition. "You just don't want to take a pristine stream and add something foreign to it, even something as usually unobjectionable as trout."