Bull Trout Recovery Planning



Bull Trout
Photo credit: A. Conley

Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) were listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1998. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is the agency responsible for recovery planning and consultation on actions that may affect the species. The Yakima Bull Trout Working Group is an informal group that brings together those active in bull trout conservation in the basin to share information and coordinate activities.

USFWS first released a Draft Bull Trout Recovery Plan in 2002. Finalization of the plan was deferred while a 5 Year Status Review was completed in 2008. A new draft was released in September 2014, and the final USFWS Recovery Plan was released in Sept 2015.

In 2012, local bull trout biologists in the Yakima Basin completed the Yakima Bull Trout Action Plan, and in 2016, the Yakima Bull Trout Working Group began an intensive update. This document is a locally developed summary of information about Yakima Basin bull trout populations. It includes information about population status, habitat, and a detailed analysis of threats by life stage and corresponding monitoring and restoration actions. It is being used to track our progress towards implementing priority actions needed to recovery bull trout in the Yakima Basin.

The Bureau of Reclamation issued the 2015 Bull Trout Enhancement Plan as part of the Kachess Drought Relief Pumping Plant EIS in 2015. The Enhancement Plan identifies specific actions that will benefit bull trout, with an emphasis on the Gold Creek, Kachess and Box Canyon populations.

In 2015, key parties in the Yakima Basin also signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing each other to working to recovery bull trout in the Yakima Basin.