Integrating conservation genetic considerations into conservation planning: A case study of bull trout in the Lake Pend Oreille - Lower Clark Fork River system

John Epifanio, Gordon Haas, Karen Pratt, Bruce Rieman, Paul Spruell, Craig Stockwell, Fred Utter, William Young

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) is a species of conservation concern - listed as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act - throughout its native range in the western United States. The authors were assembled by the Clark Fork River Aquatic Implementation Team, composed of biologists representing Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP); Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG); and Avista Corporation, to provide a conservation genetics perspective and to assist those managers charged with stewardship of the bull trout populations occupying the Lake Pend Oreille (ID) - lower Clark Fork River (ID, MT) drainage. More specifically, we were asked to assess the risks to bull trout from alternative conservation strategies and to recommend a plan of action aimed at promoting the species' long-term viability and functional recovery. We describe here a case study of one application of the expert advisory panel approach within the context of a restoration program and of the underlying perspectives this panel brought to bear on bull trout conservation (including identifying conservation units and the actions needed to restore long-term viability to the resource). Although the panel focused specifically on bull trout in a specific basin, the general considerations and approach should have more general application elsewhere for bull trout and for other at-risk fish populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-24
Number of pages15
JournalFisheries
Volume28
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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