Clackamas Bull Trout reintroduction starts next week

From the Clackamas Bull Trout working group: In the past, bull trout were abundant and widely distributed in the Willamette Basin, including the Clackamas River. They were a historical component of the river’s native fish assemblage that evolved over thousands of years. Currently, bull trout are extirpated from the Clackamas River Subbasin; there have been no documented sightings of bull trout in the Clackamas River since 1963. The bull trout was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1998. Efforts to recover the species are underway, including restoring the species to areas from which it has been lost.

bull trout painting by David Wilson

Years of planning by many agencies and organizations will culminate next week with the initial transfers of bull trout from the Metolius to the Clackamas River. Transfers of fish will continue through July this year and will continue annually for likely the next 7 years. All bull trout will be released in the Clackamas and tributaries upstream of the Collawash/Clackamas River confluence. All bull trout released in the Clackamas will be listed as threatened under the ESA but will be designated a “nonessential experimental population”, a designation allowed under Section 10(j) of the ESA that allows for more flexible management of the population and without the stringent protections typically afforded a federally listed species.

For more info, follow the link.

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