March 2015 News from the Western Native Trout Initiative, a project of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the National Fish Habitat Partnership.  
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Upper Colorado River Basin Conservation Priorities Project

WNTI, working in collaboration with the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership and the University of Missouri, just released the final report and datasets for the Upper Colorado River Basin Conservation Priorities Project.  You can download both here. The datasets include an anthropogenic index, conservation ranks for individual catchments, the conservation rank raster, fish species distribution models, inputs for the threat index, and a look-up table for the fish species codes.
The goal of the project was to provide an ecologically-based conservation assessment using the distribution of native fish species and the threats to persistence that could be used by land managers in the decision-making process to strategically place conservation efforts.  Potential uses are: a) identify focal conservation areas, b) identify conservation strategies (e.g., non-native removal, habitat restoration, native species reintroduction, land protection), and c) compare/contrast factors influencing the conservation value.  The project was funded through a Multi State Conservation Grant in 2013. Feel free to contact Jodi Whittier with any questions.

The data and report are now being served through the Landscape Conservation Management and Analysis Portal (LC MAP) and the Southern Rockies LCC Conservation Planning Atlas (CPA). The data can be interacted through the CPA web mapping application and/or downloaded. P
lease contact Jered Hansen if you have any questions.

New Web Viewer for Coastal Cutthroat Trout
Range-wide Assessment 

A web based mapping application has been developed to support the coastal cutthroat trout (CCT) range-wide assessment, currently underway. Take a look!
More information on this project:  A Coastal cutthroat trout range-wide assessment was identified as a priority data gap by the NFHP 2010 National Assessment and by WNTI and its partners.   This project received WNTI funding in the 2013 grants cycle and is currently underway.  The Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the Coastal Cutthroat Trout Interagency Committee and WNTI have identified actions that will become the foundation for a range-wide conservation plan for CCT.  The work we are accomplishing will address four major goals and objectives identified in the amended WNTI Strategic Plan.  Our primary task is to conduct a geo-referenced assessment of CCT, significantly updating the WNTI species assessment conducted for CCT in 2007.  The project will result in the following products: 1) a geo-referenced database that integrates existing information with any new information collected; 2) analyzed and summarized data from the assessment will be published as web-based GIS services, and 3) we will continue to maintain and update the project’s spatial data using online collaborative tools and an interactive map viewer (anticipated 2016 completion).                                                                                                                                                                                                  Partnering Organizations:  Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, CCT Interagency Committee, California Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife,  Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, US Forest Service, BLM.

Please note: Data presented in the application are a work in progress and should be considered a snapshot in time. They are not comprehensive but represent data on CCT observations and distribution compiled to date.  As additional data gathering workshops are held, the mapping application will be updated.  Please direct questions about the application to

WNTI is a Proud Sponsor of the World of Trout
First International Congress   

WNTI is proud to be a sponsor of The World of Trout First International Congress, being held July 26-31, 2015, in Bozeman, Montana.  

The World of Trout celebrates trout and the passion they inspire around the world. Arguably no other freshwater species have had more impact on art and literature, conservation science, the global economy, and the human condition. This first-of-its-kind event will be held in the shadow of Yellowstone National Park and in proximity to some of the most beloved trout streams in the world. This event will bring together a diverse audience that includes conservationists, scientists, anglers, writers, artists, educators, and the public for an exchange of ideas and focused events that explore trout as a global barometer, driver for ecosystem restoration, resource for sustained regional economies, instrument of human culture, and more. for more information or to register.

FEATURED PROJECT WNTI's Small Grants Program
Canyon Creek Fish Movement Study and Fish Ladder Construction, Friends of the Teton River (FTR)

The goals of this multi phased project were to 1) to study the movement of Yellowstone cutthroat trout (YCT) in the Canyon Creek drainage to help evaluate and measure the success of recently completed fish passage projects; 2) Increase the knowledge and understanding of local anglers about local fishery issues such as habitat loss, illegal take, and cutthroat trout conservation by installing an informative kiosk on Canyon Creek; and 3) install a step-pool fish ladder and screen a diversion canal to prevent loss of native fish.  During the summer of 2013, FTR with help from Idaho Fish and Game, the US Forest Service, and volunteers, spent several days in Canyon Creek and the Teton River below the Canyon Creek confluence, PIT tagging native and nonnative trout to study how fluvial trout utilize this drainage. 
The installed interrogation site will continue to collect data about trout movement in Canyon Creek for at least the next ten years and will help to inform FTR and the agencies about the extent of non-native invasion, life-cycles of native YCT and it will help FTR to monitor the efficacy of  fish passage projects on this tributary.


Installed interrogation site on Canyon Creek        Yellowstone cutthroat trout from Canyon Creek

The informational kiosk signs were designed and installed with the help of volunteers adjacent to the Green Canyon Hot Springs Campground. The kiosk has a central location within the campground and has good exposure for visitors to the area to learn more about the importance of Canyon Creek, the restoration work there, impacts to the native trout fishery, and fishing regulations for the creek. 


The interpretive kiosk features trout identification materials (top left), fishing regulations (top right), and information regarding the importance of Canyon Creek and the restoration work to YCT (bottom right). Contributions of the Western Native Trout Initiative and other project partners are acknowledged in the lower left-hand corner, by name and logo.

This project provided passage for cutthroat over the dam by installing 5 step pools below the dam reducing the amount the cutthroat have to jump to approximately 8 inches. Prior to construction of the ladder, cutthroat had to jump over a 3 foot dam in order to migrate upstream to spawn and to move upstream to cold water refugia in the summer.  Due to insufficient funding and irrigator support, the canal will not be screened at this time. Thus, the step-pools were designed to deter trout from swimming into the canal. With passage past the canal headgate restored, it is anticipated that trout will utilize the main stream channel and more desirable stream habitat when moving up and downstream. FTR will continue monitoring trout entrainment in the canal, and is working with the irrigators to reduce entrainment risk and impacts.  For a complete project report and before/after photos, click here.

During construction                                      Upstream view of completed project  

Check out the Winter issue of the Coastal Fish Habitat Partnerships newsletter here.

The Kern River Valley Historical Society announced the publication of its most recent book, "The Golden Trout Wilderness: The Forty Year Struggle to Preserve the Ancient Territory of the California Golden Trout".  Click here for more information!

The temperature database & climate scenarios for ~100,000 stream kilometers in the Lahontan basin are now available on the NorWeST websiteThe data to develop the stream scenarios were collected by dozens of individuals and contributed by state, federal, university, and private resource organizations & consists of 576 summers of monitoring effort at 310 unique stream sites. The NorWeST project is funded by the Great Northern and North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and the project goals are to develop a comprehensive regional database and high-resolution stream climate scenarios to facilitate climate vulnerability assessments, interagency coordination of temperature monitoring, & research on thermal ecology.  For more information, contact Dan Isaak

The Southeast Alaska Fish Habitat Partnership, Western Native Trout Initiative, Sitka Conservation Society, Southeast Sustainable Partnership, and The Salmon Project are hosting America’s Fish and Fisheries – Shared through the Camera Lens a film festival taking place during the American Fisheries Society’s 145th Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon this August. Stay tuned for more information!

There is a new Coastal cutthroat trout page on the CalFish website.  Click here!

The Southern Rockies LCC February 2015 newsletter is available here.

A special thank you to Orvis and Sierra Pacific Fly Fishers for continuing cash support!

Thank you to FishPondUSA and Costa for donating product for WNTI outreach &special events!

Thank you to those individuals who supported WNTI by making donations, attending events or purchasing t-shirts and stickers!

Operating under the guidance of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, the Western Native Trout Initiative is governed by a Steering Committee that represents 12 western states, 5 federal resource management agencies, tribes, and nonprofit fisheries conservation organizations. 

Julie Meka-Carter, Chair, Arizona Game and Fish Department
Roger Wilson, Vice Chair, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Bruce McIntosh, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Roger Harding, Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Lee Nelson, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Jon Sjoberg, Nevada Department of Wildlife
Jeff Dillon, Idaho Department of Fish and Game
Craig Burley, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
Melissa Dickard, Bureau of Land Management
Scott Spaulding, U.S. Forest Service
Robert Clarke, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Warren Colyer, Trout Unlimited
Mike Stone, Western Assoc. of Fish and Wildlife Agencies


Therese Thompson, Project Coordinator

Copyright © 2015 Western Native Trout Initiative. All rights reserved.

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