Bull Trout Recovery

Adult male bull trout in South Fork Tieton- Photo credit: Connor Parrish

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.

Mid-Columbia Fisheries is an active partner in local bull trout recovery. If you have information, sightings, or pictures of bull trout in the Yakima or Naches Rivers or tributaries, we would like to hear from you!

Mid-Columbia Fisheries assists with coordination of the Yakima Bull Trout Working Group, sponsors the Bull Trout Task Force project, and assists and implements on-the-ground recovery actions that directly benefit bull trout. This has included habitat restoration, population monitoring, and eDNA surveys.

The Yakima Bull Trout Working Group (BTWG) is an informal working group that brings together partners working on bull trout conservation approximately once every two months. It has become the go-to-place to share updates and coordinate bull trout activities. The BTWG is coordinated by the Yakima Basin Fish and Wildlife Recovery Board in cooperation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

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.