A Long‐Term Watershed‐Scale Partnership to Restore Bull Trout Across Federal, State, Private, and Historic Tribal Land Near Crater Lake National Park, Oregon


Photo credit: National Park Service

We review a 28‐year project to restore a Bull Trout Salvelinus confluentus population in a small Oregon watershed. Restoration evolved from eradication and exclusion of nonnative fishes within the boundaries of a national park to stream reconstruction and reconnection of a historical stream network across state and private property. Management of the project evolved from unilateral actions by a single federal agency to collaborative actions by multiple federal and state agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and private land owners. The project removed nonnative fish from 24 km of one stream by electrofishing and application of chemical piscicide. As a result, Bull Trout abundance and distribution increased from approximately 150 fish occupying 2 km of stream to over 2,000 fish occupying 19 km. Stream restoration included construction of 4 km of stream channel, planting riparian vegetation, fencing to exclude cattle, transfer of water rights to instream use, and facilities to manage fish passage and water withdrawals for irrigation.

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By: M. W. Buktenica, D. K. Hering, N. Scott, C. Lambert, J. McKee, E. Maletis, J. Pellissier, W. Tinniswood, N. Banish