WNTI announces 2014 grant recipients

The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) received 33 applications for 2014 funding in a very competitive funding cycle. Thank you to everyone who submitted an application, we appreciate your efforts to conserve western native trout! Congratulations to the following successful projects:

Whitewater-Baldy Gila trout habitat assessment, New Mexico

Yankee Run Creek (Coquille River) LWD restoration for Coastal cutthroat trout, Oregon

Sun Creek historic channel reconnection to improve Bull trout and Redband trout habitat, Oregon

Clear Creek Bonneville cutthroat trout restoration project, Utah

For more information on all of these projects, please see the WNTI August 2014 Web News or click on the Projects page.

Upper Missouri River Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Arctic grayling does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)

The Western Native Trout Initiative includes Arctic Grayling in the lower 48 states and Alaska as one of the species we include in our conservation efforts.

MONTANA – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its finding on August 20, 2014, that the Upper Missouri River Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the Arctic grayling does not warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service reached this conclusion after analyzing the significant conservation efforts carried out by private landowners as well as federal and state agency partners to improve conditions for Arctic grayling in the Upper Missouri River basin. These efforts have helped bring the species to the point that it is not in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future, i.e., does not meet the definition of an endangered or threatened species under the ESA.

Private landowners in the Big Hole and Centennial valleys worked through a voluntary Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA) to achieve significant conservation of grayling within its range. Since 2006, over 250 conservation projects have been implemented under the CCAA to conserve Arctic grayling and its habitat, including: riparian fencing, irrigation flow reductions, improved irrigation infrastructure, fish ladders, improved stock water systems, and both passive and active stream restoration. Habitat quality has improved and grayling populations have more than doubled since the CCAA began in 2006.

For more information: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/pressrel/2014/08192014_ArcticGraylin...

2013 Annual Report now available

Since its inception in 2006, the Western Native Trout Initiative has directed over $4 million in federal fish habitat funds leveraged to $14 million public and private matching dollars for 110 priority native trout conservation projects.

2006-2013 Snapshot
By leveraging funding provided to WNTI by the National Fish Habitat Partnership, WNTI and its many partners have successfully improved the status of western native trout populations in 12 western states including Alaska. With the collaboration and coordination of WNTI Partners, together we have removed 48 barriers to fish passage, reconnected or improved 466 miles of native trout habitat, and placed 26 protective fish barriers to conserve 570 miles of important native trout conservation populations.

In order to ensure our collaborative investments are directed toward the highest priority projects, the Western Native Trout Initiative has funded over 600 watershed, fish population, and habitat surveys. In 2013, an important genetic assessment of Redband trout in the interior Pacific Northwest was completed, and a new status review of Coastal cutthroat trout was begun. Gila trout assessments were completed in Arizona and New Mexico in response to catastrophic wildfires in 2011 and 2012. WNTI also collaborated with partners in the development of habitat conservation priorities in the Upper Missouri River Basin and the Upper Colorado River Basin.

WNTI is a proud sponsor of the Wild Trout Symposium

WNTI is proud to be a sponsor of Wild Trout XI, being held September 22-25, 2014 in West Yellowstone, Montana. Stop by and visit our table!

www.wildtroutsymposium.org for more information or to register.

Since the first Wild Trout Symposium in 1974, concerned anglers, biologists and fisheries managers have gathered to share their passion for wild trout. Wild Trout Symposium brings us all together in a world of changing environments, philosophies and politics. The Symposium welcomes your knowledge and fellowship as we work to sustain this precious resource for future generations.

Our mission is to provide a forum for professional wild trout biologists and fishery conservationists to interact, to get to know each other in an informal setting, and to be exposed to the latest wild trout status, science, technology and philosophy. These conferences equip participants to better preserve and restore this magnificent but declining resource.