Public Comment Opportunity on Bull Trout and Athabasca Rainbow Trout Recovery Strategies
On June 1, the federal government posted recovery strategies for two populations of native Alberta trout that were added to the federal Species at Risk Act registry in 2019. This includes the Saskatchewan-Nelson Rivers population of Bull Trout and the Athabasca Rainbow Trout.
Bull Trout range in Alberta extends across all of the major drainages along the eastern slopes of the Rockies. When assessing populations, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) divided Bull Trout into five separate designatable units (DUs). The Saskatchewan-Nelson populations which encompass the Oldman, Bow, Red Deer, and North Saskatchewan river drainages are listed as Threatened.
The Bull Trout Recovery Strategy can be found here.
Although Rainbow Trout have been introduced to every continent on the planet except Antarctica, their native range includes northeastern Siberia and western North America. There are only three drainages east of the continental divide with native populations of Rainbow Trout. This includes the Peace, Liard, and Athabasca rivers. The Athabasca River population, the only native Rainbow Trout population in Alberta, is known as Athabasca Rainbow Trout. Though not considered a subspecies of Rainbow Trout, this population is considered a single designatable unit and was listed as Endangered in 2019.
The Athabasca Rainbow Trout Recovery Strategy can be found here.
Comments on both Recovery Strategies can be sent via email by July 31, 2020.
Following the 60-day public comment period, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada will consider the comments and post the final Recovery Strategies on the SARA registry. This is one piece of a much longer process described here.
Want to learn more about what’s threatening native trout in the Rockies? Here’s a great place to start.