The CSI tool was originally developed by Trout Unlimited (TU) in the United States in order to be more strategic and effective in their conservation efforts of native salmonids. Based on population distribution and conditions, habitat conditions, and vulnerability to future threats, this GIS-based approach was a unique tool in modeling potential conservation success. In partnership with TU, Trout Unlimited Canada is actively developing the CSI in Canada to model the status and trends of Brook Trout and support the conservation of this species within the Credit River watershed in Ontario, Canada.


The CSI can help identify conservation strategies specific to the watershed level and help ensure that conservation resources and efforts are applied efficiently while achieving the greatest potential conservation success. Development of unique and standardized environmental and biological indicators and geospatial data is essential to this.

The CSI is a growing and successful GIS-based conservation planning model for much of the western and eastern United States. Trout Unlimited Canada has been working on redeveloping the model to fit the unique challenges that pertains to our landscape, industry and energy development, and environmental constraints. Geospatial data access and sources also differ greatly across Canada and even at the regional level which provides an additional degree of challenge in remodelling the CSI.

What’s Next?

Although this project is being piloted in the Credit River watershed in Ontario, Trout Unlimited Canada is hoping to expand the CSI model to fit all native fish species across multiple watersheds and eventually to conservation strategies in other provinces. The CSI is just one step in our conservation strategy and in the education of our members and general public. Local knowledge, monitoring, and partnerships are key in successfully implementing our conservation strategies.

Partners and Sponsors

This project is a unique collaboration between Trout Unlimited Canada and Trout Unlimited in the United States. Financial support has been provided by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.