Conservation Success Index

Using GIS and Professional Input to Determine Watershed Priorities for Conservation and Protection


The CSI 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 conservation priorities. In partnership with TU and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resource and Forest (OMNRF), Trout Unlimited Canada have actively been developing the CSI and determining watershed priorities for Southern Ontario.


The CSI can help identify conservation and protection priorities at the subwatershed level and help ensure that resources and efforts are applied efficiently and effectively. Using a GIS-oriented approach, the CSI assesses past, current and future habitat, population, and risk conditions to Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) using spatial data and professional advice from fishery specialists and conservation experts.


To date, TUC has completely redesigned and remodeled the CSI for usage in Ontario. Processes and assumptions were rebuilt primarily around the data available in Ontario as well as landscape conditions in the province and inputs from specialists with OMNRF and the regional Conservation Authorities where the CSI analysis was utilized. The CSI is just one step in our conservation strategy and in the education of our members and the general public. Local knowledge, monitoring, and partnerships are key in successfully implementing our conservation strategies.

Partners and Sponsors

The CSI is a unique collaboration between Trout Unlimited Canada and OMNRF. TUC wishes to thank the Ministry for both their financial and in-kind support of throughout the project. TUC would also like to thank the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Salamander Foundation for their past financial support, as well as TU for their past technical advice of the project.


CSI Mitigation Strategy
CSI Summary Score










CSI by Watershed