The five year plan for Coordinated Assessments (see 5 Year Plan document) envisioned a preliminary assessment and discussion of data availability, critical gaps, and relationships to regional data needs, to begin in the fall of 2017. This task requires staff to ensure alignment with data needs and to broaden discussion to include Bull Trout database managers. Because the Northwest Power and Conservation Council had a need to compile objectives for Bull Trout earlier in 2017, StreamNet, the Council, and the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife  &Parks convened an exploratory meeting on April 12, 2017 in Missoula to discuss Bull Trout objectives, indicators, and the Coordinated Assessments project with Bull Trout biologists from the Columbia Basin. This web page contains materials from the meeting and links to relevant Bull Trout resources.

Photo by Joel Sartore/National Geographic Stock with Wade Fredenberg/USFWS




Bull Trout are found throughout the Columbia River Basin, but are limited in range due in part to their need for very cold water habitats. The estimate of Bull Trout abundance in the Columbia Headwaters (which is located mainly in Montana) ranges between 20,650 to 145, 900.


Bull Trout is one of the focal (important) resident fish species for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s 2014 Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program (Program). The 2014 Program has an interim Bull Trout population objective of maintaining a stable and increasing population trend. Bull Trout is one of the species targeted as part of the Program’s “refine program goals and objectives” task.


Bull trout were listed as threatened in 1999. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible for Bull Trout recovery efforts. Critical habitat was designated for Bull Trout on October 18, 2010. In the final rule, the Service identified 32 critical habitat units representing 19,729 river miles and 488,252 surface acres of Bull Trout habitats. These describe single core areas or groups of core areas that are in close proximity geographically and describing their division into six recovery units. The Coastal, Klamath, Mid-Columbia, Columbia Headwaters, Upper Snake, and St. Mary are the six Bull Trout recovery units ( Bull Trout are managed by state and tribal natural resource agencies, who often collect data used in conservation and management efforts.


Bull Trout Workshop – April 2017


The Northwest Power and Conservation Council, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, and StreamNet co-organized this workshop to

  • To identify existing Bull Trout objectives to inform the Council’s 2014 Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program’s task for refining program goals and objectives;
  • To discuss existing reporting needs and data availability related to Bull Trout; and,
  • To explore opportunities to facilitate data sharing across jurisdictions / entities.

Documents from the workshop are available here:

Final agenda

Bull trout documents draft list

Bull trout workshop presentation

Bull trout workshop notes

Bull trout data sharing



Bull Trout Data Resources


Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks –


Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife -


Idaho Department of Fish and Game -


Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife -


Northwest Power and Conservation Council Fish and Wildlife Programs


StreamNet -