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Bull Trout and Dolly Varden Management Plan

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research and Management - Management and Conservation

Date Published: September 2000

Number of Pages: 23

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The Bull Trout and Dolly Varden Management Plan describes the goal, objectives and strategies that will be used by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (Department) for managing bull trout and Dolly Varden in Washington. The plan does not represent a consensus of all entities managing native char. However, the Department will work with Indian tribes and other management agencies to reach consensus through negotiations when implementing this plan at the local watershed level.

The goal of the Department is to restore and maintain the health and diversity of self-sustaining bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma) stocks and their habitats to levels that allow recreational utilization within resource protection guidelines. This goal addresses the Department’s mandate, the Fish and Wildlife Commission's policies, and the Wild Salmonid Policy. The intent of the goal is to address stock health beyond numerical abundance by ensuring the long-term productive capacity of bull trout and Dolly Varden and their habitats.

In the state of Washington, bull trout and Dolly Varden, two closely-related native char species, co-exist. They have considerable biological similarities with respect to life history and habitat requirements. For these reasons the goal, objectives and strategies in this plan address both bull trout and Dolly Varden in Washington, and are referred to collectively as native char.

The Department completed a stock status report for bull trout and Dolly Varden in 1998 which identified 80 stocks statewide. Almost 18 percent were identified as healthy, 3% depressed, 8% critical and 72% as unknown.

This plan defines population maintenance, fisheries management and habitat maintenance objectives. In addition, it describes the enforcement, monitoring, evaluation and research efforts needed to meet the bull trout and Dolly Varden management goal and objectives.