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2000 Salmonid Stock Inventory (SaSI) Coastal Cutthroat Trout Volume

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

Date Published: June 2000

Number of Pages: 271

Author(s): Editors: Ann Blakley, Bob Leland, Jim Ames

DESCRIPTION:

The 2000 Washington coastal cutthroat stock inventory is a compilation of data on coastal cutthroat from WDFW biologists throughout western Washington. This inventory is a part of the Washington Salmonid Stock Inventory (SaSI), which also includes the 1992 salmon and steelhead stock inventory and the 1997, and 1998 bull trout and Dolly Varden stock inventories. These inventories are the first step in the process of restoring Washington's salmonid stocks to healthy and productive levels. The list of stocks and their status and discussions of factors affecting stock production provide a basis for prioritizing recovery efforts and a tool to monitory recovery progress.

Southwest Washington coastal cutthroat, including those along the south coast and lower Columbia River have been proposed for listing as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. A final listing determination is expected from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2000.

Because the inventory is the first attempt to identify coastal cutthroat stock groups and to determine their status, it will be modified as new information becomes available.

In the other SaSI volumes, a stock is defined as a group fish of the same species which spawns in a given area at the same time. Stocks are, for the most part, reproductively isolated from one another, although some movement of individuals is recognized as a normal part of salmonid biology. Identifying individual coastal cutthroat stocks is exceptionally difficult. Genetic analyses of coastal cutthroat have shown that there can be several distinct stocks within small streams. The task of identifying individual stocks in large watersheds is overwhelming. As a result, the coastal cutthroat volume departs slightly from the approach of identifying individual stocks and instead identifies stock complexes.

A stock complex is a group of closely related stocks located within a single watershed or other relatively limited geographic area. The number of stocks within a stock complex may never be known with any confidence.

This inventory identified 40 coastal cutthroat stock complexes and determined their status (healthy, depressed, critical, unknown or extinct), origin (native, non-native or unknown) and production type (wild, cultured or unknown). The tables below list stock complexes, their status, origin and production type by region.

Table 1. Puget Sound coastal cutthroat stock complex list.
NORTH PUGET SOUND ORIGIN PRODUCTION TYPE STATUS
Sumas Unknown Wild Unknown
North Puget Sound Tribs. Native Wild Unknown
Nooksack Native Composite Unknown
Whatcom Creek Unknown Composite Unknown
Samish Unknown Wild Unknown
Skagit Unknown Wild Unknown
Stillaguamish Mixed Composite Healthy
Snohomish Mixed Composite Unknown
SOUTH PUGET SOUND ORIGIN PRODUCTION TYPE STATUS
Duwamish/Green Native Wild Unknown
Puyallup Native Wild Unknown
Nisqually Native Wild Unknown
Western South Sound Native Wild Unknown
HOOD CANAL ORIGIN PRODUCTION TYPE STATUS
Eastern Hood Canal Native Wild Unknown
Western Hood Canal Native Wild Unknown
STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA ORIGIN PRODUCTION TYPE STATUS
Eastern Strait Native Wild Unknown
Mid-Strait Native Wild Unknown
Western Strait Native Wild Unknown

Table 2. Washington Coast coastal cutthroat stock complex list by river basin
NORTH COAST ORIGIN PRODUCTION TYPE STATUS
Ozette Native Wild Unknown
Quillayute Native Wild Unknown
Hoh Native Wild Unknown
Queets Native Wild Unknown
Raft/Quinault Native Wild Unknown
Moclips/Copalis Native Wild Unknown
GRAYS HARBOR ORIGIN PRODUCTION TYPE STATUS
Humptulips Native Wild Unknown
Chehalis Native Wild Unknown
WILLAPA BAY ORIGIN PRODUCTION TYPE STATUS
North/Smith Cr/Cedar Native Wild Unknown
Willapa Native Wild Unknown
Mid-Willapa Bay Native Wild Unknown
Naselle/Bear Native Wild Unknown

Table 3. Columbia River coastal cutthroat stock complex list.
LOWER COLUMBIA ORIGIN PRODUCTION TYPE STATUS
Grays Native Wild Depressed
Abernathy Cr/Germany Cr/ Mill Cr/ Coal Cr Native Wild Depressed
Elochoman/Skamokawa Creek Native Wild Depressed
Cowlitz Native Wild Depressed
Coweeman Native Wild Depressed
Toutle Native Wild Depressed
Kalama Native Wild Depressed
Lewis Native Wild Unknown
Salmon Creek Native Composite Unknown
Washougal Native Composite Unknown
Small Tribs between Lewis and Bonneville Native Wild Unknown

Of the total 40 stock complexes identified, one (3%) is healthy, seven (18%) are depressed, none are critical, 32 (80%) are unknown, and none are extinct.

This inventory of coastal cutthroat in Washington has shown that we have very little scientific data with which to determine stock complex status. Fish managers must now determine where data needs are most urgent and begin the process of collecting information on those stock complexes. When we have a better sense of the status of coastal cutthroat, we will be better able to begin recovery planning to achieve our overall goal of having healthy coastal cutthroat in Washington.