Category: Fish/Shellfish Research
Published: June 2000
Author(s): Editors: Ann Blakley, Bob Leland, Jim Ames
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|
|North Puget Sound Tribs.||Native||Wild||Unknown|
|SOUTH PUGET SOUND||ORIGIN||PRODUCTION TYPE||STATUS|
|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|
|Table 2. Washington Coast coastal cutthroat stock complex list by river basin|
|NORTH COAST||ORIGIN||PRODUCTION TYPE||STATUS|
|GRAYS HARBOR||ORIGIN||PRODUCTION TYPE||STATUS|
|WILLAPA BAY||ORIGIN||PRODUCTION TYPE||STATUS|
|Table 3. Columbia River coastal cutthroat stock complex list.|
|LOWER COLUMBIA||ORIGIN||PRODUCTION TYPE||STATUS|
|Abernathy Cr/Germany Cr/ Mill Cr/ Coal Cr||Native||Wild||Depressed|
|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.