Category: Fish/Shellfish Research
Revised: October 2004
Changes to the bull trout and Dolly Varden stock inventory in 2004
Genetic analyses of several populations of Washington native char have been conducted since the publication of the 1998 bull trout/Dolly Varden stock inventory. In some cases, we have determined that populations can be identified as bull trout or Dolly Varden. Where species identification has been made, the name of the stock has been changed from bull trout/Dolly Varden to bull trout or Dolly Varden. The basis for these changes is discussed in the introduction to the inventory (p. 2) and at the beginning of each stock report in which the name of the stock was changed.
In 1993, the Washington Departments of Fisheries and Wildlife, along with the Western Washington Treaty Indian Tribes, provided initial results of a stock status inventory for salmon and steelhead (SASSI) in Washington State (Washington Department of Fisheries et al. 1993). The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is now extending that effort to other wild salmonid species. The present report is a stock status report for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and Dolly Varden (S. malma), two closelyrelated char species native to Washington State. Separate inventories for each species were not performed due to two major factors: (1) considerable biological similarities exist between the species, and the methodologies to reliably separate them where they coexist have only recently been developed and have not been widely applied, and (2) strong similarities between species exist with respect to life history, habitat, hatchery and fishery management history. The inventory for these two species applies the same conceptual approaches, definitions, criteria, and organizational format that were developed for the earlier inventory for salmon and steelhead. This inventory utilized and extended the earlier inventory effort of Mongillo (1993).
Resource inventories are key steps in statewide efforts to maintain and restore wild1 salmonid stocks and fisheries. The primary intent of these efforts is to help identify currently available information and to guide future restoration planning and implementation. Assessment of specific management objectives, strategies, and implementation alternatives will be among the many subsequent steps (e.g., development of a bull trout/Dolly Varden management plan) aimed at improving the status of native char resources.