Margined sculpin (Cottus marginatus)

Photo not available for this species
Category: Fish
State status: Sensitive
Vulnerability to climate change (More details)


Climate vulnerability

Sensitivity to climate change


Little information is available regarding the sensitivity of margined sculpin to climate change. Margined sculpin likely prefer aquatic habitat with water temperatures below 20°C; they can withstand short exposure to 25°C water temperatures, but experience mortality at and above 27°C. Margined sculpin are largely associated with pools and deeper habitats, although more recent studies indicate they may exhibit broader habitat usage than previously thought. However, a limited distribution (they are found in only a few drainages in Washington) likely limits their ability to move in response to climate change and human land use impacts (e.g., sedimentation, channelization, and water pollution related to logging, agriculture, development, and grazing).

Confidence: Low

Exposure to climate change


  • Increased water temperatures
Confidence: Moderate


This species is identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) under the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). SGCN-classified species include both those with and without legal protection status under the Federal or State Endangered Species programs, as well as game species with low populations. The WDFW SWAP is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and five U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans for fish, wildlife and their natural habitats—identifying opportunities for species' recovery before they are imperiled and more limited.
This species is identified as a Priority Species under WDFW's Priority Habitat and Species Program. Priority species require protective measures for their survival due to their population status, sensitivity to habitat alteration, and/or recreational, commercial, or tribal importance. The PHS program is the agency's main means of sharing fish and wildlife information with local governments, landowners, and others who use it to protect priority habitats for land use planning.