Bull trout recovery is still a difficult problem . . .
Bull trout numbers in the Flathead River drainage crashed so fast in the 1990s, they wound up on the Endangered Species list.
Their populations haven’t recovered, but the amount we know about a fish considered the “grizzly bear of the freshwater world” has zoomed upward even faster. That’s good news for the consortium of communities charged with keeping bull trout around.
The Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s meeting in Missoula last week got an update on the range of efforts to protect bull trout, from commercial netting of its chief rival in Flathead Lake to tinkering with the water temperature coming out of Hungry Horse Dam.
As promised, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is being sued over its bull trout recovery plan . . .
A pair of environmental groups on April 19 filed a lawsuit against the federal government alleging that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s plan to recover threatened bull trout is inadequate and violates the Endangered Species Act.
The groups, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Friends of the Wild Swan, challenged the agency’s final recovery plan in U.S. District Court in Oregon, saying that it “fails to ensure the long-term survival and recovery.”
Bull trout were listed under the Endangered Species Act as “threatened” in 1999, and the FWS’ plan to recover the species is more than 15 years in the making. The plan, finalized last September, immediately drew criticism from conservation groups who for two decades have been at the vanguard of legal challenges on the road toward bull trout recovery.