Westslope Cutthroat Trout Range Expansion Feasibility
Westslope cutthroat trout (WSCT) currently occupy only 5% of their historic range in Alberta. Recovery of the species requires expanding their distribution and protection from invasive species, which are considered their greatest threat. ACA has been investigating methods for assessing the feasibility of WSCT range expansions into streams and lakes above waterfalls that 2 prevent upstream fish migration. We have adapted components of a range expansion framework originally developed by bull trout researchers, to score and rank habitats above barriers based on WSCT life history requirements. We will determine range expansion feasibility for each upstream habitat based on the sum of scores that rate habitat quality, habitat quantity, habitat complexity, threats to existing WSCT populations, and future invasion risk. Before these habitats can be comprehensively ranked, thorough cataloguing of existing and new information is required to address the components that make up the range expansion scoring framework. Work is ongoing to compile the information required to populate these components and comprehensively rank available habitats for future WSCT range expansions. Final lists of both stream and lake habitats will be produced and ranked by range expansion suitability score, providing a valuable resource to third party agencies involved in WSCT reintroduction projects.
Alberta Environment and Parks, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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|Westslope Cutthroat Trout Range Expansion Feasibility||2018-2019||1|
|Westslope Cutthroat Trout Range Expansion Feasibility||2019-2020||1|