Resident native fisheries include a variety of species. Bull trout is of concern in the Northern Region because of population declines. This species is federally listed as ‘Threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act. In addition to bull trout, several other native fish species populations have declined in the Northern Region, and for this reason they are included on the Northern Region Sensitive Species List.

Less well known native fish species in the Northern Region are the Prairie fishes. These include unique, often beautiful, fishes such as the rosyface shiner, Northern redbelly dace and sauger. All native fish species have a high intrinsic value because they evolved in North America and occur only in within a limited range.

Declining Native Aquatic Species


Conservation/restoration of salmon, steelhead, bulltrout and westslope cutthroat trout and their habitat is of primary emphasis in the Northern Region. For bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout, the threat of non-native fishes (brook trout, lake trout) to population strongholds is a concern. Salmon and steelhead face many survival challenges including migration to and from the ocean to their spawning habitat in the Snake River drainages in Idaho. All these species have suffered declines to their populations due to habitat modifications (e.g. dams and migration barriers at road crossings), introductions of non-native species that compete with them for food and other resources, and genetic introgression (cross-breeding) with introduced or hatchery fish.


Photo of a bull trout under water.


Conservation Strategy for Bull Trout on USFS lands in Western Montana (617 pages, 38.3 MB)