Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Philip J. Howell
    Date: 2017
    Source: Ecology of Freshwater Fish. doi: 10.1111/eff.12386.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (539.0 KB)


    Many bull trout populations have declined from non-native brook trout introductions, habitat changes (e.g. water temperature) and other factors. We systematically sampled the distribution of bull trout and brook trout in the upper Powder River basin in Oregon in the 1990s and resampled it in 2013–2015, examined temperature differences in the habitats of the two species and analysed trends in temperatures in the light of possible increases associated with climate change. The species’ distributions are currently similar to those in the 1990s, except in one stream where bull trout declined. However, bull trout consisting of resident forms remain restricted to a few kilometres of habitat at the upper end of fish distribution. In streams where both species occur, the typical pattern was an intermediate zone of mixed bull trout, brook trout, and hybrids downstream of allopatric bull trout and allopatric brook trout extending farther downstream. Temperature differences between where bull trout and most brook trout occurred were small (0.5–1.0°C August mean). There were no statistical increases in water temperatures in nearby streams since the 1990s and no warming trends in air temperatures for the past 25–60 years. However, peak summer water temperatures are occurring about 3 weeks earlier than 25 years ago. Future effects of climate change, including possible increases in temperature, changes in timing and other factors (e.g. snowpack, flow and extreme events) remain a concern for the persistence of these populations. However, it is difficult to precisely predict where those changes will occur and what they will be.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Howell, Philip J. 2017. Changes in native bull trout and non-native brook trout distributions in the upper Powder River basin after 20 years, relationships to water temperature and implications of climate change. Ecology of Freshwater Fish. doi: 10.1111/eff.12386.


    Google Scholar


    brook trout, bull trout, climate change, species interactions, water temperature

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page