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Potential SARA Listing of Bull Trout as Special Concern

Posted on November 16th 2013, by Fisheries and Oceans Canada

South Coast British Columbia bull trout

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is seeking your input on the potential listing of the South Coast British Columbia and Western Arctic populations of bull trout as Special Concern under the Species at Risk Act (SARA).

The South Coast British Columbia and Western Arctic populations of bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) have been recently assessed by the Committee of the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) as Special Concern. If they are listed under SARA as Special Concern, conservation efforts including the development of a management plan would be initiated and general prohibitions under SARA would not apply.

The bull trout is a salmonid species inhabiting the majority of British Columbia, as well as portions of the Yukon, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories. South Coast British Columbia populations inhabit the Skagit, Squamish, Ryan, Lillooet, Pitt and Lower Fraser Rivers; Pitt, Birkenhead, Chilliwack and Chehalis Lakes; and Phelix and Ure Creeks. Western Arctic populations inhabit MacKenzie River drainages including the Liard, Peace and Athabasca River basins. Migration to the sea has been observed in South Coast British Columbia bull trout populations, however exact marine distribution in British Columbia waters remains largely unknown; as such, DFO is consulting with a broad range of stakeholders in order to be inclusive of any potentially wide-ranging migratory populations.

This popular sport fish is recognizable by its large head in proportion to its long and slender, green-grey body with small pinkish spots. Key threats to these populations include habitat degradation and fragmentation, introduced species, and overexploitation.

If you or your organization would like to know more about bull trout, or would like to participate in the consultation on its potential listing under SARA as Special Concern, please see this page. DFO is seeking your input by December 16th, 2013. Your input is important and will be considered by the Minister of the Environment, in consultation with the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, in making a listing decision.

For additional information, please contact the Species at Risk Program officer at 604-666-7907 or email sara@pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

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