Monday, October 10, 2011

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Determines That California Golden Trout Does Not Warrant Protection Under the Endangered Species Act

California’s official state fish, the California Golden Trout, is not an endangered species, according to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).  On October 7, 2011, after more than a decade of evaluating the Golden Trout’s status, FWS announced that the species does not warrant protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

In 2000, Trout Unlimited petitioned FWS to list the Golden Trout as an endangered subspecies, based on concerns regarding habitat degradation, genetic hybridization, and predation.  In 2004, the state and federal fish and wildlife agencies forged a cooperation conservation agreement with interest groups, to address the threats to the Golden Trout.  The agreement provided for habitat restoration projects, decreased cattle grazing, and more studies of the fish.  In concluding that the Golden Trout was not an endangered species, FWS considered the conservation measures and benefits already in place under this agreement.

Additional actions taken under the species’ Conservation Strategy to protect the Golden Trout from genetic dilution and competition were also identified as contributing to the species’ health and population.  FWS concluded that these past conservation actions and continuing commitments provided protection for the Golden Trout, and that an endangered listing was not warranted.

FWS's press release regarding this listing decision may be found here.

For a draft of the Federal Register Notice "Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding for a Petition to List the California Golden Trout as Endangered," click here.

If you have any questions concerning this matter, please contact Rebecca R. Akroyd or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.

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