Office of External Affairs
Mountain-Prairie Region

NEWS RELEASE

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mountain-Prairie Region
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228

February 7, 2008                                  

Contact:  Paul Abate 801-975-3330 ext 130          
                 Diane Katzenberger 303-236-4578

 

Fish and Wildlife Service to Conduct Status Review of the

Bonneville Cutthroat Trout

 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced today that the Bonneville cutthroat trout will receive additional review under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  The Service is opening a public comment period to allow all interested parties an opportunity to provide information regarding the status of the species.

 

In 2001, the Service determined that listing the Bonneville cutthroat trout was not warranted.  The Service was subsequently sued by the Center for Biological Diversity on the merits of that finding.  In 2007, the District Court of Colorado dismissed the lawsuit; however, the Service withdrew the not-warranted finding due to subsequent development of a policy enabling the Service to evaluate whether a species may be threatened in a significant portion of its range.

 

The Service is initiating a new status review to include an analysis of whether the Bonneville cutthroat trout is warranted for listing as threatened or endangered in any significant portion of its range.

 

A portion of a subspecies range is considered significant if it is part of the current range of the species and contributes meaningfully to the ability to conserve the species. 

 

The Bonneville cutthroat trout is found primarily in Utah, and in parts of Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada in the Bonneville Basin.

 

To ensure the status review is complete and based on the best available science, the Service is seeking any new information regarding the historic and current population status and distribution of, and potential threats to, the Bonneville cutthroat trout throughout its range, or any significant portion of its range.  Information regarding management programs for the conservation of the species is also requested. 

 

Comments and information will be accepted until April 7, 2008, and can be submitted electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at: http://www.regulations.gov, or can be mailed or hand delivered to Public Comments Processing, Attn:  FWS-R6-ES-2008-0023; Division of Policy and Directives Management; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 222; Arlington, VA 22203.  Information submitted in response to the 12-month finding published in 2001 will be considered and need not be resubmitted.

 

Notice of this initiation is published in today’s Federal Register.

 

For more information regarding the Bonneville cutthroat trout, please visit the Service’s web site at:  http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/fish/bct/.

 

The Bonneville cutthroat trout is one of 14 subspecies of cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki) native to interior regions of western North America.  Cutthroat trout owe their common name to the distinctive red or orange slash that occurs just below both sides of the lower jaw.

 

 Bonneville cutthroat trout generally have large, evenly distributed spots, more evenly distributed on the sides of the body than the Yellowstone subspecies.  However, there is a degree of intra-basin variation in physical characteristics.  Bonneville cutthroat trout are generally considered dull in color compared to other cutthroat subspecies but still may exhibit bright red, orange and yellow colors.

 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

 

-FWS-