[Federal Register: July 1, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 126)]
[Page 39950-39951]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Recovery Plan for the Coastal-Puget Sound Distinct 
Population Segment of Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus), Volumes I 
and II

AGENCY: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.


SUMMARY: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (``we'') announces the 
availability of the Draft Recovery Plan for the Coastal-Puget Sound 
Distinct Population Segment of Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) for 
public review and comment. Two separate volumes comprise the draft 
recovery plan for bull trout in this distinct population segment: the 
Puget Sound Management Unit is addressed in Volume I, and the Olympic 
Peninsula Management Unit is the focus of Volume II.

DATES: Comments on the draft recovery plan must be received on or 
before October 29, 2004.

ADDRESSES: Hard copies of the draft recovery plan will be available in 
4 to 6 weeks for inspection, by appointment, during normal business 
hours at the following location: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Western Washington Fish and Wildlife Office, 510 Desmond Drive SE., 
Suite 102, Lacey, Washington (telephone (360) 753-9440). Requests for 
copies of the draft recovery plan and written comments and materials 
regarding this plan should be addressed to Ken Berg, Field Supervisor, 
at the above Lacey address. This plan is currently available on the 
World Wide Web at http://endangered.fws.gov/recovery/index.html#plans.

Management Unit, contact Jeffrey Chan, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, at 
the above Lacey address and telephone number. For Volume II, the 
Olympic Peninsula Management Unit, contact Shelley Spalding, Fish and 
Wildlife Biologist, at the above Lacey address and telephone number.



    Recovery of endangered or threatened animals and plants is a 
primary goal of our endangered species program and the Endangered 
Species Act (Act) (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.). Recovery means improvement 
of the status of listed species to the point at which listing is no 
longer appropriate under the criteria set out in section 4(a)(1) of the 
Act. Recovery plans describe actions considered necessary for the 
conservation of the species, establish criteria for downlisting or 
delisting listed species, and estimate time and cost for implementing 
the measures needed for recovery.
    The Act requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Section 4(f) of the Act requires that public notice 
and an opportunity for public review and comment be provided during 
recovery plan development. We will consider all information presented 
during the public comment period prior to approval of each new or 
revised recovery plan. Substantive technical comments may result in 
changes to the recovery plan. Substantive comments regarding recovery 
plan implementation may not necessarily result in changes to the 
recovery plan, but will be forwarded to appropriate Federal or other 
entities so that they can take these comments into account during the 
course of implementing recovery actions. Individual responses to 
comments will not be provided.
    Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), members of the family 
Salmonidae, are char native to the Pacific Northwest and western 
Canada. Compared to other salmonids, bull trout have more specific 
habitat requirements, including cold water temperatures, particularly 
for spawning and rearing, and the presence of complex forms of cover 
for all life history stages, including large woody debris, undercut 
banks, boulders and pools. Bull trout may be resident or may exhibit 
one of three migratory life history forms, including adfluvial 
(migrating from tributary streams to a lake or reservoir to mature), 
fluvial (migrating from tributary streams to larger rivers to mature), 
or anadromous (migrating from freshwater to the ocean to grow and 
mature, then returning to freshwater to spawn) behaviors.
    The Coastal-Puget Sound Distinct Population Segment of bull trout 
encompasses all Pacific coast drainages within the State of Washington, 
including Puget Sound. It is separated from other populations of bull 
trout by the Columbia River basin to the south

[[Page 39951]]

and the crest of the Cascade Mountain Range to the east. This 
population segment is highly significant to the species as a whole, 
since the Coastal-Puget Sound Distinct Population Segment supports all 
life history forms of the species, including the only known anadromous 
forms of bull trout in the coterminous United States. Bull trout 
populations in this region have been in decline as a result of both 
historical and current land use activities, including dams and 
diversions, forest management practices, fisheries management, 
agricultural practices, road construction and maintenance, and 
residential and urban development. The bull trout was listed as a 
threatened species in the Coastal-Puget Sound Distinct Population 
Segment on November 1, 1999 (64 FR 58910).
    The recovery and delisting of the bull trout will depend upon the 
achievement of recovery goals and criteria laid out in this recovery 
plan. The overall recovery strategy for bull trout in the Coastal-Puget 
Sound Distinct Population Segment is to integrate with ongoing Tribal, 
State, local, and Federal management and partnerships efforts at the 
watershed or regional scales (e.g., Shared Strategy for Puget Sound). 
This coordination will maximize the opportunity for complementary 
actions, eliminate redundancy, and make the best use of available 
resources for bull trout and salmon recovery. The recovery criteria for 
bull trout in the Coastal-Puget Sound Distinct Population Segment are 
designed to demonstrate the maintenance or restoration of broadly 
distributed populations of bull trout, with an emphasis on migratory 
life forms; set target levels of adult abundance; ensure stable or 
increasing population trends over at least two bull trout generations; 
and address the restoration of connectivity between populations that 
are currently isolated.
    At the scale of the Coastal-Puget Sound Distinct Population 
Segment, bull trout are broadly distributed, use a variety of habitats, 
and are affected by a wide array of factors. In order to account for 
these differences and allow recovery actions to be tailored to specific 
areas or threats, as well as to encourage the implementation of 
recovery actions by local interests, we have subdivided the population 
segment into two separate management units, the Puget Sound and the 
Olympic Peninsula. Individual draft recovery plans have been prepared 
for each of these management units. Volume I of the Draft Recovery Plan 
for the Coastal-Puget Sound Distinct Population Segment of Bull Trout 
covers the Puget Sound Management Unit, addressing bull trout 
populations in all watersheds within the Puget Sound basin north of the 
Columbia River in Washington and the marine nearshore areas of Puget 
Sound; it also includes the Chilliwack River and associated tributaries 
flowing into British Columbia, Canada. Volume II covers the Olympic 
Peninsula Management Unit, including all watersheds within the Olympic 
Peninsula and the nearshore marine waters of the Pacific Ocean, Strait 
of Juan de Fuca, and Hood Canal.

Public Comments Solicited

    We solicit written comments on this draft recovery plan described. 
All comments received by the date specified above will be considered in 
developing the final recovery plan.

    Authority: The authority for this action is section 4(f) of the 
Endangered Species Act, 16 U.S.C. 1533(f).

    Dated: May 21, 2004.
David J. Wesley,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
[FR Doc. 04-14939 Filed 6-30-04; 8:45 am]