[Federal Register: September 3, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 170)]
[Page 45649-45650]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

[FWS-R2-ES-2009-N138; 20124-1113-0000-C2]

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Apache Trout 
(Oncorhynchus apache) Recovery Plan, Second Revision

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of document availability: Revised recovery plan.


SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the 
availability of the Apache Trout (Oncorhynchus apache) Recovery Plan, 
Second Revision. This species is one of two salmonid species native to 
Arizona and is currently listed as threatened. It was originally listed 
as endangered in 1967, but reclassified to threatened in 1975.

ADDRESSES: An electronic copy of the recovery plan can be obtained from 
our Web site at http://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/Library/. Copies of the 
recovery plan are also available by request. To obtain a copy, contact 
Jeremy Voeltz by U.S. mail at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona 
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, P.O. Box 39, Pinetop, AZ 85935; 
by phone at (928) 338-4288 extension 23; or by e-mail at Jeremy_




    The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (Act), as amended (16 U.S.C. 
1531 et seq.), requires the development of recovery plans for listed 
species, unless such a plan would not promote the conservation of a 
particular species. Recovery plans help guide the recovery effort by 
describing actions considered necessary for the conservation of the 
species, and estimating time and costs for implementing the measures 
needed for recovery. A recovery plan was originally completed for 
Apache trout in 1979 and updated in 1983, but the recommendations 
contained in those plans are outdated given the species' current 
    Section 4(f) of the Act requires that we provide public notice and 
an opportunity for public review and comment during recovery plan 
development. In fulfillment of this requirement, we made the draft 
second revision of the recovery plan for Apache trout available for 
public comment from July 27, 2007, through September 25, 2007 (72 FR 
41350). We also conducted peer review at this time. Based on this 
input, we revised and finalized the recovery plan, and summarized 
public comments in an appendix.
    Apache trout (Oncorhynchus apache) was formerly described as Salmo 
apache with the common name Arizona trout, but changed after the 
American Fisheries Society Names Committee showed that the relationship 
between the cutthroat and rainbow series of trout (including Apache 
trout) lie with Oncorhynchus rather than Salmo. Apache trout is one of 
two salmonid species native to Arizona (the other is Gila trout, 
Oncorhynchus gilae), and is currently listed as threatened (July 16, 
1975, 40 FR 29863). Although originally listed as endangered (March 11, 
1967, 32 FR 4001), the species was downlisted in 1975 after a 
reanalysis of its status successful culturing in captivity and greater 
knowledge of existing populations. Its reclassification to threatened 
status included a 4(d) rule under the Act, allowing the Arizona 
Department of Game and Fish to regulate take of the species and to 
establish sportfishing opportunities (July 16, 1975, 40 FR 29863).
    Historically, Apache trout occupied streams and rivers in the upper 
White, Black, and Little Colorado River drainages in the White 
Mountains of east-central Arizona. Currently, 28 pure Apache trout 
populations exist within historical range in Gila, Apache, and Greenlee 
Counties of Arizona, on lands of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation and 
Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
    Watershed alterations related primarily to forestry, livestock 
grazing, reservoir construction, agriculture, road construction, and 
mining were identified as causes for reduction of Apache trout habitat. 
Such alterations damage riparian vegetation and streambank morphology 
and stability, which increases stream erosion and can ultimately result 
in higher sediment loads. These effects increase susceptibility to 
habitat damage from floods, decrease quality and quantity of spawning 
and rearing areas, alter stream flow volume and temperatures, and alter 
stream productivity and food supply (e.g., stream dwelling insects). In 
addition, introductions of non-native trout (i.e., brook and brown 
trout) have led to competition for resources and predation, or 
hybridization with rainbow trout or cutthroat trout. Collectively, 
these factors have varied in intensity, complexity, and damage 
depending on location, ultimately reducing the total occupied range and 
the ability of Apache trout to effectively persist at all life stages.
    Actions needed to recover the Apache trout include completing 
required regulatory compliance for stream improvements and fish 
stocking, implementing appropriate State and tribal fishing 
regulations, maintaining existing fish barriers, enhancing habitat, 
removing or minimizing undesirable fishes using piscicides or other 
feasible means, maintaining existing self-sustaining populations of 
pure Apache trout, establishing new self-sustaining populations, and 
monitoring all populations.
    The recovery plan provides delisting criteria for the species that 
will indicate that the species is no longer threatened with extinction 
throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Apache trout 
should be considered for removal from the List of Threatened and 
Endangered Species (delisting) when all of the following criteria have 
been met:
    (1) Habitat sufficient to provide for all life functions at all 
life stages of 30 self-sustaining discrete populations of pure Apache 
trout has been established and protected through plans and agreements 
with responsible land and resource management entities. These plans 
will address current and future threats to Apache trout habitat.
    (2) Thirty discrete populations of pure Apache trout have been 
established and determined to be self-sustaining. A population will be 
considered self-sustaining by the presence of multiple age classes and 
evidence of periodic natural reproduction. A population will be 
considered established when it is capable of persisting under the range 
of variation in habitat conditions that occur in the restoration 
    (3) Appropriate angling regulations are in place to protect Apache 
trout populations while complying with Federal, State, and tribal 
regulatory processes.
    (4) Agreements are in place with the Service, Arizona Game and Fish 
Department, and White Mountain Apache Tribe to monitor, prevent, and 
control disease and/or causative agents, parasites, and pathogens that 
may threaten Apache trout.

[[Page 45650]]

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

    Dated: June 30, 2009.
Benjamin N. Tuggle,
Regional Director, Region 2.
[FR Doc. E9-21292 Filed 9-2-09; 8:45 am]