[Federal Register: April 21, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 78)]
[Rules and Regulations]               
[Page 21376-21377]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

50 CFR Part 17

RIN 1018-AF80


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

50 CFR Parts 224, 226, and 424

[Docket No. 000330090-0090-01]
RIN 0648-XA51

Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Notice of Change 
of Jurisdiction for Coastal Cutthroat Trout

AGENCIES: National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic 
and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce; Fish and Wildlife 
Service (FWS), Interior.

ACTION: Transfer of agency jurisdiction.


SUMMARY: The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Marine 
Fisheries Service (NMFS) have, in the past, jointly managed coastal 
cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki) under the Endangered 
Species Act of 1973, as amended (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) (ESA). This 
document is to alert interested parties that, effective November 22, 
1999, the FWS assumed all ESA regulatory jurisdiction over coastal 
cutthroat. The only exception is that NMFS will retain ESA jurisdiction 
over the endangered Umpqua River cutthroat trout Evolutionary 
Significant Unit (ESU) until the agencies complete a final 
determination on the proposed de-listing of this ESU. The change in 
jurisdiction results from a joint agency determination that coastal 
cutthroat trout spend the majority of their life cycle in fresh water 

DATES: The finding announced in this document was made on November 22, 

ADDRESSES: Questions concerning this document should be submitted to 
the Supervisor, Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon State Office, 2600 SE 
98th Avenue, Suite 100, Portland, Oregon 97266; or to, Garth Griffin, 
National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Region, Protected 
Resources Division, 525 NE Oregon Street, Suite 500, Portland, OR 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rollie White, Fish and Wildlife 
Service, telephone 503-231-6179, fax 503-231-6195; or, Garth Griffin, 
National Marine Fisheries Service, telephone 503-231-2005, fax 503-230-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In the past, ESA jurisdiction over the 
coastal cutthroat trout has been shared by the FWS and NMFS, although 
NMFS has a history of conducting status reviews on sea-run forms of 
cutthroat trout (61 FR 41514, August 9, 1996; 64 FR 16397, April 5, 
1999). During the status review for Umpqua River sea-run cutthroat 
trout, both agencies agreed that NMFS would handle ESA responsibilities 
for this species in the Umpqua River Basin (FWS, 1994). Since that 
time, the matter of agency jurisdiction has arisen for the various 
cutthroat life forms in other west coast basins. At issue is the 
question of appropriate jurisdiction for a species with both diadromous 
(i.e., migrating between fresh-and saltwater) and resident (i.e., 
freshwater-dwelling) life forms. Salmonid species exhibiting the former 
life forms have generally been managed by NMFS while the latter forms 
have typically been under the jurisdiction of the FWS. The change in 
jurisdiction announced in this Notice is based on a determination that 
coastal cutthroat trout spend the majority of their life cycle in fresh 
water habitat.
    On April 5, 1999, the agencies published a joint proposal to list 
the southwestern Washington/Columbia River cutthroat trout ESU as a 
threatened species and to de-list the Umpqua River ESU under the ESA 
(64 FR 16397). In that proposal, we announced that a decision would be 
made about which agency would have sole jurisdiction over the species. 
On November 22, 1999, the Directors of NMFS and the FWS signed a joint 
letter determining that the FWS shall assume all ESA regulatory 
jurisdiction over coastal cutthroat trout. For the FWS, applicable ESA 
regulations would include those promulgated in 50 CFR

[[Page 21377]]

part 17. For NMFS the applicable ESA regulations would include those 
promulgated in 50 CFR part 222, 226 and 424.
    In making this decision, the agencies recognized that certain ESA 
responsibilities pertaining to the Umpqua River ESU should be retained 
by NMFS for a short time so that pending rulemaking and consultation 
issues can be efficiently concluded prior to FWS assuming complete 
jurisdiction for the species. Because the original status review and 
listing decisions for this ESU were conducted by NMFS, the final de-
listing assessment will continue to be conducted by NMFS. The results 
of this assessment have been announced in a Federal Register document 
\1\ and, in accordance with section 4(a)(2)(B) of the ESA, will require 
FWS' concurrence on any de-listing determination for the Umpqua River 
ESU. Also, NMFS will continue to conduct ESA section 7 consultations 
for this ESU until publication of a final determination.

    \1\ See the Federal Register issue of April 19, 2000 I.D. 

    In addition, the agencies have determined that the FWS would 
conclude the final listing determination for southwestern Washington/
Columbia River cutthroat trout populations in light of their proposed 
listing status. FWS has, therefore, assumed sole ESA regulatory 
responsibilities (e.g., conferencing requirements) for addressing these 
populations. Final listing determinations for the Southwestern 
Washington/Columbia River and Umpqua River populations are expected to 
be completed by April 2000. Regardless, both agencies will continue to 
coordinate activities such as section 7 consultations and Habitat 
Conservation Plans involving watersheds shared by coastal cutthroat 
trout and salmonid species under NMFS jurisdiction (e.g., steelhead, 
coho, and chinook salmon).

References Cited

    A complete list of all references cited herein is available on 
request from the Fish and Wildlife Service (See ADDRESSES section).


    The primary author of this document is Rollie White, Fish and 
Wildlife Service, (see ADDRESSES section).


    The authority for this action is the Endangered Species Act (16 
U.S.C. 1531 et seq.).

    Dated: April 12, 2000.
Cynthia U. Barry,
Acting Regional Director, Region 1, Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Dated: April 7, 2000.
Penelope D. Dalton,
Assistant Administrator for Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries 
[FR Doc. 00-9737 Filed 4-20-00; 8:45 am]