[Federal Register: July 1, 2004 (Volume 69, Number 126)]
[Page 39951-39952]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Recovery Plan for the Jarbidge River Distinct Population 
Segment of Bull Trout (Salvelinus Confluentus)

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 Jarbidge River Distinct 
Population Segment of Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) for public 
review and comment.

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, Nevada 
Fish and Wildlife Office, 1340 Financial Blvd., Suite 234, Reno, Nevada 
89502 (telephone (775) 861-6300). Requests for copies of the draft 
recovery plan and written comments and materials regarding this plan 
should be addressed to Bob Williams, Field Supervisor, at the above 
Reno address. This plan is currently available on the World Wide Web at 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Selena Werdon, Fish and Wildlife 
Biologist, at the above Reno 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.
    The Jarbidge River Distinct Population Segment of bull trout occurs 
in the Jarbidge River and Bruneau River watersheds of northern Nevada 
and southwestern Idaho. Bull trout occur in

[[Page 39952]]

six identified local populations within these watersheds; these are 
primarily resident fish, with relatively low numbers of migratory fish. 
These fish exhibit a ``fluvial'' migratory behavior, migrating from 
tributaries to larger rivers to mature and then returning to 
tributaries to spawn. The total number of resident and migratory adult 
bull trout is estimated at fewer than 500. The bull trout was listed as 
a threatened species in the Jarbidge River Distinct Population Segment 
on April 8, 1999 (64 FR 17110).
    Bull trout in the Jarbidge River Distinct Population Segment have 
been separated from other populations of the species for more than 100 
years as the result of dams on the Bruneau and Snake Rivers. The bull 
trout in this population segment have persisted in isolation at the 
southernmost extent of the species' range, and local populations 
sampled exhibit a noticeable degree of genetic differentiation. Current 
factors limiting the recovery of bull trout in the Jarbidge River 
Distinct Population Segment include increasing water temperatures, 
livestock grazing, road construction and maintenance, fisheries harvest 
and incidental mortality, nonnative fish species, and forest management 
practices (especially the loss of large woody debris).
    Persistence of bull trout in the Jarbidge River Distinct Population 
Segment requires that habitat quality be improved and maintained, and 
that sufficient opportunity exists for at least occasional gene flow 
between local populations. The recovery plan identifies actions needed 
to achieve the recovery of bull trout in this distinct population 
segment; at the broad scale, these include: (1) Protecting, restoring, 
and maintaining suitable habitat conditions; (2) preventing negative 
effects of nonnative fishes; (3) establishing fisheries management 
goals and objectives compatible with bull trout recovery; (4) 
characterizing, conserving, and monitoring genetic diversity and gene 
flow among local populations; (5) implementing adaptive management to 
monitor the effectiveness of recovery actions; and (6) using all 
available conservation programs and regulations to protect and conserve 
bull trout and bull trout habitats.
    The recovery criteria for bull trout in the Jarbidge River Distinct 
Population Segment are designed to demonstrate the maintenance or 
restoration of broadly distributed populations of bull trout, with an 
emphasis on the migratory life form; 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 local populations that may be currently isolated.

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.


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

    Dated: May 28, 2004.
Paul Henson,
Manager, California/Nevada Operations Office, U.S. Fish and Wildlife 
[FR Doc. 04-14940 Filed 6-30-04; 8:45 am]