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Heritage Native Trout Program

Heritage Native Trout Program


Tributary streams in the Yakima, Naches, and Wenatchee River basins, and in the Colville National Forest, eastern Washington State

Project type:Heritage 6




Start Date:

June 1998

Completion Date:

September 2001


In each of three years (1998, 1999, and 2001) Wild Fish Conservancy staff and biologist Dr. Patrick Trotter surveyed native trout populations in tributary stream throughout eastern Washington to photo-document native westslope cutthroat and redband trout phenotypic diversity and evaluate the threat of genetic introgression of non-native rainbow and cutthroat. In 1998 11 streams in the upper Yakima and Naches river basins were surveyed. In 1999 17 streams in the Colville national Forest were surveyed. In 2001 over 10 streams total were surveyed in the Wenatchee, Entiat, and Methow River basins. In each stream, photos of 6 to 8 representative individuals were taken using a portable flow-through photarium to document body shape and spotting patterns. Non-lethal fin tissue samples were taken from 25 to 30 fish in each stream and sent to Dr. Paul Spruell at the Wild Trout and Salmon Genetics Laboratory at the University of Montana to test for the presence of non-native genes to help assess the threat to native trout populations of hybridization hybridization with non-native trout.

Goals & Objectives:

Use non-lethal methods to:

  1. Photo document on-site, representative members of native westslope cutthroat and redband rainbow trout populations in tributary streams in major river basins in the Columbia River basins in Washington State upstream of McNary Dam.
  2. Obtain tissue samples for DNA analysis to evaluate the threat to native small stream trout populations from hybridization with non-native trout.


Managing Agency/Organization:

Wild Fish Conservancy

Project Contact:

Nick Gayeski

Budget or Project Cost:


Funding Source(s):

Bonneville Power Administration Fish and Wildlife Program




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