The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a short time ago it will again withdraw its proposal to list as threatened the Southwest Washington/Columbia River distinct population segment of coastal cutthroat trout.
Initially proposed for listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 1999, the service withdrew the proposal to list this population in 2002 after determining the trout were more numerous than previously known and not declining in number as had been thought. A district court upheld this decision in 2005, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court. In July 2008, the district court ordered the service to reconsider whether coastal cutthroat trout in marine and estuarine areas of the population segment would meet the criteria for listing.
The service has determined that the threats to coastal cutthroat trout in the marine and estuarine areas of its range within the population segment – as analyzed under the five listing factors – are not likely to endanger the population now or in the foreseeable future. Since coastal cutthroat trout do not meet the definition of threatened or endangered under the act throughout all or a significant portion of their range within the Southwestern Washington/Columbia River DPS, the service is again withdrawing the
listing proposal, said the service news release.
Coastal cutthroat trout live in 10 distinct population segments from Alaska to California, and inland as far as the crest of the Cascades in Washington and Oregon. The Southwestern Washington/Columbia River segment includes the Columbia River and its tributaries from the mouth to the Klickitat River on the Washington side of the river and Fifteenmile Creek on the Oregon side; the Willamette River and its tributaries from its
confluence with the Columbia upstream to Willamette Falls; Willapa Bay and its tributaries and Grays Harbor and its tributaries.