Hood River bull trout are geographically restricted to two local
populations. The Clear Branch local population occurs in Laurance Lake
and tributaries upstream of Clear Branch Dam, and the Hood River local
population is restricted to the mainstem Hood River and the portion
Middle Fork Hood River downstream of the dam. The status of both
populations is extremely precarious. The Clear Branch population is at
risk of a random extinction event due to low numbers, isolation and
limited spawning habitat. The Hood River population is
threatened by passage barriers, unscreened irrigation systems, impaired
water quality and periodic siltation of spawning substrate by glacial
Beyond a general knowledge of the distribution of Hood River bull trout and the nature of
anthropogenic factors that potentially restrict their connectivity,
little is known about this recovery unit. For example, the abundance of
each population and the association of fluvial adults and headwater
natal populations is not understood. Further, the extent of migration
into the mainstem Columbia River and associated distribution is
unknown. The degree to which irrigation and hydropower diversions
hamper connectivity within the Hood River basin is also poorly
In 2006 the Native Fish Investigations Project initiated an effort to
abundance and migration patterns of Hood River bull
trout. Specifically, we plan to determine the distribution and
abundance of natal populations and investigate the link between
migratory individuals captured at the Powerdale dam and the lower Middle
Fork to populations in natal headwater habitats. We will also
investigate the extent that Hood River bull trout use the mainstem
Columbia River and neighboring Columbia River tributaries. Finally, we
will assess the impacts of selected irrigation systems on migrating subadult and adult bull trout.
Annual Reports and Publications:
Starcevich, S.J. and S.E. Jacobs. 2010.
life history, and distribution of bull trout in the Hood River basin: a summary of findings from 2006-2009. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Annual Progress Report, Information Report 2010-01 Corvallis.
Starcevich, S.J. and S.E. Jacobs. 2007.
Hood River bull trout abundance,
life history, and habitat connectivity, 2007. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Annual Progress Report, Fish Research Project F-136-R-20, Corvallis.
Starcevich, S.J., T. Hartill, and S.E. Jacobs.
River bull trout abundance, migration, and connectivity: Summary of
initial findings. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Interim Report. Corvallis.
ODFW Oregon Native Fish Status Report (2005)