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Assessing the risks/benefits of management actions on small, isolated bull trout populations in the Lower Clark Fork River, MT

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Bull trout (salvelinus confluentus) is a species native to the Pacific Northwest that has undergone significant declines in distribution and abundance. Many bull trout populations continue to be isolated due to habitat alteration and migration barriers indicating a need to evaluate different management strategies to increase long term persistence. This project evaluates the population costs/benefits of actively transplanting juvenile bull trout from small, fragmented populations in headwater streams to more productive aquatic environments to allow for higher growth rates. There remains considerable uncertainty as to the probability of transported bull trout returning to their natal streams, and what the overall implications on the source population with or without returns. The results of this project will help guide future management and conservation of bull trout populations where removing fragmentation or barriers are unlikely.