Decision Analysis for the Reintroduction of Bull Trout into the Lower Pend Oreille River, Washington

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Structured decision making can help identify realistic objectives and management alternatives to species reintroduction using a quantitative modeling framework.

USGS and USFWS researchers applied structured decision making to evaluate reintroduction of Bull Trout in the lower Pend Oreille River in northeastern Washington. They engaged stakeholders from Tribal, municipal, county, state and federal agencies to specify fundamental objectives, formulate feasible reintroduction decisions, and conceptualize a modeling framework. The process revealed important considerations for reintroduction success, including identifying the best recipient stream and release strategy, and ensuring connectivity to facilitate fishes’ expression of migratory life history. This strategy can be adapted to similar decisions regarding fish reintroduction or translocations in other systems.


Benjamin, J.R., Brignon, W.R., Dunham, J.B., 2019, Decision analysis for the reintroduction of Bull Trout into the lower Pend Oreille River, Washington: North American Journal of Fisheries Management,

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Date published: November 20, 2017
Status: Active

Aquatic & Landscape Ecology Research Team (FRESC)

Fresh waters are one of the most valuable and threatened resources worldwide. They supply critical services to society and harbor many of the world’s most imperiled species. We conduct research and provide technical assistance to address challenges to fresh waters. Our research focuses on ecological processes in freshwater and terrestrial systems and the effects of those processes on landscape...