Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper - Campus Access Only

Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Environmental Studies

Department or School/College

Environmental Studies Program

Committee Chair

Len Broberg

Commitee Members

Daniel Spencer, Jack Stanford


bull trout, cutthroat trout, Glacier, Grand Teton, invasive species, management, national park, national park service, native species, restoration, trout, Yellowstone


University of Montana


The status of native fisheries restoration across the National Park Service (NPS) is a generally undocumented topic, in part due to the recentness of these efforts. This paper explores what the NPS is doing to restore native trout, measure the efficacy of such restoration efforts, identifies factors influencing success, and make recommendations to help the agency improve fishery restoration. Efforts to restore native salmonid species including bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), Snake River fine-spotted cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii behnkei), westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi), and Yellowstone cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii bouvieri) in Glacier National Park (GLAC), Grand Teton National Park (GRTE), and Yellowstone National Park (YELL) were analyzed. While measurable outcomes were hard to identify and success seemingly limited, this analysis highlights that YELL has carried out a disproportionately higher volume of restoration projects and has created more measurable benefits for native trout than the other parks. YELL’s Native Fish Conservation Plan, an overarching policy that guides fishery management and sets goals for restoration, seems to be the driving force behind this success. Factors such as long-term funding, staffing, jurisdiction, and partnerships also appear to have a large influence over both the quantity and quality of restoration efforts in these parks. The NPS should mandate fishery restoration in agency-wide policy, conduct large-scale fishery surveys and research, make restoration efforts more integrated and holistic, secure long-term sources of funding, and carry out it’s mandate without hesitation in order to ensure a healthy future for native trout in the parks.

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© Copyright 2013 Michael John Canetta