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The Range-Wide Bull Trout eDNA Project - USFS RMRS

posted on 2023-11-30, 08:18 authored by Sharon Parkes-Payne

The bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) is an Endangered Species Act (ESA)-listed species with a historical range that encompasses many waters across the Northwest. Though once abundant, bull trout have declined in many locations and are at risk from a changing climate, non-native species, and habitat degradation. Informed conservation planning relies on sound and precise information about the distribution of bull trout in thousands of streams, but gathering this information is a daunting and expensive task. To overcome this problem, we coupled 1) predictions from the range-wide, spatially precise Climate Shield model on the location of natal habitats of bull trout with 2) a sampling template for every 8-digit hydrologic unit in the historical range of bull trout, based on the probability of detecting bull trout presence using environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling (McKelvey et al. 2016). The template consists of a master set of geospatially referenced sampling locations at 1-km intervals within each cold-water habitat. We also identified sampling locations at this same interval based on the USFWS designation of critical spawning and rearing habitat. Based on field tests of eDNA detection probabilities conducted by the National Genomics Center for Wildlife and Fish Conservation, this sampling approach will reliably determine the presence of populations of bull trout, as well as provide insights on non-spawning habitats used by adult and subadult fish.

The completed bull trout eDNA survey results Online Map allows users to view the survey results in an interactive map. The map provides the ability to zoom in and look at an area of interest, as well as to create queries or select an area to download points as a shapefile. Please note that there are some issues with IE and it's recommended to use a different browser.

Resources in this dataset:


U.S. Forest Service


Data contact name

Payne, Sharon

Data contact email


USDA Forest Service

Intended use

Using this environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling approach will reliably determine the presence of populations of bull trout, as well as provide insights on non-spawning habitats used by adult and subadult fish.

Temporal Extent Start Date


Temporal Extent End Date



  • Not specified

Geographic Coverage


Geographic location - description

Western United States

ISO Topic Category

  • biota
  • boundaries
  • imageryBaseMapsEarthCover
  • inlandWaters
  • location

National Agricultural Library Thesaurus terms

Salvelinus confluentus; endangered species; risk; climate change; introduced species; habitat destruction; planning; streams; prediction; climate; models; habitats; DNA; water; spawning; rearing; genomics; wildlife; fish; adults; surveys; Pacific States; biodiversity conservation; aquatic communities; Biological Sciences

OMB Bureau Code

  • 005:96 - Forest Service

Pending citation

  • No

Public Access Level

  • Public

Preferred dataset citation

Young, Michael K.; Isaak, Daniel J.; McKelvey, Kevin S.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Carim, Kellie J.; Fredenberg, W.; Wilcox, Taylor M.; Franklin, T.; Chandler, Gwynne L.; Nagel, David E.; Parkes-Payne, Sharon L.; Horan, Dona L.; Wollrab, Sherry P. (2017). Species occurrence data from the Range-Wide Bull Trout eDNA Project. Fort Collins, CO: Forest Service Research Data Archive. Updated 03 July 2018.

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