Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Utah
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Utah Project


Long-Term Logan River Trout Viability Study and Monitoring

January 2001 - September 2021


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
Dr. Timothy Walsworth, Assistant Professor of Quantitative Aquatic Ecology at Utah State University and volunteer Isaak MacKinnon sampling the population of native Bonneville cutthroat trout thriving in Righthand Fork of the Logan River, UT after the removal of non-native brown trout.

While the importance of reducing the impacts of non-native species is increasingly recognized in conservation, the feasibility of such actions is highly dependent upon several key uncertainties including the stage of invasion, the size of the ecosystem being restored, and the magnitude of the restoration activity. Here, we present the results of a multi-year, non-native brown trout (Salmo trutta) removal and native Bonneville cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii utah) recovery in a small tributary in the Intermountain West, USA. We monitored trout populations for seven years prior to the onset of eradication efforts, which included two years of mechanical removal followed by two years of chemical treatment. Cutthroat trout populations were then seeded with low numbers of both eggs and juvenile trout. We monitored population demographics and estimated population growth rates and carrying capacities for both populations from long-term depletion estimate data, assuming logistic growth. Prior to eradication, brown trout populations fluctuated around their carrying capacity. Following brown trout eradication and initial seeding efforts, cutthroat trout populations have demonstrated exponential growth. Within five years, cutthroat trout have approached their estimated carrying capacity. Population projections suggest a 50% probability that cutthroat trout are currently at or above 90% of their carrying capacity, and that there is an 80 to 90% probability they will be at or above 90% of their carrying capacity within 10 years. Additionally, at least four age-classes are present including adults large enough to satisfy angling demand. This project is a collaboration of biologists, academics, and anglers and includes the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources , U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station, the local chapter of Trout Unlimited – Cache Anglers, and the Ecology Center at Utah State University. These results demonstrate native trout species have substantial capacity to rapidly recover following the removal of invasive species in otherwise minimally altered habitats. While these locations are likely limited in extent individually, collectively they may serve as source populations for larger connected systems. In such cases, these source populations may provide additional conservation potential through biotic resistance.

Research Publications Publication Date
Murphy, B., T. Walsworth, P. Belmont, M.M. Conner, and P. Budy. 2020. Dynamic Habitat Disturbance and Ecological Response (DyHDER)-PVA: modeling fish population dynamics in response to landscape disturbance. Ecosphere 11(1):e03023. 10.1002/ecs2.
3023. USGS FSP IP-110023.
2020-01-31
Bennet, S., B. Roper, R. Al-Chokhachy, and P. Budy. 2014. Annual Variation of Spawning Cutthroat Trout in a Small Western USA Stream: A Case Study with Implications for the Conservation of Potamodromous Trout Life History Diversity. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 34:1033-1046. USGS FSP:IP-050825. | Abstract 2014-01-31
Budy, P. and J. Gaeta. 2018. Brown trout as an invader: A Synthesis of Problems and Perspectives in Western North America. Invited Chapter 12.1 in: The Brown Trout Salmo trutta L.: A primer on a paradigmatic species. Editors: Javier Lobón-Cerviá & Nuria Sanz Ball.llosera. Wiley. USGS FSP: IP-058204 | Abstract 2018-02-28
Budy, P., G. P. Thiede, P. McHugh, E. S. Hansen, and J. Wood. 2008. Exploring the relative influence of biotic interactions and environmental conditions on the abundance and distribution of exotic brown trout (Salmo trutta) in a high mountain stream. Ecology of Freshwater Fish 17:554-556. 2008-06-30
De la Hoz Franco, E. A., and P. Budy. 2004. Linking Environmental Heterogeneity to the Distribution and Prevalence of Myxobolus cerebralis: A Comparison Across Sites in a Northern, Utah Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 133:1165-1178. 2004-04-30
Wood, J. and P. Budy. 2009. An investigation of the early life-history and potential influences on invasion success of exotic of brown trout (Salmo trutta). Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 138:756-767. 2009-05-31
De la Hoz Franco, E. A., and P. Budy. Accepted. Effects of biotic and abiotic factors on the distribution of trout and salmon along a longitudinal stream gradient. Environmental Biology of Fishes 72:379-391. 2004-07-31
Hansen, E., and P. Budy. 2011. The potential of passive stream restoration to improve ecosystem health and minimize the impact of fish disease: a short-term assessment. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 30:573-588. 2011-06-30
Hansen, M., P. Budy , C. Guy, and T. McMahon. In press. Trout as Native and Invasive Species: a Management Paradox. Invited Chapter 819 in: Diversity and Status of Trouts and Chars of the World. Editors: J.L. Kershner, J. E. Williams, R. E. Gresswell. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. Symposium Book. USGS FSP: IP-095921. 2019-05-31
Budy, P., K.B. Rogers, Y. Kanno, B. Penaluna, N.H. Hitt. J. Dunham, C. Mellison, and W.L. Somer. In press. Distribution and Status of Trouts and Chars in North America. Invited Chapter 8 in: Diversity and Status of Trouts and Chars of the World. Editors: J.L. Kershner, J. E. Williams, R. E. Gresswell. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. USGS FSP: IP-088494. | Abstract 2019-05-31
McHugh, P., and P. Budy. 2006. Experimental effects of nonnative brown trout on the individual- and population-level performance of native cutthroat trout. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 135:1441-1455. 2006-11-30
McIntosh, A., P.A. McHugh, and P. Budy. 2011. Brown Trout, Chapter 24, In: Handbook of Global Freshwater Invasive Species (a summary of the current state of knowledge of 30 of the most notable global invasive freshwater species). Invited BOOK Chapter. (http://www.earthscan.co.uk/). 2011-10-31
Presentations Presentation Date
Budy, P. 2006. Evaluating the combined effects of environmental variation, biotic interactions, and disease on the abundance and distribution of exotic brown trout (Salmo trutta). Invited International Seminar, Ecology of stream fishes: State of the art and future prospects ? II. Leon, Spain. 2006-06-12
Budy, P. 2008. Efecto de peces introducidos sobre las redes tr�ficas en embalses de Norteam�rica. (Food web interactions and the role of a new invader in a large reservoir in USA). Department Seminar, University of Leon, Dept. of Ecology, Spain. March 31, 2008. 2008-03-31
Budy, P. 2011. Towards a better understanding of the factors that limit and facilitate one of the world’s most invasive fishes: what can we learn from an intercontinental comparison? USU, Department of Watershed Sciences and Water Initiative Joint Seminar Series. February 24, 2011. Logan, UT. 2011-02-24
Budy, P. and W.C. Saunders. 2015. Can high densities of native trout limit expansion of exotic trout through biotic resistance? International Symposium. Advances in the Population Ecology of Stream Salmonids IV. 25-29 May, Girona, Spain. 2015-05-27
Budy, P., G.P. Thiede, and P. McHugh. 2006. Quantification of survival, site-fidelity, abundance, and trend for a critical population of endemic cutthroat trout. AFS, Lake Placid, NY. September 1, 2006. 2006-09-01
Budy, P., K.B. Rogers, Y. Kanno, B. Penaluna, N.P. Hitt. G.P. Thiede, J. Dunham, C. Mellison, W.L. Somer, and J. DeRito. 2019. Distribution and status of trout and char in North America. Salmonid Symposium 5, Granada, Spain, 20 - 24 May 2019. 2019-05-22
Coleman, T., J. DeRito, C. Penne, G.P. Thiede, and P. Budy. 2020. Fishing success goes with the flow: correlation between stream flow and temperature and angler catch rates. Oral presentation. Annual Meeting of the Utah Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, St. George, Utah, 26-27 February 2020. 2020-02-27
Mohn, H., B. Roper, P. Budy. 2014. Quantifying Bonneville Cutthroat Trout spawning movement within the Logan River watershed with consideration to potential metapopulation structure and management. American Fisheries Society, Utah Chapter, 11-14 March, 2014, Price, Utah, USA. 2014-03-12
Mohn, H., B. Roper, P. Budy. 2014. Investigating Bonneville Cutthroat Trout spawning movement within the Logan River watershed with consideration to potential metapopulation structure and management. American Fisheries Society, Western Division, 7-11 April, 2014, Mazatlán, Mexico. 2014-04-08
Mohn, H., P. Budy, B. Roper. 2014. An evaluation of movement characteristics and spatial population structure: Informing sustainable management. Wild Trout Symposium. West Yellowstone, Montana. September 22-25, 2014. 2015-09-24
Thiede, G.P., H. Mohn, P. Budy, and B. Roper. 2015. International Symposium. Evaluating movement and spatial population structure for stream-dwelling cutthroat trout: implications for management and conservation practices. Advances in the Population Ecology of Stream Salmonids IV. 25-29 May, Girona, Spain. 2015-05-28
Budy, P. T. Walsworth, G.P. Thiede, P. Thompson, P. Holden, P. Chase, and W.C. Saunders. 2019. Remarkably rapid recovery of native cutthroat trout following removal of a dominant non-native brown trout sub-population: evidence of resilience and conservation potential. Advances in the Population Ecology of Stream Salmonids V, Symposium: Population dynamics of salmonids post ecological disturbance, May 20-24, Granda, Spain. 2019-05-20
Hafen, K., W.C. Saunders, and P. Budy. 2012. Effects of impoundments on brown trout source-sink dynamics in the Logan River, Utah: Conservation implications for endemic Bonneville cutthroat trout. Poster Presentation. Utah Chapter, American Fisheries Society, Annual Meeting, March 26-29, 2012, Bullfrog, UT. 2012-03-26
Konrad Hafen, W. Carl Saunders, Gary P. Thiede, and Phaedra Budy. 2013. Effects of impoundments on brown trout source-sink dynamics in the Logan River, Utah: Conservation implications for endemic Bonneville cutthroat trout. Western Division American Fisheries Society Meeting - Boise, Idaho, 15 - 18 April 2013. 2013-04-17
Nichols, K., W.C. Saunders, G.P. Thiede, and P. Budy. 2018. Evaluating diet overlap between cutthroat trout and brown trout in instream, experimental enclosures under differing densities: can native trout resist the impacts of nonnative trout when they occur at higher densities? Poster presentation at the Utah Chapter of the American Fisheries Society annual meeting, Ogden, Utah. 13-15 March 2018. 2018-03-14
W.C. Saunders, and P. Budy. 2012. Biotic resistance by native Bonneville cutthroat trout to the establishment of exotic brown trout is influenced by population density. Utah Chapter, American Fisheries Society, Annual Meeting, March 26-29, 2012, Bull Frog, UT. 2012-03-26
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Mohn, Harrison. 2016. Improving management and conservation practices of Bonneville cutthroat trout (Onchorhynchus clarkii Utah) through an evaluation of movement and spatial population structure. Co-advised with Brett Roper. MS Thesis. Ecology. Utah State University. 2016-05-31
Meredith, Christy. 2012. Effects of a changing physical template on the longitudinal distribution of brown trout in a mountain stream: implications for brown trout invasion success. PhD. Ecology, Utah State University. 2012-05-31
Seidel, Sara. 2009. Spawning ecology and early-life history of imperiled, endemic cutthroat trout. MS Thesis. Utah State University, 59 pages. 2009-06-30
Wood, Jeremiah. 2008. An investigation of the early life-history of exotic brown trout (Salmo trutta) and potential influences on invasion success. MS Thesis. Utah State University, 48 pages. 2008-07-31