The Potential Influence of Changing Climate on the Persistence of Rocky Mountain Native Salmonids: What Information Will We Need to Manage for the Future?

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Project Summary

Bioclimatic models predict large reductions in native trout across the Rocky Mountains this century but lack specific details regarding how this change will occur. This project addresses the need for more complete evidence and more accurate vulnerability assessments to show how salmonid populations are adjusting to climate change. This webinar will also explore some of the biological implications, and their relative importance, related to a warming climate including upstream shifts in salmonid habitats, increased wildfire disturbances, and declining summer habitats. For example, temperature increases may be more relevant where habitat fragmentation is less extensive and population boundaries are thermally mediated. Moreover, summer flow declines and disturbances associated with wildfire are likely to be more important where trout populations are heavily fragmented and constrained to small headwater refugia.

Project Researchers

Jeffrey L. Kershner, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK) (
Robert Al-Chokhachy, USGS NOROCK
Clint Muhlfeld, USGS NOROCK
Robert Gresswell, USGS NOROCK
Steven Hostetler, USGS National Research Program
Andrew Todd, USGS Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry
Daniel Isaak, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Boise
Seth Wenger, Rocky Mountain Research Station/Trout Unlimited
Jack Williams, Trout Unlimited
Amy Haak, Trout Unlimited
Helen Neville, Trout Unlimited
Kurt Fausch, Colorado State University
James Roberts, Colorado State University
Doug Peterson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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