In a species conservation context, translocations can be an important tool, but they frequently fail to successfully establish new populations. We consider the case of reintroductions for bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), a federally-listed threatened species with a widespread but declining distribution in western North America. Our specific objectives in this work were to: 1) develop a general framework for assessing the feasibility of reintroduction for bull trout, 2) provide a detailed example of implementing this framework to assess the feasibility of reintroducing bull trout in the Clackamas River, Oregon, and 3) discuss the implications of this effort in the more general context of fish reintroductions as a conservation tool. Review of several case histories and our assessment of the Clackamas River suggest that an attempt to reintroduce bull trout could be successful, assuming adequate resources are committed to the subsequent stages of implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.
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Assessing the feasibility of native fish reintroductions: a framework and example applied to bull trout in the Clackamas River, Oregon