Fish and Wildlife

The availability of population status and trends information for threatened and endangered and other key fish and wildlife species in the Methow Watershed is extremely limited. Information that is currently available is summarized in this section.

Threatened and Endangered Fish Species

Three fish species occur in the Methow Watershed that are listed under the federal Endangered Species Act: Upper Columbia River spring Chinook, Upper Columbia River steelhead, and bull trout. Upper Columbia River spring Chinook are considered to be “in crisis” and the Upper Columbia River steelhead are “not keeping pace” with recovery target goals (State of the Salmon 2020). Trends in abundance of the Methow populations of spring Chinook and steelhead are provided in the graphs below.

Source: Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board
Source: Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board

Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board is one of seven regional salmon recovery organizations created by the Washington Legislature, and works in partnership the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office. These organizations use Salmon Population Indicators from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as an official data source and foundation for their work. Population graphs for bull trout in the Methow Watershed are not available.

Methow salmon

Methow State of the Salmon

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Methow Salmon Recovery Foundation, 2019

Threatened, Endangered and Other Important Wildlife Species

The gray wolf is listed under the Washington State Endangered Species Act as endangered, and is no longer listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. After essentially having been eliminated as a breeding species from Washington State, the first fully-documented, successfully-breeding wolf pack was identified in the Methow Watershed in 2008 (WDFW 2011). Since this time, the wolf population in the Methow Watershed has increased.

Wolf Packs in the Methow Watershed, 2005-2020

Last updated May 1, 2021.

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