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Does wildfire threaten extinction for salmonids? responses of redband trout and bull trout following recent large fires on the Boise National Forest

Author(s): Bruce E. Rieman, Danny C. Lee, Gwynne L. Chandler, Deborah Myers
Year Published: 1997
Description:

From the introduction... "The magnitude and intensity of recent fires heighten concerns regarding forest/ecosystem health, the potential loss of valuable wood fiber and private property, and the apparent threat to sensitive species. Such concerns have galvanized new efforts to reduce fuel loads and stand densities through mechanical treatment and the use of prescribed fire. These efforts create a quandary for biologists and managers working with aquatic systems. The long-term negative effects of timber harvest activities on aquatic ecosystems are well documented (see papers in Meehan 1991 and Salo and Cundy 1987; Henjum et. al 1994). The effects of fire on fish are more equivocal. Do large fires really threaten extinction for many existing salmonid populations? What influences the risk? Large fires in the Boise River basin on the Boise National Forest in 1992 and 1994 provide an opportunity to examine these questions relative to populations of two sensitive salmonids. Bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) is a category-one species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and redband or interior rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is recognized as a species of special concern by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. Some isolated redband populations have been petitioned for formal listing under ESA. Both species inhabit streams caught within fires described as among the most destructive ever observed on the Forest. We initiated work on the responses of these fishes to wildfire and related effects in 1992. The work was planned as long term and much is incomplete. Our preliminary results and the body of literature regarding the disturbance and recovery of aquatic communities provide a base, however, to initiate the discussion.”

Citation: Rieman B, Lee D, Chandler G, and Myers D. 1997. Does wildfire threaten extinction for salmonids? responses of redband trout and bull trout following recent large fires on the Boise National Forest, in Greenlee J M, Proceedings: First Conference on Fire Effects on Rare and Endangered Species and Habitats. Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. International Association of Wildland Fire, Fairfield, WA. p. 47-57.
Topic(s): Fire Effects, Ecological - Second Order, Wildlife, Fire & Wildlife, Fish
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Conference Proceedings
NRFSN number: 18641
FRAMES RCS number: 37852
TTRS (Tall Timbers Research Station) Number: 12373
Record updated: Nov 28, 2018