Bull trout in spotlight at OPAS January meeting

The Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society will host its January meeting virtually at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19, with “Snorkeling the Dungeness: A Riverscape Survey of Dungeness River Bull Trout,” a presentation by Kathryn Sutton.

The program is free and open to the public. For registration information, visit the “Events” page of the Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society website at olympicpeninsulaaudubon.org.

Sutton is a fish biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) in Port Angeles. She manages fisheries in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and North Coast of the Olympic Peninsula.

Bull trout were once widespread throughout the Pacific Northwest, but now limited to small fragmented populations. Dungeness River bull trout are genetically different from other populations and not much is known about their population size or distribution.

In an attempt to improve knowledge of bull trout in Dungeness, more than 20 biologists completed a riverscape survey by snorkeling the river from the anadromous barrier at river mile 19 (Gold Creek Falls) to the river mouth, as well as the lower four miles of the Gray Wolf River. Sutton will discuss the findings from this and other surveys.