The Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) is a public-private Fish Habitat Partnership that works collaboratively across 12 western states to conserve, protect, restore and recover 21 native trout and char species.
Formed in 2006, WNTI provides a new perspective and impetus to improve the return on investment of the time, money and manpower dedicated to native trout conservation. WNTI is an project of the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, and also recognized as a National Fish Habitat Partnership by the National Fish Habitat Action Plan.
Covering over 1.75 million square miles of public and privately managed lands, WNTI and our partners combine science-based assessments with expert and local knowledge to establish joint priorities for native trout conservation at a landscape scale. For more information, visit westernnativetrout.org.
Since its inception in 2006, the Western Native Trout Initiative has directed over $55 million in federal fish habitat funds leveraged to $38 million public and private matching dollars for 187 priority native trout conservation projects.
Since its inception in 2006, the Western Native Trout Initiative has directed over $6 million in federal fish habitat funds leveraged with over $47.6 million public and private matching dollars for 223 priority native trout conservation and outreach projects. By leveraging funding provided to WNTI by the National Fish Habitat Partnership, WNTI and over 350 partners to date, have successfully improved the status of western native trout populations in 12 western states including Alaska. With the collaboration and coordination of WNTI Partners, together we have removed 138 barriers to fish passage, reconnected or improved 1,741 miles of native trout habitat, and placed 41 protective fish barriers to conserve important native trout conservation populations. In addition, WNTI has funded 1,123 watershed, fish population and habitat surveys.
In 2021, WNTI and our partners funded 15 habitat projects benefitting WNTI focal species with a total of $258,333 National Fish Habitat Partnership funds and $502,000 in other grants, leveraged with $3,630,265 in partner contributions for a total projects value of $4,390,598.
View our 2020 Annual Report (PDF, 583 KB)
View our 2019 Annual Report (PDF, 486 KB)
Native trout are the embodiment of the Western character— its eternal struggle and triumph of adaptation to a life of water in a dry land. The landscape and lore of the West is that of the trout.
The Western Native Trout Challenge invites anglers to help celebrate this legacy by catching native trout and char in each of 12 Western states, at their own pace. By attempting to catch 18 of the 21 species throughout 12 states (at the master angler level), participants can enjoy the adventure of a lifetime!
We thank our state fish and wildlife agencies in each of the 12 states that are partnering on this program, along with the USDA Forest Service, the federal Bureau of Land Management, and Trout Unlimited.
More information and register at: WesternNativeTroutChallenge.org
Check out this short film about the work we do with our partners in the Weber River in Utah. This makes a great outreach tool for these native fish, showcasing the work fish biologists do and the power of partnerships.
If you like this video, please feel free to forward the link to colleagues, friends, or anyone you think would appreciate it and please encourage them to share it too! Read more about the three projects already completed through this partnership, with before and after photos and links to time-lapse video. READ MORE at westernnativetrout.org.
Have you ever caught a native Western trout? Well, do you want to? Thanks to our fish friends at the Western Native Trout Initiative, it’s now easier for all you DIY’ers to take a road trip next summer and catch the fish of your dreams. WNTI set up a mini-site dedicated to educating folks on a handful of native trout species in four states, and offers a primer for where and how to fish for them. The four fish covered are Bonneville cutthroat trout in Utah, Lahontan cutthroat trout in Nevada, Westslope cutthroat trout in Washington, and Rio Grande cutthroat trout in Colorado.
In WNTI’s words, “We’ve assembled a four-part course full of tips and tricks for chasing these beautiful fish. As part of the course, you will receive one email per week chock full of information for planning your next great adventure.” READ OUR BLOG in Field & Stream. By Tim Romano, October 26, 2015
And don’t miss out last blog post on Field and Stream READ MORE
Native trout live in some of the last wild places in North America. Getting there can be an adventure in and of itself. We’ve assembled a series of four part courses full of tips and tricks for chasing these beautiful fish. Learn everything you need to know about catching these fish in just a few weeks.