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Take Action: Defend Westslope Cutthroat Trout

July 10, 2019

Westslope cutthroat trout. Photo © R. Blanchard

Dear Wilderness Defender,

Alberta’s westslope cutthroat trout are in real trouble. They’ve disappeared from 95% of the rivers and habitat where they historically lived and need a strong plan to put them on the road to recovery.

Unfortunately, the Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s (DFO’s) newly released draft Action Plan is lacking in, well, action. Despite being more than 4 years late, the document is sorely lacking in details, concrete on-the-ground actions, and is unambitious in its recovery goals. In fact, the draft plan’s new “bounding-box” approach to critical habitat would likely perpetuate habitat destruction.

Take Action
Write a letter to the SARA Directorate at SARA/,  as well as the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson at

You have until the end of the day this Saturday, July 13th to provide a submission.

You can read AWA’s full letter to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) here. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Action is required now. The plan must commit to the immediate recovery of the most vulnerable remaining populations of westslope cutthroat trout.
  • Critical Habitat: AWA does not support the bounding box approach as described. These fish need DFO to permanently protect the “areas in which Critical Habitat can be found”, along with the upland watersheds that sustain them.
  • Monitoring and Reporting: DFO must routinely monitor and report on the status of all remaining westslope cutthroat trout populations, complete on-the-ground assessments, and create an immediate restoration plan for critical habitat.

As always, I appreciate you sending me a copy of your letter at

Thank you,
Joanna Skrajny, AWA Conservation Specialist

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