Designating Waters for Native Char Protection
Protection of Spawning and Early
Tributary Rearing of Char
System for Identifying Char Waters
Using the information about the stream order and elevation of known
spawning streams, Ecology developed the following proposed system for
determining which water bodies should be protected for char. This system
is used in all of the watersheds with known spawning areas or with
suspected spawning populations identified by the USFW 1999 “Washington
Distinct Population Segment – Bull Trout Subpopulation” map.
- Protection of all known char spawning streams.
The “known char spawning streams” are those streams identified by WDFW in
either the “bullchar” database or in WDFW’s 1998 Salmonid Stock Inventory
(SaSI). If other streams are identified as known spawning streams during
this rule-making process, they will also be included.
- Protection of all streams upstream of known char spawning streams.
These are the streams upstream of those locations identified in (1) above.
All 3rd order streams and their tributaries
join a 4th order stream.
As discussed earlier, native char spawning areas are concentrated in
1st-3rd order streams. This part of the system includes certain 3rd order
streams and their tributaries (i.e. the 1st and 2nd order streams). It
does not include the lower elevation 3rd order streams that join a 5th or
higher order river. The known spawning areas generally did not include
these lower elevation 3rd order streams, so they were not included in the
Some 1st and 2nd order streams are not protected by this filter. These
include 1st and 2nd order streams that directly flow into a 4th or higher
order streams, except at outlined below in (4). The known spawning areas
generally did not include these 1st and 2nd order streams that flow into
4th or higher order streams, so they were not included in the filter.
- Protection of all 2nd order streams and their tributaries
if they join a 4th order stream and they
are above a stream protected by sections (1), (2), or (3).
This part of the filter captures the higher elevation 2nd and 1st order
streams that are used for char spawning.
Elevation Exception: The default system described in (3) and (4) above is
not applied to streams below 2000 feet on the east side of the Cascades or
below 700 feet on the west side of the Cascades.
Known spawning locations and all streams upstream of known spawning
locations will be protected regardless of their elevation. [In other
words, elevation can prevent a stream from being covered under (3) and
(4), but not under (1) or (2)]. This part of the system reflects the fact
that about 94% of known spawning streams are above 2000 feet on the east
side and 700 feet on the west side.
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Last updated July 2003
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