Conservation Research

Trout Unlimited scientists, often with a host of collaborators, conduct a variety of research studies on fish and aquatic habitats. Our findings advance a basic understanding of trout and salmon biology, ecology, and evolution. The TU science team also provides valuable context for our organization and its partners to increase restoration effectiveness, improve management decision making, and form policies supporting trout and salmon conservation. Our current research generally falls under the broad areas of Fish Ecology, Conservation Genetics, Climate Change, and Salmon and Steelhead conservation.  

Fish Ecology

We need to understand what sustains healthy populations in order to conduct effective conservation. Our research helps identify important linkages between fish populations and their environment, providing a scientific foundation for smart conservation planning and management.

Conservation genetics

Genetic information helps us better understand the biology, evolution, and conservation needs of trout and salmon. Compared to traditional techniques (like electrofishing), genetic sampling can be efficient and extended across broad geographies. Genetic information can be used as an indicator of population status and “health”, to track individual movement, to assess hybridization, and to understand how fish adapt to their environment.

Climate Change

Climate change is one of the most serious and pervasive threats to our cherished trout and salmon. TU is involved in various research projects to predict the impacts on fish and habitat so we can improve the resilience of both in the future.

Salmon and Steelhead

TU research on salmon and steelhead is improving our understanding of life history diversity, movement and habitat use, and population abundances, all of which leads to better conservation planning and protection.