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Recovery Strategy for Cultus Pygmy Sculpin (Proposed)

10. Anticipated Conflicts or Challenges

Cultus pygmy sculpin are currently of little or no economic value, and this is unlikely to change. By contrast there are other public, private and commercial interests in the Cultus watershed. These interests include water extraction, roads, and recreation, residential and commercial property development. It is possible that mitigating threats to Cultus pygmy sculpin will conflict with some development pressures. Recovery of the species will therefore require continuous stewardship, effective decision-making, and specific research over the long-term. It is important to understand that many of the threats to Cultus pygmy sculpin can be reduced but not eliminated.

10.1 Potential Management Impacts for Other Species

Although Cultus pygmy sculpin are found only in a single watershed, the introduction of this species into other watersheds has not been put forward as a recommendation. It is also unclear whether introduction elsewhere is even possible, given that the specific habitat conditions for evolution of a pelagic sculpin appear to have occurred only twice (i.e., in Cultus Lake and Lake Washington).

It is unlikely that recovery efforts aimed at Cultus pygmy sculpin will have a negative effect on other fish or wildlife species indigenous to Cultus Lake. For example, the impact of Cultus pygmy sculpin on the abundance of resident and anadromous fish species is not known, but is not believed to be substantial. Numeric enhancement of the species is not being recommended, and protection of Cultus pygmy sculpin habitats will likely benefit other species too.

It has been noted that management of Cultus sockeye may have implications for Cultus pygmy sculpin and vice versa, since the species have similar prey and predators. Management of the two species should be coordinated and outcomes monitored to ensure that goals and actions for each species are not in opposition.