Whitefish conservation plan affirmed. Plan approved by F&G Commission is specific to Big Lost River subspecies. By Jason Kauffman. Idaho Mountain Express Staff Writer.
The Big Lost River does not drain to the ocean or any other river. It sinks out on the Snake River Plain (actually it is almost always dried up by diversions long before reaching its sinks).
Because of its isolation, a sub-species of mountain whitefish has evolved, and it needs protection because of a multitude of threats (what is good for the whitefish will also be good for trout). Idaho Fish and Game Commission has adopted a plan, but it is unfunded and it needs the cooperation of the US Forest Service and BLM to work (such as keeping cows out of the hard pressed river and its headwater forks and their tributaries). In other words, don’t hold your breath.
The Western Watersheds Project wants more affirmative action to conserve the whitefish. They earlier petitioned for protection under the ESA as an endangered, not threatened species. Here is their petition. In the petition is a lot of information about the Big Lost mountain whitefish.