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Conservation Success Index (CSI)

The Conservation Success Index (CSI) is a comprehensive and quantifiable tool developed by Trout Unlimited to describe the conservation status of coldwater fishes in North America and to inform restoration and management efforts. Trout and char species are among the best indicators of stream and watershed conditions because of their broadscale distribution, relative wealth of available information, and sensitivity to pollution and habitat disturbance.

The CSI helps us measure the likelihood of long-term persistence for these fishes by conducting risk assessments on target populations, subspecies and species. The CSI is also used to identify gaps in protection and restoration and to guide future restoration projects more strategically. To the maximum extent practicable, we utilize existing assessment and status information compiled by state and federal agencies and recovery teams in order to reduce costs and facilitate collaborations.

The CSI provides a number of products including a numeric index of conservation status (see CSI Indicators - Native Trout and CSI Indicators - Wild Trout) and subwatershed scale maps that report on and compare conservation progress in 4 critical areas: range-wide conditions, population integrity, habitat integrity, and future security. Results of these analyses are then mapped by subwatersheds to provide GIS products that indicate strategic restoration and management needs at varying geographic scales.

Our goal is to develop a scientifically rigorous, quantifiable, and repeatable tool that can be applied to all coldwater fishes ranging from brook trout and Atlantic salmon in the East to coastal cutthroat trout and Pacific salmon along the West Coast. We present this information with a user-friendly set of maps and supporting tools that will enable our 150,000 members and others to strategically conduct restoration efforts.

Methods & Scoring

Drainage Hierarchy Diagram
Drainage Hierarchy Diagram
Drainage Hierarchy Diagram

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Terms of Use:

Trout Unlimited encourages the use of these data and analyses for management, research, and other professional purposes. Please thoroughly review the available metadata and original source documentation prior to any interpretation and credit all sources appropriately. All applications and products that make use of CSI data, summaries and maps should include the following acknowledgment: "Data provided by Trout Unlimited's Conservation Success Index."