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Recovery Strategy for the Aurora Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis) in Canada (Final)

Aurora trout

Aurora trout by Cory Trepanier

July 2006


Responsible Jurisdictions
Strategic Environmental Assessment

About the Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series

What is the Species at Risk Act (SARA)?

SARA is the Act developed by the federal government as a key contribution to the common national effort to protect and conserve species at risk in Canada. SARA came into force in 2003 and one of its purposes is“to provide for the recovery of wildlife species that are extirpated, endangered or threatened as a result of human activity.”

What is recovery?

In the context of species at risk conservation, recovery is the process by which the decline of an endangered, threatened, or extirpated species is arrested or reversed and threats are removed or reduced to improve the likelihood of the species’ persistence in the wild. A species will be considered recovered when its long-term persistence in the wild has been secured.

What is a recovery strategy?

A recovery strategy is a planning document that identifies what needs to be done to arrest or reverse the decline of a species. It sets goals and objectives and identifies the main areas of activities to be undertaken. Detailed planning is done at the action plan stage.

Recovery strategy development is a commitment of all provinces and territories and of three federal agencies -- Environment Canada, Parks Canada Agency, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada -- under the Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk. Sections 37–46 of SARA outline both the required content and the process for developing recovery strategies published in this series.

Depending on the status of the species and when it was assessed, a recovery strategy has to be developed within one to two years after the species is added to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk. Three to four years is allowed for those species that were automatically listed when SARA came into force.

What’s next?

In most cases, one or more action plans will be developed to define and guide implementation of the recovery strategy. Nevertheless, directions set in the recovery strategy are sufficient to begin involving communities, land users, and conservationists in recovery implementation. Cost-effective measures to prevent the reduction or loss of the species should not be postponed for lack of full scientific certainty.

The series

This series presents the recovery strategies prepared or adopted by the federal government under SARA. New documents will be added regularly as species get listed and as strategies are updated.

To learn more

To learn more about the Species at Risk Act and recovery initiatives, please consult the SARA Public Registry and the Web site of the Recovery Secretariat (

Recommended citation:

Aurora trout Recovery Team. 2006. Recovery Strategy for the Aurora trout (Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis) in Canada. Species at Risk Act Recovery Strategy Series. Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Ottawa 53 pp.

Additional copies:

Additional copies can be downloaded from the SARA Public Registry.

Cover illustrations: Aurora trout by Cory Trepanier

Également disponible en français sous le titre :

«  Programme de rétablissement de l'omble de fontaine aurora (Salvelinus fontinalis timagamiensis) au Canada »

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, 2006. All rights reserved.

ISBN 0-662-37948-9

Cat. no. En3-4/3-2006E-PDF

Content (excluding the cover illustration) may be used without permission, with appropriate credit to the source.


This recovery strategy for the Aurora trout has been prepared in cooperation with the jurisdictions described in the Preface. Fisheries and Oceans Canada has reviewed and accepts this document as its recovery strategy for the Aurora trout as required by the Species at Risk Act.

Success in the recovery of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada or any other jurisdiction alone. In the spirit of the National Accord for the Protection of Species at Risk, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans invites all Canadians to join Fisheries and Oceans Canada in supporting and implementing this strategy for the benefit of the Aurora trout and Canadian society as a whole. Fisheries and Oceans Canada will support implementation of this strategy to the extent possible, given available resources and its overall responsibility for species at risk conservation. The Minister will report on progress within five years.

This strategy will be complemented by one or more action plans that will provide details on specific recovery measures to be taken to support conservation of the species. The Minister will take steps to ensure that, to the extent possible, Canadians interested in or affected by these measures will be consulted.

Responsible Jurisdictions

The responsible jurisdiction for the Aurora trout is Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Aurora trout occurs in Ontario, and the government of the province of Ontario also cooperated in the production of this recovery strategy.


This document was prepared by the Aurora trout Recovery Team (ATRT).

Members of the ATRT:

  • Kevin Pinkerton (Committee Chair); Manager, Hills Lake Fish Culture Station (HLFCS), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR);
  • Jeff Brinsmead (Principle Author), Northeast Region, (OMNR)
  • Alan Dextrase, Species at Risk Section, (OMNR)
  • Thom Heiman, (DFO)
  • John Gunn, Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, Laurentian University
  • Chris Wilson, Research Scientist, OMNR/Trent University
  • Ron Ward, (HLFCS), (OMNR)
  • Larry Ferguson, Kirkland Lake District, (OMNR)
  • Chuck McCrudden, North Bay District, (OMNR)
  • Karen Stokes, Timmins District, (OMNR)
  • Raymond Tyhuis, Nipigon District, (OMNR)

Past ATRTmembers involved in the preparation of the Recovery Strategy include: Greg Deyne, Rodger Leith (Principle Author), Mike Mazzetti, Linda Melnyk-Ferguson, Bill McCord and Ed Snucins.


The ATRT would like to thank all Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and Environment Canada (EC) personnel who provided comments on an earlier draft of the strategy. OMNR (Fish and Wildlife Branch and the Ontario Parks Species at Risk Program) and the Endangered Species Recovery Fund (co-sponsored by World Wildlife Fund Canada and the Canadian Wildlife Service of Environment Canada) are to be commended for their long-standing and continued financial commitment to the recovery of Aurora trout. A debt of gratitude is extended to all those involved in previous and current recovery efforts, especially the staff of the Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, a partnership of OMNR, EC, and Laurentian University, who have conducted field studies in the native lakes for more than 20 years. Lastly, the Aurora trout Recovery Team would like to acknowledge the foresight of Paul Graf, former manager at Hills Lake Fish Culture Station, who recognized the plight of this species during the 1950s and took steps to establish a captive breeding program, thereby ensuring a unique component of Canada's rich aquatic biodiversity was not lost forever.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. The purpose of a SEA is to incorporate environmental considerations into the development of public policies, plans, and program proposals to support environmentally-sound decision making.

Recovery planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. However, it is recognized that strategies may also inadvertently lead to environmental effects beyond the intended benefits. The recovery planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts on non-target species or habitats. The results of the SEA are incorporated directly in the strategy itself, but are also summarized below.

This recovery strategy will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the recovery of the Aurora trout. The potential for the strategy to inadvertently lead to adverse effects on other species was considered. The SEA concluded that this strategy will clearly benefit the environment and will not entail any significant adverse effects. Refer to the following section of the document in particular: Effects on other species.


SARA defines residence as:

a dwelling-place, such as a den, nest or other similar area or place, that is occupied or habitually occupied by one or more individuals during all or part of their life cycles, including breeding, rearing, staging, wintering, feeding or hibernating[SARA S2(1)].

Residence descriptions, or the rationale for why the residence concept does not apply to a given species, are posted on the SARA public registry.


The Aurora trout is a freshwater fish and is under the jurisdiction of the federal government. The Species at Risk Act (SARA, Section 37) requires the competent minister to prepare recovery strategies for listed extirpated, endangered or threatened species. The Aurora trout was listed as endangered under SARA in May 2000. Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Central and Arctic Region, led the development of this recovery strategy. The strategy meets SARA requirements in terms of content and process (Sections 39-41). It was developed in cooperation or consultation with:

  • Jurisdictions – Ontario
  • Aboriginal groups – Abitibi – Wahgoshig, Timiskaming, Matachewan, Mattagami, Wahnapitae, Temagami. Ginoogaming, Long Lake, Nipissing and Pic River.
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