Columbia Basin Steelhead Reconditioning Studies

Monday, August 18, 2014
Exhibit Hall 400AB (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Douglas Hatch , Fish Science, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Portland, OR
David Fast , Yakama Nation, Toppenish, WA
William Bosch , Fisheries, Yakama Nation, Toppenish, WA
Ryan Branstetter , Fish Science, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Portland, OR
Andrew Pierce , Fish Science, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Moscow, ID
Scott Everett , Nez Perce Tribe, Lapwai, ID
The Kelt Steelhead Reconditioning and Reproductive Success Evaluation Project is a research, monitoring, and evaluation project funded through the Columbia Basin Fish Accords.  The project studies and evaluates two broad topics with respect to post-spawn steelhead, first it assesses reconditioning processes and strategies, and second, it measures reproductive success of artificially reconditioned kelt steelhead.  Agencies and managers are required to develop and to then implement a Snake River steelhead management plan designed to provide at least a 6% improvement in B-run population productivity.  Experimental scale long-term kelt reconditioning survival data was compared from 3 locations including; the Okanogan, Snake, and Yakima rivers, where survival rates were 8.2%, 51.8%, and 48.7% respectively. To establish a control group, we collect and PIT tag the kelt steelhead run at large to estimate in-river survival. Since 2002, we have PIT tagged 9,325 kelt steelhead at Lower Granite Dam and detected 32 (0.34%) of them returning upriver at Bonneville Dam. From 2005 through 2013, 669 kelt steelhead were PIT tagged and released in the Yakima River representing the control group and so far 21 (3.4%) fish were detected returning to Bonneville Dam.