Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by zmays, Feb 23, 2008.
Blow up some dams
Right now the thought is enhancing habitat for resident fish. Good point with the upper yak but there are many good tribs that have fish passage. The teanaway is a good example. This trib is sucked dry from July-October due to "small time farmers". Flood irrigation in many parts. There has also been talk of taking our Bruton diversion on Taneum creek (another good trib). Sounds like this will happen pretty soon.
The current numbers are less than pathetic. One estimate had overall Yakima river production at over 800,000 fish annually.
Sockeye was estimated (they the Yakama Nation) at 35,000 fish in lake Cle Elum annually. Not a large run by any means. I've seen no estimates on Sockeye numbers for the other basin lakes.
Historically Sockeye were all over the Columbia river basin. Deschutes, Yakima, Snake basin (Wallaowa, Salmon River, etc.), Wenatchee, Oakanogan (sp?), Spokane/CDA...lots of them.
The Yakima river is indeed seeing improvement, and I think a lot of good work has been done and is being done...and still needs to be done.
What do you mean, low in number, or poor in performance of the counts?
That sounds a little high. About 200,000 spring chinook was the figure used in the EIS of the Cle Elum Supplementation Facility and the Coho project. 500,000 of all salmon perhaps.
I think Taneum and Manastash creeks are key and things are happening right now to improve connectivity and flow in each of those. But I think also many Kittitas Valley bottom streams with their headwaters in the Wenatchee Mountains were important steelhead producers: Reecer, Curier, Wilson, Naneum, Coleman, Cooke, and even little Caribou, but they have been changed to irrigation ditches since the late 1800s. It would be complicated and expensive to get these back.
There's some information from Teanaway PIT tags that's so new (last week) we don't know what to make of it. A Yakama biologist told me he was looking at recent PIT tag reports for downstream migrants at McNary to Bonneville and found 10 Teanaway tags. Then he started looking at who was tagging in the Teanaway and how many tags were released. Turns out when you factor in what we think might be the survival rates downstream, these 10 tags seem to indicate 50% of the Teanaway population of O. mykiss juveniles outmigrated. Real preliminary and it's going to cause us to look around at other data, but it fits the model I keep seeing. If you hatch in one of these streams that has lots of good water and habitat 6 - 9 months of the year, then dries up, maybe completely dry in the lower reaches, you got to go anadromous. That was the winning life history choice. Then the dams were built.
Good info Paul! We have been tagging pre-smolt size fish in the teanaway for the last couple years. Last year we had 38 out of 1000 tags that made it through Boneville. Many fish made it passed one or more dams and were then picked up. We also had 7 tags (morts) that were found on "bird" islands. No official estimates have been made but I would guess around 10% of all fish tagged are anadromous. Let me know if you have any questions. I'm just about to run another query to see if we have any 08 migration.
There are others much more knowledgeable at the specifics than myself. I'll let them chose to chime in should they desire.
Sorry, I meant that I doubt the counting is very accurate. I'm sure those doing it do a fine job. I get the impression from the data I can access that there is not a lot of staffing resources to perform the counts at all the locations.
There are just two sites, Prosser Dam and Roza Dam, and all upstream fish get counted. There are couple of FAQ reports on the procedures used at from ykfp.org under Yakima Basin > Documents and Fish Counts: "Fish Counting in the Yakima River System" and "Prosser and Roza Counts at Dart".
That being said, Bill needs to get to Roza soon to retrieve the daily counts. It looks like he's a couple months behind.