Yak steelhead/rainbows?

#16
Got it! So the reservoirs up there were all spawning streams flowing freely, so are these planned "new" sockeye introduced by the Yakamas goin to bypass the dams somehow to get to the upper rivers, or spawn below the dams?
 
#17
So these would be kokanee? I'm missing this concept. Where would the fish spend their lives.......and where would they spawn? To me it seems like if they were in Lake Cle Elum.......which already has a Kokanee population that spawns in the Cle Elum River above the lake They would spawn in the upper river also.
You're right, lake fish in Silver lake, Cavanaugh, Lake Stevens, and Lake Watcom (no two cycles allowed) outboard that is. :)
 

zmays

New Member
#18
I will find out how to access the telemetry data if you want. It's very enlightening.

Think more on a microhabitat level for habitat enhancement. There are some areas of the Yakima that support a large population of fish, and many spots fish just don't occupy. What is it about the spots with all the fish? What are some of the limiting factors for carrying compacity? I think that is what the thought process is. Of course, backing this up with actual data will be a bit more convincing!
 

zmays

New Member
#19
I agree!!! Any way to get a little size to increase egg production? I will check but I'm pretty sure all out-migrating fish tagged and tracked in 02 and 03 (that didn't die) were picked up at Bonneville.
 

ak_powder_monkey

Proud to Be Alaskan
#20
Cle Elum, Bumping, Kachess, and Keechelus Lakes were natural lakes in the basin that historically support significant numbers of sockeye. The issue with the sockeye as well the other anadromous fish was getting the smolts and adults in and out of the lakes.

Cle Elum, Kachess, and Keechelus lakes were dammed to raise lake levels more than a century ago and Bumping followed soon after; those dams blocked migration patterns. Safe to say the last wild sockeye probably returned before 1920. Some historic estimates place the Yakima basin sockeye run size in the 100,000 to 200,000 range as well as 100,000 coho and as many as 500,000 Chinook. Have also heard estimates of 10,000s of steelhead.

All and all there has been a huge loss in anadromous fish in the basin - current resident trout population only represent a small portion of the salmonid population the basin once supported.

tight lines
Curt
500,000 that'd be incredible... like the Nush... 50,000 maybe?
 

zmays

New Member
#22
IMHO with the dam(s) in place, there is only so much that can be done
habitat wise...... the seasonal hijacking of the water flows mixed with
tough barriers for fish to cross makes it hard to get any run size
that could even be specifically fished for(targeted) all steelhead
caught like yours are bycatch for trout fishing.

all the tribs in the upper section are blocked by lake cle elum and kachess dams it just takes away the true upper tribs that make good spawning habitat. i don't even know if
those dams have fish ladders or bypasses, but i doubt it. i know the run off is in the summer, but that must have some impact on juvenille steelhead
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.
 

David Dalan

69°19'15.35" N 18°44'22.74" E
#24
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.

"Yak used to support large runs coho, chinook, steelhead and sockeye."

3 of 4 of those are being supported now... either by a hatchery program or supplemental releases in some tribs above Rosa but below the res. dams. There has also been expressed a desire to bring back the 4th mention species. I would guess that one will happened eventually also.

As far as habitat goes there has been improvements made on some tribs and there is a plan for yet another going into action now.

The seemingly increased "steelhead" catches may be a direct result of such efforts?
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#25
I
Without pics, given the timing, given the size...I'm voting steelhead. And don't worry about the low steelhead counts on the dams. While Yak steel is rare, the counts on this river are for shit so I suspect there are many more than thought.
What do you mean, low in number, or poor in performance of the counts?
 

Paul Huffman

Driven by irrational exuberance.
#27
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.
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.
 

zmays

New Member
#28
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.
 

BDD

Active Member
#29
Got it! So the reservoirs up there were all spawning streams flowing freely, so are these planned "new" sockeye introduced by the Yakamas goin to bypass the dams somehow to get to the upper rivers, or spawn below the dams?
There are others much more knowledgeable at the specifics than myself. I'll let them chose to chime in should they desire.