Steelhead counts at Bonneville

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Paul Huffman, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. Luke77

    Luke77 I hope she likes whitefish

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    Hopefully to my fishing hole!
     
  2. Jerry White

    Jerry White Active Member

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    True enough... thanks for posting the fish passage center link. Great site. I have attached a document that the fpc put out assessing the importance of spilling water over dams as a contributer to the great steelhead returns in 09/10. Pretty Wonky but great stuff! It is clear that the FPC feels that the science is pointing to (forced) spill being very important in getting more of our fish back.
    Better get some GB skunks tied up!
     
  3. Andrew Lawrence

    Andrew Lawrence Active Member

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    In addition to the over all numbers of both hatchery and wild fish combined, the trend noted above concerning the large number of wild fish passing through Bonneville is what is getting me really excited!
     
  4. Split Bamboo

    Split Bamboo Member

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    Buried in the report was a table showing the increased % of non clipped hatchery fish. In 1998 it was less than 1% in recent years it had increased to around 15%. Anyone have any ideas why? Were these native broodstock that were spawned at a hatchery?
     
  5. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    more are released unclipped to guarantee that they remain unharvested and return to the hatchery. Many of these could be from Idaho hatcheries, or another possibility is that with many hatcheries putting out a reduced #'s of fish, more are unclipped to keep #'s returning to the hatchery consistent...and costs down
     
  6. Jerry White

    Jerry White Active Member

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    Stillystalker is on it... the fish bio's want to ensure appropriate escapement to upriver hatcheries...

    Of course then you have the kind of out migration/ocean survival of A run fish we had in 09 and the pesky hatchery fish are virtually laying siege to rivers like the Ronde. Fish Bio's begging for bag limits that weed out more of these survivors.:clown:

    Hard to manage Mother Nature...
     
  7. Split Bamboo

    Split Bamboo Member

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    Any thought if the increased spill has been responsible for the decline in the shad run? Or is the decline in the shad run adding more food for the steelhead/salmon smolt?
     
  8. Jerry White

    Jerry White Active Member

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    I dunno about the shad and spill... but I did find this interesting Lewiston Tribune article that mentions some things about fin clipping (and not clipping) hatchery fish in the Snake Basin.
     
  9. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    the jellybean theory is a good one from that article. I also agree with natives being much more aggressive and more easily caght. It sucks on one hand because I don't want skamania strain hatchery fish surviving to spawn with native stock... broodstock from the parent river is better, but I'd still rather see all the hatchery fish bonked, bled, and BBQ'd. On the other hand, hatchery fish tase delicious, and I relish the chance to eat all of them I can, and so I do like having them in the rivers

    I'm really just grateful for the high numbers all around, and if anyone wants to take me fishing down there, I wouldn't say no :)
     
  10. Split Bamboo

    Split Bamboo Member

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    2,964 Wild fish yesterday, the 10 average is 1,833 for all fish.
     
  11. Blake Harmon

    Blake Harmon Active Member

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    I keep looking everyday, and its just exciting to watch the numbers bump.
     
  12. Split Bamboo

    Split Bamboo Member

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    Back to back 4,000+ wild fish days, last years historic run had not yet had a 1,000 wild fish day yet. Forecast was 453,000.
     
  13. Eric Tarcha

    Eric Tarcha gear whore

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    Good fish return on Columbia, Snake rivers
    (AP) – 1 day ago
    NORTH BONNEVILLE, Wash. — The numbers of salmon and steelhead heading up the Columbia River are well above average, including a record run of sockeye, biologists say.
    Officials at NOAA Fisheries tell the Tri-City Herald that the chinook run as of Tuesday was 326,176, or 140 percent above the 10-year average, while the sockeye run of 353,044 fish is a record. They credit favorable ocean conditions, improvement in habitat and hatchery practices, and work to improve fish passage at dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers.
    The steelhead count at Bonneville Dam was 244 percent above the average, with 50,711 hatchery-raised and 22,497 wild steelhead. And biologists say returns of wild and hatchery salmon and steelhead appear promising for next year and beyond.
    "The overall pattern looks good," said John Ferguson, director of the fish ecology division at NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. "Our ocean survey is just one indicator, and we caught a lot of (juvenile) fish. So overall we are looking for average to better than average returns in the future."
    NOAA Fisheries and managers of other federal agencies involved in the recovery of the 12 species of wild salmon and steelhead that are listed under the Endangered Species Act in the Columbia River Basin say they are encouraged by this year's run, which follows two strong years.
    Sockeye numbers have dwarfed expectations. The 10-year average at Bonneville, where counts have been made since 1938, is 87,675, and the previous record for a year was 237,748 in 1955.
    "Huge. It's amazing," said Rock Peters, fish program manager for the Northwest Division of the Army Corps of Engineers.
    Most of the run is headed to the upper Columbia River. Nearly all the Columbia River sockeye, which are not listed, come from Canada's Osoyoos Lake.
    But biologists expect at least 1,400 listed Snake River sockeye to reach Lower Granite Dam, and the Idaho Fish and Game Department predicts at least 1,000 will return to spawn in Idaho's Stanley Basin, Ferguson said.
    Idaho and federal agencies are raising and releasing 140,000 sockeye smolts annually. Even more are expected to be raised under a three-year federal plan to protect and restore endangered Columbia and Snake fish.
    "They have gone from the brink of extinction. The captive brood stock program helped keep them from going extinct," Ferguson said. "So hopefully they are stabilizing and trending toward recovery in the Snake River."
    Officials say sockeye and other salmon and steelhead have benefited from habitat improvements in tributaries where fish spawn, and improvements at dams that include installing removable spillway weirs. Good biological and physical conditions in the Pacific Ocean in the past few years also have been pivotal to increases in returning adults.
    "There are a couple of good years of ocean conditions that are coming into play," Ferguson said.
    Unexpectedly persistent rainfall throughout the Northwest in May and June delayed the melting of snow from a light winter snowpack and filled reservoirs, leading to increased spills over dams that benefited fish, officials said.
    Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com
     
  14. bloom

    bloom Member

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    Good news. So where do all these fish end up?
     
  15. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Bloom,

    Many places. Columbia and Snake River tributaries upstream of Bonneville Dam in WA, OR, and ID.

    Sg