Columbia River steelhead are iteroparous (able to spawn multiple times). However, as post-spawned steelhead (kelts) attempt to migrate downstream to return to the ocean, their survival is adversely affected by major dams. Therefore, an innovative approach to effectively increasing abundance and productivity of steelhead populations is to capitalize on their inherent iteroparity by reconditioning kelts.
This project expands research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) activities conducted by the co-managers in the Yakima Basin (Yakama Nation and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife-WDFW) to better evaluate viable salmonid population (VSP) parameters (abundance, productivity, spatial structure, and diversity) for Yakima River steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) populations. It was developed to fill critical monitoring gaps identified in the 2009 Columbia Basin monitoring strat
To restore sustainable and harvestable populations of salmon, steelhead, and other at-risk species, the YKFP is evaluating all stocks historically present in the Yakima and Klickitat Subbasins and, using principles of adaptive management, is applying a combination of habitat protection and restoration, as well as hatchery supplementation or reintroduction strategies to address limiting factors.
Four nursery lakes in the Yakima River Basin, which historically produced an estimated annual return of at least 200,000 sockeye, were removed from production in the early 1900s when irrigation storage dams were constructed without passage. The Yakama Nation is working with the U.S.