What We Know About Upper Yakima Bull Trout Populations: Isolated populations of bull trout living in the Upper Yakima Basin face significant challenges such as blocks to adult migration, degraded instream habitats, and invasive species. Sensitive to warming temperatures, they are also increasingly challenged by a changing climate. As a result, Yakima Basin bull trout populations currently consist of low numbers of adult spawners. Extreme seasonal dewatering presents an additional challenge, resulting in frequent stranding and desiccation of juveniles.
Background: During the pre-treaty era, 44,000 to 150,000 coho returned to the Yakima Subbasin annually. By the mid-1980s they were extinct. Habitat loss and overharvest are factors that led to the extinction. The fish’s cultural significance combined with U.S. v. Oregon objectives to restore salmon to upriver areas resulted in the release of hatchery fish (raised outside the subbasin) beginning in the mid-1980s.
The Yakama Nation is working to restore natural production of Pacific lamprey to a level that will provide robust species abundance, significant ecological contributions and meaningful harvest within the Yakama Nations Ceded Lands and in the Usual and Accustomed areas.
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.
The Status and Trends Annual Report (STAR) Project summarizes fish population status and trends, habitat restoration action implementation, Yakama Nation production and reintroduction programs, and Federal mainstem hydrosystem improvements as they affect Yakama Nation treaty-trust aquatic species and their habitats.
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.