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.
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
Yakama Nation fisheries staff developed a plan to install fish screens on three irrigation diversion ditches in Simcoe Creek Watershed, which is home to multiple freshwater life history stages of ESA listed Mid-Columbia River steelhead. These unscreened diversions had historically diverted streamflow and ultimately caused juvenile Steelhead to be stranded in the canals at the end of the irrigation season.
A major limiting factor affecting the healthy function of the watershed/habitat is the presence of an unscreened surface water diversion located on South Fork Simcoe Creek. There has been a continuous effort since 2009 to identify three unscreened surface diversions that need to be screened. The Smartlowit diversion was screened in 2010. The feeder ditch on South Fork Simcoe Creek is the second to be screened of the three identified diversions.
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.