Summer- and fall-run chinook were once abundant in the Yakima River Basin, but the runs were decimated as a result of historical land and water development and fisheries management practices. By 1970, the summer-run component was extirpated and the fall-run is maintained by hatchery production using out-of-basin broodstock.
Yakama Reservation Watersheds Project staff completed a bank stabilization and floodplain restoration project in and adjacent to Ahtanum Creek. Anthropogenic and natural factors have led to the rapid erosion of three stream meanders, a discontinuity between the floodplain and the stream, and a domination of non-native invasive vegetation within the project site. Endangered Species Act listed species: Mid-Columbia River steelhead trout and bull trout, Chinook, and coho; utilize Ahtanum Creek for multiple life history stages.
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.
Enhance instream habitat and water quality to benefit Middle Columbia steelhead and spring Chinook at three priority sites totaling 0.29 cumulative river miles. Work will involve reshaping and replanting 0.62 miles (cumulative) of bank and 2.1 acres of floodplain.