Yakima Basin steelhead population monitoring

Project abstract: 

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 strategy review and the FCRPS Biological Opinion reasonable and prudent alternative (RPA) review.  Using information developed from this project (including the companion component monitoring resident/anadromous interactions) as well as the restoration and research, monitoring and evaluation work of several related projects (1995-063-25, 2008-458-00, 2007-401-00, 1997-051-00, 1996-035-01, and 1997-013-25), this report provides the latest status and trend information with respect to Yakima River Basin steelhead VSP metrics relative to data collected by the Yakama Nation.

Project goals: 
  • Determine spatial distribution and major (MSA) and minor (MiSA) spawning areas of steelhead spawning populations in the Yakima MPG.
  • Estimate juvenile and adult steelhead abundance for individual populations.
  • Generate productivity estimates for individual populations.
  • Characterize and differentiate phenotypic and genotypic life-history traits within and among Yakima steelhead populations.
  • Evaluate sympatric population dynamics and the effects on population viability between resident and anadromous forms of O. mykiss.
Project plan: 

Specific proposed activities include:

1. Increasing biological and DNA sampling at the Chandler juvenile, and Prosser and Roza adult monitoring facilities (abundance, productivity).
2. Affix radio transmitters to adult steelhead at the Prosser and Roza facilities and conduct subsequent tracking of these individuals throughout the Yakima Basin (abundance, productivity, spatial structure).
3. Increase the use of PIT tags and detection of steelhead throughout the Yakima Basin (abundance, productivity, spatial structure).
4. Evaluate flow and entrainment relationships at the Chandler (Prosser) Diversion Dam to refine steelhead smolt outmigration estimates (abundance and productivity).
5. Analyze existing and additional steelhead DNA samples to improve the genetic profile for all four populations in the MPG (abundance, productivity, diversity, spatial structure).
6. Expand spawner surveys and redd counts for steelhead populations (spatial structure).
7. Evaluate interactions in the upper Yakima River between resident rainbow and steelhead trout (diversity, productivity).

Project progress: 

For complete project description see:  RMECAT-2010-030-00

For latest annual report see:  https://pisces.bpa.gov/release/documents/documentviewer.aspx?doc=P137985

Project Photos:

Status: Active

10/01/2010 - Present
Targeted Populations: 
Location Area (Basin, Sub-Basin): 

Project Manager

Additional Project Staff