Kelt Reconditioning and Reproductive Success Evaluation Research – 2018 Annual Technical Report
The Kelt Reconditioning and Reproductive Success Evaluation Project is a research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) uncertainties category project funded through the Columbia Basin Fish Accords. The objectives are to evaluate methodologies to produce viable artificially reconditioned repeat steelhead spawners and to determine the productivity of repeat spawners. Work occurs in both the Yakima and Snake river basins. We focused on collecting steelhead kelts at juvenile bypass facilities in Prosser and Lower Granite dams, and additionally some fish were collected at Dworshak National Fish Hatchery. These kelts were reconditioned (given prophylactic treatments and fed a specially formulated diet) at Prosser and Dworshak National Fish Hatcheries. Survival of long-term reconditioned kelts has been 42% (19 years) for Yakima River at Prosser Hatchery and 33% (8 years; 43% over the last 6 years) for mixed stock collections at Lower Granite Dam, and in previous years Fish Creek and the South Fork Clearwater River. In 2018 unmarked upstream migrant adult steelhead return counts were at the 5th lowest across the region since records were kept in this regard in the mid 1990’s. These low return years typically translates into a lower abundance of kelts. Regardless, we collected a sizeable number of kelts at both the Snake and Yakima rivers due to lower water conditions which means that more kelts migrated via juvenile bypass systems. A total of 107 reconditioned B-run steelhead were released below Lower Granite Dam in 2018 to address Reasonable and Prudent Alternative 33 of the FCRSP Biological Opinion. A total of 106 reconditioned, remature steelhead were released in the Yakima River in 2018.
Hatch, D., R. Branstetter, J. Stephenson, A. Pierce, R. Lessard, J. Newell, A. Matala, W. Bosch, S. Everett, N. Graham, L. Medeiros, L. Jenkins, B. Hoffman, N. Hoffman, T. Cavileer, J. Nagler, M. Fiander, C. Frederickson, J. Blodgett, D. Fast, and R. Johnson. Kelt reconditioning and reproductive success evaluation research. 1/1/2018 – 12/31/2018 Bonneville Power Administration Annual Report, 2007-401-00. Portland, OR. 164p.