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Kelt Reconditioning and Reproductive Success Evaluation Research – 2020 Annual Technical Report

Aug 6, 2021


The Kelt Reconditioning and Reproductive Success Evaluation Project is a research, monitoring, and evaluation (RM&E) uncertainties category project, that was funded through the 2008 Columbia Basin Fish Accords. The objectives are to evaluate methodologies to produce viable artificially reconditioned repeat steelhead spawners and evaluate reproductive success, physiology, homing, and geographic differences. Our work occurs in both the Yakima and Snake river basins, additionally we make some contrasts and comparisons with the Kelt Reconditioning Project in the Upper Columbia River (Project 2008-458-00). We focused on collecting steelhead kelts at juvenile bypass facilities at Prosser, Lower Granite, and Little Goose dams. These kelts were reconditioned (given prophylactic treatments and fed a specially formulated diet) at Prosser and Dworshak National Fish (DNFH) hatcheries. Survival of long-term reconditioned kelts has been 44% (21 years) at Prosser Hatchery and 39% (10 years; 44% over the last 8 years) for mixed stock collections reconditioned at Nez Perce Tribal and Dworshak National Fish hatcheries. In total, we released 460 and 4,787 reconditioned kelt steelhead in the Snake and Yakima rivers since 2011 and 2000, respectively. In 2020, unmarked upstream “wild” migrant adult steelhead return counts were at the 9th lowest across the region, placing great importance on safety net programs like kelt reconditioning.


Doug Hatch, Ryan Branstetter, Jeff Stephenson, Andrew Pierce, Neil Graham, Jeremiah Newell, William Bosch, Scott Everett, Paul Burrows, Kemo Scott, Lea Medeiros, Laura Jenkins, Coner Ray, Diana Cervantes, Tim Cavileer, James Nagler, Micheal Fiander, Chris Frederickson, Joe Blodgett, David Fast, and Rebecca Johnson


Hatch, D., R. Branstetter, J. Stephenson, A. Pierce, N. Graham, J. Newell, W. Bosch, S. Everett, P. Burrows, K. Scott, L. Medeiros, L. Jenkins, C. Ray, D. Cervantes, T. Cavileer, J. Nagler, M. Fiander, C. Frederickson, J. Blodgett, D. Fast, and R. Johnson. 2021. Kelt reconditioning and reproductive success evaluation research. 1/1/2020 – 12/31/2020 Bonneville Power Administration Annual Report, 2007-401-00. Portland, OR. 145p.



Report No.


Media Type

CRITFC Technical Report