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Movement Patterns of Artificially Reconditioned Kelt Steelhead Following Release in the Yakima River Basin

Mar 31, 2016


To improve the analysis of long-term reconditioning and parental contribution within the Yakima River Basin, we radio/PIT-tagged 70 kelts and solely PIT-tagged an additional 154 kelts in late October of 2013. Kelts were assumed to be rematuring based on their estradiol readings. There were 57% (40) radio tagged and 42% (65) of the PIT-tag only kelts migrating over Prosser Dam in the late fall of 2013/spring of 2014. 27% (19) of the radio tagged and 18% (27) of the PIT-only group successfully returned to spawning tributaries. Some of these radio tagged (4) and PIT-only (7) kelts had prior detection histories as maiden fish that we could use as a performance and fidelity comparison. All 12 of these fish returned to their natal streams as repeat spawners in 2014 at nearly the same date (3-14 days) as the previous years (2013) maiden spawning. Overall, 19% (13) of the radio tagged group were tracked to assumed spawning locations. This was based on 2-5 days at a specific location with subsequent rapid movement out of the tributary, 1-3 days, to the Yakima mainstem. Juvenile tissue samples were collected from the 9 accessible sites of which 3 sites yielded 5 samples that were genotyped back to 2 kelt females.


Ryan Branstetter, Jeremiah Newell, Chris Frederiksen, Jeff Trammel, Joe Blodgett, William Bosch, Bobby Begay, Neil Graham, Andrew Pierce, Jeff Stephenson, David Fast, and Doug Hatch


Branstetter, R., J. Newell, C. Frederiksen, J. Trammel, J.W. Blodgett, W.J. Bosch, B. Begay, N. Graham, A.L. Pierce, J. Stephenson, D.E. Fast, and D.R. Hatch. 2015. Movement patterns of artificially reconditioned kelt steelhead following release in the Yakima River Basin. American Fisheries Society Annual Conference, August 16-20, 2015. Portland, OR.



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