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Upstream Migration Timing of Columbia Basin Chinook and Sockeye Salmon and Steelhead in 2013

Mar 31, 2015


In 2013 we sampled Sockeye and Chinook salmon as well as steelhead at the Bonneville Dam Adult Fish Facility. Fish were measured for length and scales collected for later analysis for age and the fish were tagged with Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags. These fish were tracked upstream as they passed through sites with PIT tag antennas, including fish ladders at dams, juvenile bypasses, hatcheries, weirs, as well as in-stream antennas. Total numbers of fish tracked upstream were 1008 spring Chinook, 937 summer Chinook, 1461 fall Chinook, and 772 Sockeye salmon, and 1276 steelhead.

Chinook migration rates between mainstem dams ranged between 18.5 and 46.0 km/day. Most spring Chinook Salmon that traveled upstream of McNary Dam were last detected in the Snake River, most summer Chinook were last detected in the Columbia River upstream of Priest Rapids Dam, and a plurality of fall Chinook were last detected upstream of McNary Dam but downstream of Priest Rapids and Ice Harbor dams. Escapement estimates for the entire Chinook run derived from PIT tag detections result in estimates differing from those estimated by visual counts by -35.0% to +10.7% at mainstem dams.

Steelhead median rates between mainstem dams ranged from 14.7 km to 31.1 km/day. Steelhead classified as B-run (greater or equal to 78 cm fork length) were overwhelmingly last detected in the Snake River. Based on the data reported, the percentage of steelhead classified as B-run at Bonneville Dam reached its highest level on our last week of sampling in early October at 60.0% of the total steelhead run, with the estimated weekly number of B-run steelhead peaking the week of September 15, 2013 at 2259 fish. A total of 92 PIT tagged steelhead tracked in 2013 were detected moving downstream (mostly in juvenile bypasses) after March 31, 2014 presumably in an attempt to return to the ocean after spawning.
The estimated stock composition of Sockeye Salmon passing Bonneville Dam based on where PIT tagged Sockeye were last detected was 70.0% Okanogan, 28.0% Wenatchee, 1.0% Entiat, 0.5% Yakima, and 0.6% Deschutes. No Sockeye were PIT tagged that were last detected in the Snake River. The mean migration rate between Bonneville and Rock Island Dam was 37.1 km per day. Sockeye passing Bonneville Dam later in the migration traveled upstream faster than those earlier in the migration.



Fryer, J.K., J. Whiteaker, and D. Kelsey. 2015. Upstream Migration Timing of Columbia Basin Chinook and Sockeye Salmon and Steelhead in 2013. Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Technical Report 15-02 for U.S. Dept. of Energy Bonneville Power Administration Project 2008-518-00. 102p.



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CRITFC Technical Report