Select Page

Utility of Parentage-based Tagging for Monitoring Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in the Interior Columbia River Basin

Jan 4, 2024


By the 1980s, after decades of declining numbers in the mid-1900s, Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) were considered extirpated from the interior Columbia River. In the mid-1990s, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation, and the Nez Perce Tribe began successful reintroduction programs of Coho salmon upstream of Bonneville Dam, but which were initially sourced from lower Columbia River hatcheries. Here we present the first Coho salmon parentage-based tagging (PBT) baseline from seven hatchery programs located in the interior Columbia River basin, and two sites at or downstream of Bonneville Dam, composed of over 32,000 broodstock samples. Analyses of baseline collections revealed that genetic structure followed a temporal pattern based on 3-year broodlines rather than geographic location or stocking history. Across hatchery programs, similar levels of genetic diversity was present. The PBT baseline provided multiple direct applications such as identification of origin for Coho salmon collected in a mixed stock at Priest Rapids Dam and the detection of the proportion and distribution of hatchery-origin fish on the spawning grounds in the Methow River basin. The PBT baseline for Coho salmon is freely available for use and can be downloaded from


Rebekah Horn, Hayley Nuetzel, Becky Johnson, Cory Kamphaus, Jon Lovrak, Kraig Mott, Todd Newsome, and Shawn Narum


Horn, R.L., H.M. Nuetzel, B. Johnson, C. Kamphaus, J. Lovrak, K. Mott, T. Newsome, and S.R. Narum. 2024. Utility of parentage-based tagging for monitoring Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) in the interior Columbia River Basin. Evolutionary Applications 17(2):e13607. Online at



Report No.


Media Type

Journal Article