Reintroduction of Lower Columbia River Chum Salmon into Duncan Creek, 2007 Annual Report.

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The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed Lower Columbia River (LCR) chum salmon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in March, 1999 (64 FR 14508, March 25, 1999). The listing was in response to the reduction in abundance from historical levels of more than one-half million returning adults to fewer than 10,000 present-day spawners. Harvest, habitat degradation, changes in flow regimes, riverbed movement and heavy siltation have been largely responsible for this decline. The timing of seasonal changes in river flow and water temperatures is perhaps the most critical factor in structuring the freshwater life history of this ... continued below

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83 pages

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Hillson, Todd D. June 12, 2009.

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Description

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed Lower Columbia River (LCR) chum salmon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in March, 1999 (64 FR 14508, March 25, 1999). The listing was in response to the reduction in abundance from historical levels of more than one-half million returning adults to fewer than 10,000 present-day spawners. Harvest, habitat degradation, changes in flow regimes, riverbed movement and heavy siltation have been largely responsible for this decline. The timing of seasonal changes in river flow and water temperatures is perhaps the most critical factor in structuring the freshwater life history of this species. This is especially true of the population located directly below Bonneville Dam, where hydropower operations can block access to spawning sites, dewater redds, strand fry, cause scour or fill of redds and increase sedimentation of spawning gravels. Prior to 1997, only two chum salmon populations were recognized as genetically distinct in the Columbia River, although spawning had been documented in many Lower Columbia River tributaries. The first population was in the Grays River (RKm 34), a tributary of the Columbia River, and the second was a group of spawners utilizing the mainstem Columbia River just below Bonneville Dam (RKm 235) adjacent to Ives Island and in Hardy and Hamilton creeks. Using additional DNA samples, Small et al. (2006) grouped chum salmon spawning in the mainstem Columbia River and the Washington State tributaries into three groups: the Coastal, the Cascade and the Gorge. The Coastal group comprises those spawning in the Grays River, Skamokawa Creek and the broodstock used at the Sea Resources facility on the Chinook River. The Cascade group comprises those spawning in the Cowlitz (both summer and fall stocks), Kalama, Lewis, and East Fork Lewis rivers, with most supporting unique populations. The Gorge group comprises those spawning in the mainstem Columbia River from the I-205 Bridge up to Bonneville Dam and those spawning in Hamilton and Hardy creeks. Response to the federal ESA listing has been primarily through direct-recovery actions: reducing harvest, hatchery supplementation using local broodstock for populations at catastrophic risk, habitat restoration (including construction of spawning channels) and flow agreements to protect spawning and rearing areas. Both state and federal agencies have built controlled spawning areas. In 1998, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) began a chum salmon supplementation program using native stock on the Grays River. This program was expanded during 1999 - 2001 to include reintroduction into the Chinook River using eggs from the Grays River Supplementation Program. These eggs are incubated at the Grays River Hatchery, reared to release size at the Sea Resources Hatchery on the Chinook River, and the fry are released at the mouth of the Chinook River. Native steelhead, chum, and coho salmon are present in Duncan Creek, and are recognized as subpopulations of the Lower Gorge population, and are focal species in the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board (LCFRB) plan. Steelhead, chum and coho salmon that spawn in Duncan Creek are listed as Threatened under the ESA. Duncan Creek is classified by the LCFRB plan as a watershed for intensive monitoring (LCFRB 2004). This project was identified in the 2004 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) revised Biological Opinion (revised BiOp) to increase survival of chum salmon, 'BPA will continue to fund the program to re-introduce Columbia River chum salmon into Duncan Creek as long as NOAA Fisheries determines it to be an essential and effective contribution to reducing the risk of extinction for this ESU'. (USACE et al. 2004, page 85-86). The Governors Forum on Monitoring and Salmon Recovery and Watershed Health recommends one major population from each ESU have adult and juvenile monitoring. Duncan Creek chum salmon are identified in this plan to be intensively monitored. Planners recommended that a combination of natural and hatchery production would be the most likely way to produce the most rapid sustainable improvement in chum runs. Specifically, it was assumed that improving habitat conditions would promote efficient natural production, and that the most rapid way to rebuild the run would be to combine releases of an appropriate stock into the improved habitat. WDFW's recovery strategy for LCR chum salmon, as outlined in the WDFW Grays River and Washougal Hatchery Genetic Management Plans (HGMP), is as follows. First, determine if remnant populations of chum salmon exist in LCR tributaries. Second, if such populations exist, develop stock-specific recovery plans involving habitat restoration that include the creation of spawning refugias, supplementation where necessary, and a habitat and fish monitoring and evaluation plan.

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83 pages

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  • Report No.: P112055
  • Grant Number: 24226
  • DOI: 10.2172/962478 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 962478
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc932081

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  • June 12, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 8, 2016, 9:09 p.m.

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Hillson, Todd D. Reintroduction of Lower Columbia River Chum Salmon into Duncan Creek, 2007 Annual Report., report, June 12, 2009; Portland, Oregon. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc932081/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.