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Effects of Hyporheic Exchange Flows on Egg Pocket Water Temperature in Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Spawning Areas, 2002-2003 Final Report.

Description: The development of the Snake River hydroelectric system has affected fall Chinook salmon smolts by shifting their migration timing to a period (mid- to late-summer) when downstream reservoir conditions are unfavorable for survival. Subsequent to the Snake River Chinook salmon fall-run Evolutionary Significant Unit being listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act, recovery planning has included changes in hydrosystem operations (e.g., summer flow augmentation) to improve water temperature and flow conditions during the juvenile Chinook salmon summer migration period. In light of the limited water supplies from the Dworshak reservoir for summer flow augmentation, and the associated uncertainties regarding benefits to migrating fall Chinook salmon smolts, additional approaches for improved smolt survival need to be evaluated. This report describes research conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) that evaluated relationships among river discharge, hyporheic zone characteristics, and egg pocket water temperature in Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning areas. This was a pilot-scale study to evaluate these relationships under existing operations of Hells Canyon Dam (i.e., without any prescribed manipulations of river discharge) during the 2002-2003 water year. The project was initiated in the context of examining the potential for improving juvenile Snake River fall Chinook salmon survival by modifying the discharge operations of Hells Canyon Dam. The potential for improved survival would be gained by increasing the rate at which early life history events proceed (i.e., incubation and emergence), thereby allowing smolts to migrate through downstream reservoirs during early- to mid-summer when river conditions are more favorable for survival. PNNL implemented this research project at index sites throughout 160 km of the Hells Canyon Reach (HCR) of the Snake River. The HCR extends from Hells Canyon Dam (river kilometer [rkm] 399) downstream to the upper end of Lower Granite Reservoir near rkm 240. We randomly selected 14 ...
Date: September 1, 2004
Creator: Hanrahan, T.; Geist, D. & Arntzen, C. (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department