Physicochemical Characteristics of the Hyporheic Zone Affect Redd Site Selection of Chum and Fall Chinook Salmon, Columbia River.
Description: Chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) may historically have been the most abundant species of Columbia River salmon, contributing as much as 50% of the total biomass of all salmon in the Pacific Ocean prior to the 1940's (Neave 1961). By the 1950's, however, run sizes to the Columbia River dropped dramatically and in 1999 the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed Columbia River chum salmon as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA; NMFS 1999). Habitat degradation, water diversions, harvest, and artificial propagation are the major human-induced factors that have contributed to the species decline (NMFS 1998). Columbia River chum salmon spawn exclusively in the lower river below Bonneville Dam, including an area near Ives Island. The Ives Island chum salmon are part of the Columbia River evolutionary significant unit (ESU) for this species, and are included in the ESA listing. In addition to chum salmon, fall chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) also spawn at Ives Island. Spawning surveys conducted at Ives Island over the last several years show that chum and fall chinook salmon spawned in clusters in different locations (US Fish and Wildlife Service and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, unpublished data). The presence of redd clusters suggested that fish were selecting specific habitat features within the study area (Geist and Dauble 1998). Understanding the specific features of these spawning areas is needed to quantify the amount of habitat available to each species so that minimum flows can be set to protect fish and maintain high quality habitat.
Date: October 2001
Creator: Geist, David R.
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