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Looking for Pieces of the Puzzle: LIFE HISTORY OF SPRING CHINOOK IN THE WILLAMETTE BASIN Kirk Schroeder Brian Cannon Luke Whitman Paul Olmsted Oregon Department.

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Presentation on theme: "Looking for Pieces of the Puzzle: LIFE HISTORY OF SPRING CHINOOK IN THE WILLAMETTE BASIN Kirk Schroeder Brian Cannon Luke Whitman Paul Olmsted Oregon Department."— Presentation transcript:

1 Looking for Pieces of the Puzzle: LIFE HISTORY OF SPRING CHINOOK IN THE WILLAMETTE BASIN Kirk Schroeder Brian Cannon Luke Whitman Paul Olmsted Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Corvallis Research Lab Primary funding from US Fish & Wildlife Service (Sport Fish Restoration) Additional support from US Army Corps of Engineers

2 Willamette River Columbia River South Santiam River North Santiam River McKenzie River Middle Fork Willamette River Eugene Corvallis Salem Portland 70% of Oregonians live within 20 mi of Willamette Flows through several large cities Dams block access to upper reaches of Spring Chinook rivers

3 Perception = Willamette as Migration Corridor Strategy = Flushing Flows ( volume of water at peak migration for single life history) “Spring chinook salmon are native to the Willamette River, with the mainstem river primarily a migration corridor for adults and smolts.” BPA Provincial Project Review, 2003 “…for salmon and steelhead recovery. The criteria are increased flows in the [Willamette] river…[for] downstream migration of juvenile steelhead during April and May and upstream migration of adult Chinook salmon in June.” Willamette Basin Reservoir Study, 1999 Conceptual Model Spawning Area Willamette River Reservoir releases Columbia River Willamette River & Columbia Estuary = Bad Neighborhoods Underlying Assumption

4 Willamette River and Juvenile Spring Chinook Salmon Example: Restore habitat complexity, connectivity for fish * spatial (lateral, longitudinal) * temporal (seasonal, flood cycles) * biological (diverse life histories & species) Alternative Perception = River is dynamic (spatial & temporal) and provides important rearing habitat Juvenile life history Alternative Strategies Linkages between fish & habitat Willamette = Migration Corridor Strategy = Target Flows (for smolts) Fish River Changing the Perception

5 APPROACH JUVENILE LIFE HISTORIES MIGRATION TIMING HABITAT USE OF WILLAMETTE STUDY TOOLS –PIT TAGS –DETECTION ( MIGRATION & GROWTH ) In-river Recaptures PGE Sullivan Plant Willamette Falls Lower Columbia Trawl –TRAPS –SEINING –FIELD OBSERVATIONS

6 Spawning Distribution Above Leaburg Dam = 84% of redds ( ) McKenzie River as Template for Juvenile Chinook Migration 32% wild 67% wild 91% wild Migration Timing Past Leaburg Dam Using Bypass Trap

7 Catch of Wild Spring Chinook in the Leaburg Bypass Trap Migration from Spawning Areas Seine Downriver & Tag late Spring & Summer Tag & Release

8 FRY MIGRATION from MCKENZIE RIVER km 89 km

9 Spring and Summer Rearing & Migration  Lower McKenzie  Willamette  Santiam Fry too small to tag when migrating in first winter Seine downstream of spawning areas after fry have grown Outmigration timing: PIT tag & Detect at Willamette Falls and Lower Columbia trawl

10 Willamette Falls Locks PGE Sullivan Hydroelectric Plant Fish Bypass with PIT tag interrogators Willamette Falls at Oregon City Changing Infrastructure Antenna System Bypass System Fish Guidance over Falls Detection Challenges Changing Flow & Proportion of Fish to Plant

11 Detection (Expansion) Factors Turbine 13 Bypass + North Full Flow Bypass Large antenna Operational Time (%) - recorded Downtime during high debris periods Turbine 13 Bypass Single antenna, screened evaluator 1999 – 2005 Second antenna, within bypass route Fish Guidance Efficiency to Bypass Route - tested 3.Antenna Efficiency - tested

12 Flow Control (Notch) Guide Fish to Apex of Falls at lower flows 4.FLOW - estimated Detection Factors Detections Expanded by Proportion of Flow through Sullivan (about 6,000 cfs to Plant regardless of river flow) Developing additional flow factors through PIT releases above Falls at various flows

13 Emigration of Juvenile Spring Chinook past Willamette Falls Tagged as Subyearlings in Lower McKenzie & Upper Willamette Detected at Willamette Falls (years with > 30 detections)

14 Subyearlings tagged in mid Willamette (downstream of Santiam confluence) Subyearlings tagged in Santiam Basin

15 Detection of Spring Chinook Migrants Tagged at Leaburg Trap

16 Generalized Migration of Juvenile Spring Chinook Relative seasonal use of Willamette River Leaburg Dam past Willamette Falls

17 Juvenile Chinook Growth – Willamette River Spring & Summer Rearing

18 Spring–Summer Migration of Juvenile Willamette Spring Chinook Catch in Lower Columbia Trawl (Km ) Apr – Jun, limited sampling into July Recaptures expanded by efficiency of Trawl sampler estimated from detections at Sullivan Plant and Trawl

19 Juvenile Chinook Life Histories Willamette Winter-Spring Lower Willamette Columbia Ocean Willamette Spring-Summer Willamette Winter Fall Migrants (Oct-Dec) Spring Migrants (Feb-Apr) Nov-Dec From spawning areas ? unknown timing documented hypothesized or unknown Jun- Jul (Aug) May- Jun Willamette Summer Parr Migrants Fry Migrants (Jan-May) Willamette Spring Feb- May May-Jul ? ? Mar- Jun Apr- May Apr- Jun Sep- Dec ? Mar-May Feb-Apr

20 Age 0 (Subyearling) Life History in Wild Adult Spring Chinook by brood year ( hatchery fish all adipose-clipped & otolith marked ) Life History Diversity Matters – Different Life Histories Contribute Provides Resilience to Populations Colder Warmer

21 Antennas in Willamette Falls Fishway Limited Data to Date One Lesson Learned: ALWAYS CHECK THOSE BOLTS!!! Acknowledgements ODFW Bob Lindsay, Project Leader (retired) Ken Kenaston, Project Asst (retired) Region, District, Hatchery staff Many hard-working seasonal employees PSMFC Dave Marvin John Tenney PGE Tim Shibahara Dan Domina (former) Eugene Water & Electric Board


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