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Title: Physicochemical characteristics of the hyporheic zone affect redd site selection of chum salmon and fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River

Abstract

Chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta and fall chinook salmon O. tshawytscha spawned at different locations in the vicinity of Ives Island, Washington, a side channel to the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam. We hypothesized that measurements of water depth, substrate size, and water velocity alone would not explain the separation in spawning areas and began a 2-year investigation of physicochemical characteristics of the hyporheic zone. We found that chum salmon spawned in upwelling water that was significantly warmer than the surrounding river water. In contrast, fall chinook salmon constructed redds at downwelling sites where there was no difference in temperature between the river and its bed. Understanding the specific features that are important for chum salmon and fall chinook salmon redd site selection at Ives Island will be useful to resource managers attempting to maximize available spawning habitat for these species within the constraints imposed by other water resource needs.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. (BATTELLE (PACIFIC NW LAB))
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab., Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
15002423
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-35782
400480000; TRN: US200416%%5
DOE Contract Number:
AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: North American Journal of Fisheries Management; Journal Volume: 22; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: PBD: 1 Nov 2002
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; COLUMBIA RIVER; HABITAT; SALMON; SITE SELECTION; WATER RESOURCES; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; POPULATION DYNAMICS; HYPORHEIC ZONE

Citation Formats

Geist, David R., Hanrahan, Timothy P., Arntzen, Evan V., McMichael, Geoffrey A., Murray, Christopher J., and Chien, Yi-Ju. Physicochemical characteristics of the hyporheic zone affect redd site selection of chum salmon and fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River. United States: N. p., 2002. Web. doi:10.1577/1548-8675(2002)022<1077:PCOTHZ>2.0.CO;2.
Geist, David R., Hanrahan, Timothy P., Arntzen, Evan V., McMichael, Geoffrey A., Murray, Christopher J., & Chien, Yi-Ju. Physicochemical characteristics of the hyporheic zone affect redd site selection of chum salmon and fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River. United States. doi:10.1577/1548-8675(2002)022<1077:PCOTHZ>2.0.CO;2.
Geist, David R., Hanrahan, Timothy P., Arntzen, Evan V., McMichael, Geoffrey A., Murray, Christopher J., and Chien, Yi-Ju. Fri . "Physicochemical characteristics of the hyporheic zone affect redd site selection of chum salmon and fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River". United States. doi:10.1577/1548-8675(2002)022<1077:PCOTHZ>2.0.CO;2.
@article{osti_15002423,
title = {Physicochemical characteristics of the hyporheic zone affect redd site selection of chum salmon and fall chinook salmon in the Columbia River},
author = {Geist, David R. and Hanrahan, Timothy P. and Arntzen, Evan V. and McMichael, Geoffrey A. and Murray, Christopher J. and Chien, Yi-Ju},
abstractNote = {Chum salmon Oncorhynchus keta and fall chinook salmon O. tshawytscha spawned at different locations in the vicinity of Ives Island, Washington, a side channel to the Columbia River downstream of Bonneville Dam. We hypothesized that measurements of water depth, substrate size, and water velocity alone would not explain the separation in spawning areas and began a 2-year investigation of physicochemical characteristics of the hyporheic zone. We found that chum salmon spawned in upwelling water that was significantly warmer than the surrounding river water. In contrast, fall chinook salmon constructed redds at downwelling sites where there was no difference in temperature between the river and its bed. Understanding the specific features that are important for chum salmon and fall chinook salmon redd site selection at Ives Island will be useful to resource managers attempting to maximize available spawning habitat for these species within the constraints imposed by other water resource needs.},
doi = {10.1577/1548-8675(2002)022<1077:PCOTHZ>2.0.CO;2},
journal = {North American Journal of Fisheries Management},
number = 4,
volume = 22,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Nov 01 00:00:00 EST 2002},
month = {Fri Nov 01 00:00:00 EST 2002}
}
  • 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 salmonmore » 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.« less
  • This report summarizes results of research activities conducted from 1995 through 1998 on identifying the spawning habitat requirements of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. The project investigated whether traditional spawning habitat models could be improved in order to make better predictions of available habitat for fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. Results suggest models could be improved if they used spawning area-specific, rather than river-specific, spawning characteristics; incorporated hyporheic discharge measurements; and gave further consideration to the geomorphic features that are present in the unconstrained segments of large alluvial rivers. Ultimatelymore » the recovery of endangered fall chinook salmon will depend on how well we are able to recreate the characteristics once common in alluvial floodplains of large rivers. The results from this research can be used to better define the relationship between these physical habitat characteristics and fall chinook salmon spawning site selection, and provide more efficient use of limited recovery resources. This report is divided into four chapters which were presented in the author's doctoral dissertation which he completed through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. Each of the chapters has been published in peer reviewed journals or is currently under review. Chapter one is a conceptual spawning habitat model that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Chapter two describes the comparison of the physical factors associated with fall chinook salmon redd clusters located at two sites within the Reach. Spatial point pattern analysis of redds showed that redd clusters averaged approximately 10 hectares in area and their locations were consistent from year to year. The tendency to spawn in clusters suggests fall chinook salmon's use of spawning habitat is highly selective. Hydraulic characteristics of the redd clusters were significantly different than the habitat surrounding them. Velocity and lateral slope of the river bottom were the most important habitat variables in predicting redd site selection. While these variables explained a large proportion of the variance in redd site selection (86 to 96%), some unmeasured factors still accounted for a small percentage of actual spawning site selection. Chapter three describes the results from an investigation into the hyporheic characteristics of the two spawning areas studied in chapter two. This investigation showed that the magnitude and chemical characteristics of hyporheic discharge were different between and within two spawning areas. Apparently, fall chinook salmon used chemical and physical cues from the discharge to locate spawning areas. Finally, chapter four describes a unique method that was developed to install piezometers into the cobble bed of the Columbia River.« less
  • We improved our predictions of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) habitat use by analyzing spawning habitat at the spatial scale of redd clusters. Spatial point pattern analyses indicated that redd clusters in the Hanford Reach, Columbia River, were consistent in their location from 1994 to 1995. Redd densities were 16.1 and 8.9 redds?ha-1 in 1994 and 1995, respectively, and individual redds within clusters were usually less than 30 m apart. Pattern analysis also showed strong evidence that redds were uniformly distributed within the clusters where inter-redd distances ranged from 2 to 5 m. Redd clusters were found to occur predominantlymore » where water velocity was between 1.4 to 2 m?s-1, water depth was 2 to 4 m, and lateral slope of the riverbed was less than 4%. This habitat use represented a narrower range of use than previously reported for adult fall chinook salmon. Logistic regression analysis determined that water velocity and lateral slope were the most significant predictors of redd cluster location over a range of river discharges. Over-estimates of available spawning habitat lead to non-achievable goals for protecting and restoring critical salmonid habitat. Better predictions of spawning habitat may be possible if cluster-specific characteristics are used.« less
  • Fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawned predominantly in areas of the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River where hyporheic water discharged into the river channel. This upwelling water had a dissolved solids content (i.e., specific conductance) indicative of river water and was presumed to have entered highly permeable riverbed substrate at locations upstream of the spawning areas. Hyporheic discharge zones composed of undiluted ground water or areas with little or no upwelling were not used by spawning salmon. Rates of upwelling into spawning areas averaged 1,200 L?m-2?day-1 (95% C.I.= 784 to 1,665 L?m-2?day-1) as compared to approximately 500 L?m-2?day-1 (95%more » C.I.= 303 to 1,159 L?m-2?day-1) in non-spawning areas. Dissolved oxygen content of the hyporheic discharge near salmon spawning areas was about 9 mg?L-1 (+ 0.4 mg?L-1) whereas in non-spawning areas dissolved oxygen values were 7 mg?L-1 (+ 0.9 mg?L-1) or lower. In both cases dissolved oxygen of the river water was higher (11.3+ 0.3 mg?L-1). Physical and chemical gradients between the hyporheic zone and the river may provide cues for adult salmon to locate suitable spawning areas. This information will help fisheries managers to describe the suitability of salmon spawning habitat in large rivers.« less
  • Chum (Oncorhynchus keta) and fall Chinook (O. tshawytscha) salmon segregate spatially during spawning in the Ives Island side channel of the lower Columbia River downstream from Bonneville Dam. Previous research during one spawning season (2000) suggested that these species selected spawning habitats based on differences in hyporheic temperature and vertical hydraulic gradient (VHG) with the river. In this study, we confirmed the spatial segregation of spawning based on hyporheic characteristics over four years (2001–2004) and examined the effects of load-following operations (power generation to meet short-term electrical demand) at Bonneville Dam on hyporheic function and characteristics. We found that duringmore » the study period, hyporheic temperature and VHG in chum salmon spawning areas were highly variable during periods of load-following operation when river levels fluctuated. In contrast, hyporheic water temperature and VHG within chum spawning areas fluctuated less when river levels were not changing due to load-following operation. Variable temperature and VHG could affect chum and fall Chinook salmon spawning segregation and incubation success by altering the cues each species uses to select redd sites. Alterations in site selection would result in a breakdown in the spatial segregation of spawning between chum and fall Chinook salmon, which would expose earlier spawning fall Chinook eggs to a greater risk of dislodgement from later spawning chum salmon. Additional research will be required to fully assess the effects of load-following operations on the hyporheic environment and spawning and incubation success of chum and fall Chinook salmon downstream from Bonneville Dam.« less