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Title: An estimate of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat and redd capacity upstream of a migration barrier in the upper Columbia River

Abstract

Chief Joseph Dam on the Columbia River is the upstream terminus for anadromous fish, due to its lack of fish passage facilities. Management agencies are currently evaluating the feasibility of reintroducing anadromous fish upriver of Chief Joseph Dam. We evaluated the physical characteristics of potential fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat in the upper section of Chief Joseph Reservoir. The objective of this study was to estimate the quantity and location of potential spawning habitat, and secondly to determine the redd capacity of the area based on spawning habitat characteristics. We used a geomorphic approach to first identify specific segments with the highest potential for spawning. The suitability of these segments for spawning was then estimated through the use of empirical physical data and modeled hydraulic data. We estimated 5% (48.7 ha) of the study area contains potentially suitable fall chinook salmon spawning habitat. Potential spawning habitat is primarily limited by water too deep and secondly by water velocities too low, the combination of which results in 20% (9.6 ha) of the potential spawning habitat being characterized as high quality. Estimates of redd capacity within potential spawning habitat range from 207? 1599 redds, based on proportional use of potentialmore » habitat and varying amounts of channelbed used by spawning salmon. The results of our study provide fisheries managers significant insight into one component of the complex issue of reintroducing anadromous fish to the Columbia River upstream of Chief Joseph Dam.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab., Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
15006807
Report Number(s):
PNWD-SA-5910
Journal ID: ISSN 0706-652X; CJFSDX; TRN: US200412%%180
DOE Contract Number:
AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences; Journal Volume: 61; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: PBD: 1 Feb 2004
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; CAPACITY; COLUMBIA RIVER; FISH PASSAGE FACILITIES; FISHERIES; HABITAT; HYDRAULICS; MANAGEMENT; SALMON; WATER; CHINOOK SALMON; SPAWNING HABITAT; REDD CAPACITY; REINTRODUCTION; RESTORATION

Citation Formats

Hanrahan, Timothy P., Dauble, Dennis D., and Geist, David R. An estimate of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat and redd capacity upstream of a migration barrier in the upper Columbia River. United States: N. p., 2004. Web. doi:10.1139/f03-140.
Hanrahan, Timothy P., Dauble, Dennis D., & Geist, David R. An estimate of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat and redd capacity upstream of a migration barrier in the upper Columbia River. United States. doi:10.1139/f03-140.
Hanrahan, Timothy P., Dauble, Dennis D., and Geist, David R. 2004. "An estimate of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat and redd capacity upstream of a migration barrier in the upper Columbia River". United States. doi:10.1139/f03-140.
@article{osti_15006807,
title = {An estimate of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat and redd capacity upstream of a migration barrier in the upper Columbia River},
author = {Hanrahan, Timothy P. and Dauble, Dennis D. and Geist, David R.},
abstractNote = {Chief Joseph Dam on the Columbia River is the upstream terminus for anadromous fish, due to its lack of fish passage facilities. Management agencies are currently evaluating the feasibility of reintroducing anadromous fish upriver of Chief Joseph Dam. We evaluated the physical characteristics of potential fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat in the upper section of Chief Joseph Reservoir. The objective of this study was to estimate the quantity and location of potential spawning habitat, and secondly to determine the redd capacity of the area based on spawning habitat characteristics. We used a geomorphic approach to first identify specific segments with the highest potential for spawning. The suitability of these segments for spawning was then estimated through the use of empirical physical data and modeled hydraulic data. We estimated 5% (48.7 ha) of the study area contains potentially suitable fall chinook salmon spawning habitat. Potential spawning habitat is primarily limited by water too deep and secondly by water velocities too low, the combination of which results in 20% (9.6 ha) of the potential spawning habitat being characterized as high quality. Estimates of redd capacity within potential spawning habitat range from 207? 1599 redds, based on proportional use of potential habitat and varying amounts of channelbed used by spawning salmon. The results of our study provide fisheries managers significant insight into one component of the complex issue of reintroducing anadromous fish to the Columbia River upstream of Chief Joseph Dam.},
doi = {10.1139/f03-140},
journal = {Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences},
number = 1,
volume = 61,
place = {United States},
year = 2004,
month = 2
}
  • 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
  • Fall chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, thought to originate from Bonneville Hatchery, were first noted to be spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam by Washington Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (WDFW) biologists in 1993 (Hymer 1997). Known spawning areas include gravel beds on the Washington side of the river near Hamilton Creek and Ives island. Limited spawning ground surveys were conducted in the area around Ives and Pierce Islands during 1994-1997 and based on these surveys it was believed that fall chinook salmon successfully spawned in this area. The size of this population from 1994 to 1996 was estimated at 1,800 tomore » 5,200 fish (Hymer 1997). Recently, chum salmon were also documented spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam. Chum salmon O. kisutch were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in March, 1999. There are several ongoing investigations to define the physical habitat characteristics associated with fall chinook and chum salmon spawning areas downstream of Bonneville Dam. A major concern is to determine what flows (i.e. surface elevations) are necessary to ensure their long-term survival. Our objective was to locate deepwater spawning locations in the main Columbia River channel and to collect additional data on physical habitat parameters at the site. This objective is consistent with the high priority that the Northwest Power Planning Council's Independent Advisory Board and the salmon managers have placed on determining the importance of mainstem habitats to the production of salmon in the Columbia River Basin.« less
  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory initiated studies to identify potential fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat and assess the extent of spawning in deep water (>1 m) downstream of Bonneville Dam in the fall of 1999. This report provides results from 2001, the third year of our effort. The main objective of this study was to find deepwater spawning locations of fall chinook salmon in the main Columbia River channel, collect additional data on physical habitat parameters at spawning sites, and provide estimates of adult spawners in the area. The secondary objective was to map any chum salmon redds locatedmore » in the deeper sections near Hamilton Slough. River flows during the spawning surveys in 2001 were lower than in 1999 and 2000. Peak spawning activity, based on redd counts and live fish seen near redds, was on or near November 9, 2001. The location of the spawning area was similar to that of 1999 and 2000. One difference was the majority of redds were found in deeper water (>1.5 m) and closer to the shoreline adjacent to Pierce Island. Because of the low river flows during the fall of 2001, only a handful of redds were found using the boat-deployed video system within Hamilton Slough. No chum salmon (O. keta) redds were found in areas surveyed during 2000. (Note: surveys were limited to deeper sections of Hamilton Slough and near the main river channel.) An estimated 717 fall chinook salmon redds at water depths exceeding 1.5 m ({approx} 125 kcfs) were documented in 2001. These estimates are expanded from the number of redds found within a predefined survey area. Fall chinook salmon redds were found at water depths from 1.5-4.6 m and were located in a general area of {approx} 4.9 ha. Fall chinook salmon redds were constructed in gravels ranging from 3.2-13.4 cm in diameter and water velocities of 0.29-0.70 m/s.« less
  • This report describes research conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as part of the Fish and Wildlife Program directed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The study evaluated the restoration potential of Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat within the impounded lower Snake River. The objective of the research was to determine if hydroelectric dam operations could be modified, within existing system constraints (e.g., minimum to normal pool levels; without partial removal of a dam structure), to increase the amount of available fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the lower Snakemore » River. Empirical and modeled physical habitat data were used to compare potential fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Snake River, under current and modified dam operations, with the analogous physical characteristics of an existing fall Chinook salmon spawning area in the Columbia River. The two Snake River study areas included the Ice Harbor Dam tailrace downstream to the Highway 12 bridge and the Lower Granite Dam tailrace downstream approximately 12 river kilometers. These areas represent tailwater habitat (i.e., riverine segments extending from a dam downstream to the backwater influence from the next dam downstream). We used a reference site, indicative of current fall Chinook salmon spawning areas in tailwater habitat, against which to compare the physical characteristics of each study site. The reference site for tailwater habitats was the section extending downstream from the Wanapum Dam tailrace on the Columbia River. Fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat use data, including water depth, velocity, substrate size and channelbed slope, from the Wanapum reference area were used to define spawning habitat suitability based on these variables. Fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat suitability of the Snake River study areas was estimated by applying the Wanapum reference reach habitat suitability criteria to measured and modeled habitat data from the Snake River study areas. Channel morphology data from the Wanapum reference reach and the Snake River study areas were evaluated to identify geomorphically suitable fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat. The results of this study indicate that a majority of the Ice Harbor and Lower Granite study areas contain suitable fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat under existing hydrosystem operations. However, a large majority of the currently available fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Ice Harbor and Lower Granite study areas is of low quality. The potential for increasing, through modifications to hydrosystem operations (i.e., minimum pool elevation of the next downstream dam), the quantity or quality of fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat appears to be limited. Estimates of the amount of potential fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Ice Harbor study area decreased as the McNary Dam forebay elevation was lowered from normal to minimum pool elevation. Estimates of the amount of potential fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Lower Granite study area increased as the Little Goose Dam forebay elevation was lowered from normal to minimum pool elevation; however, 97% of the available habitat was categorized within the range of lowest quality. In both the Ice Harbor and Lower Granite study areas, water velocity appears to be more of a limiting factor than water depth for fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat, with both study areas dominated by low-magnitude water velocity. The geomorphic suitability of both study areas appears to be compromised for fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat, with the Ice Harbor study area lacking significant bedforms along the longitudinal thalweg profile and the Lower Granite study area lacking cross-sectional topographic diversity. To increase the quantity of available fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Ice Harbor and Lower Granite study area, modifications to hydroelectric dam operations beyond those evaluated in this study likely would be necessary. Modifications may include operational and structural changes, such as lowering downstream dam forebay elevations to less than minimum pool. There is a large amount of uncertainty as to whether or not such modifications could increase the quantity of available fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Ice Harbor and Lower Granite study area. The results from this study provide some certainty that the quantity and quality of fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat within the lower Snake River are not likely to be increased within the existing hydroelectric dam operations.« less