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Title: Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River During Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Migration

Abstract

This report documents a four-year study to assess hydraulic conditions in the lower Snake River. The work was conducted for the Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Cold water released from the Dworshak Reservoir hypolimnion during mid- to late-summer months cools the Clearwater River far below equilibrium temperature. The volume of released cold water augments the Clearwater River, and the combined total discharge is on the order of the Snake River discharge when the two rivers meet at their confluence near the upstream edge of Lower Granite Reservoir. With typical temperature differences between the Clearwater and Snake rivers of 10°C or more during July and August, the density difference between the two rivers during summer flow augmentation periods is sufficient to stratify Lower Granite Reservoir as well as the other three reservoirs downstream. Because cooling of the river is desirable for migrating juvenile fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) during this same time period, the amount of mixing and cold water entrained into Lower Granite Reservoir’s epilimnion at the Clearwater/Snake River confluence is of key biological importance to juvenile fall Chinook salmon. Data collected during this project indicates the three reservoirs downstream of Lowermore » Granite also stratify as direct result of flow augmentation from Dworshak Reservoir. These four lower Snake reservoirs are also heavily influenced by wind forcing at the water’s surface, and during periods of low river discharge, often behave like a two-layer lake. During these periods of stratification, lower river discharge, and wind forcing, the water in the upper layer of the reservoir is held in place or moves slightly upstream. This upper layer is also exposed to surface heating and may warm up to temperatures close to equilibrium temperature. The depth of this upper warm layer and its direction of travel may also be of key biological importance to juvenile fall Chinook salmon. This report describes field data collection, modeling, and analysis of hydrodynamic and temperature conditions in the Lower Granite Reservoir during the summer flow augmentation periods of 2002, 2003, and 2004 plus a brief one-week period in 2005 of Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite Reservoirs. Circulation patterns in all four lower Snake River reservoirs were numerically simulated for periods of 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 using CE-QUAL-W2. Simulation results show that these models are sufficiently capable of matching diurnal and long term temperature and velocity changes in the reservoirs. In addition, the confluence zone of the Clearwater and Snake rivers was modeled using the 3-D model Flow3-D. This model was used to better understand mixing processing and entrainment. Once calibrated and validated, the reservoir models were used to investigate downstream impacts of alternative reservoir operation schemes, such as increasing or decreasing the ratio of Clearwater to Snake discharge. Simulation results were also linked with the particle tracking model FINS to better understand alterations of integrated metrics due to alternative operation schemes. These findings indicate that significant alterations in water temperature throughout the lower Snake River are possible by altering hypolimnetic discharges from Dworshak Reservoir and may have a significant impact on the behavior of migrating juvenile fall Chinook salmon during periods of flow augmentation.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
890723
Report Number(s):
PNNL-15532
400480000; TRN: US200620%%623
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION; HYDRODYNAMICS; JUVENILES; RIVERS; SALMON; MIGRATION; THERMAL EFFLUENTS; FLOW MODELS; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; lower Snake River; numerical modeling; salmon; river management

Citation Formats

Cook, Chris B., Dibrani, Berhon, Richmond, Marshall C., Bleich, Matthew D., Titzler, P. Scott, and Fu, Tao. Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River During Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Migration. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/890723.
Cook, Chris B., Dibrani, Berhon, Richmond, Marshall C., Bleich, Matthew D., Titzler, P. Scott, & Fu, Tao. Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River During Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Migration. United States. doi:10.2172/890723.
Cook, Chris B., Dibrani, Berhon, Richmond, Marshall C., Bleich, Matthew D., Titzler, P. Scott, and Fu, Tao. Mon . "Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River During Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Migration". United States. doi:10.2172/890723. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/890723.
@article{osti_890723,
title = {Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River During Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Migration},
author = {Cook, Chris B. and Dibrani, Berhon and Richmond, Marshall C. and Bleich, Matthew D. and Titzler, P. Scott and Fu, Tao},
abstractNote = {This report documents a four-year study to assess hydraulic conditions in the lower Snake River. The work was conducted for the Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Cold water released from the Dworshak Reservoir hypolimnion during mid- to late-summer months cools the Clearwater River far below equilibrium temperature. The volume of released cold water augments the Clearwater River, and the combined total discharge is on the order of the Snake River discharge when the two rivers meet at their confluence near the upstream edge of Lower Granite Reservoir. With typical temperature differences between the Clearwater and Snake rivers of 10°C or more during July and August, the density difference between the two rivers during summer flow augmentation periods is sufficient to stratify Lower Granite Reservoir as well as the other three reservoirs downstream. Because cooling of the river is desirable for migrating juvenile fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) during this same time period, the amount of mixing and cold water entrained into Lower Granite Reservoir’s epilimnion at the Clearwater/Snake River confluence is of key biological importance to juvenile fall Chinook salmon. Data collected during this project indicates the three reservoirs downstream of Lower Granite also stratify as direct result of flow augmentation from Dworshak Reservoir. These four lower Snake reservoirs are also heavily influenced by wind forcing at the water’s surface, and during periods of low river discharge, often behave like a two-layer lake. During these periods of stratification, lower river discharge, and wind forcing, the water in the upper layer of the reservoir is held in place or moves slightly upstream. This upper layer is also exposed to surface heating and may warm up to temperatures close to equilibrium temperature. The depth of this upper warm layer and its direction of travel may also be of key biological importance to juvenile fall Chinook salmon. This report describes field data collection, modeling, and analysis of hydrodynamic and temperature conditions in the Lower Granite Reservoir during the summer flow augmentation periods of 2002, 2003, and 2004 plus a brief one-week period in 2005 of Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite Reservoirs. Circulation patterns in all four lower Snake River reservoirs were numerically simulated for periods of 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 using CE-QUAL-W2. Simulation results show that these models are sufficiently capable of matching diurnal and long term temperature and velocity changes in the reservoirs. In addition, the confluence zone of the Clearwater and Snake rivers was modeled using the 3-D model Flow3-D. This model was used to better understand mixing processing and entrainment. Once calibrated and validated, the reservoir models were used to investigate downstream impacts of alternative reservoir operation schemes, such as increasing or decreasing the ratio of Clearwater to Snake discharge. Simulation results were also linked with the particle tracking model FINS to better understand alterations of integrated metrics due to alternative operation schemes. These findings indicate that significant alterations in water temperature throughout the lower Snake River are possible by altering hypolimnetic discharges from Dworshak Reservoir and may have a significant impact on the behavior of migrating juvenile fall Chinook salmon during periods of flow augmentation.},
doi = {10.2172/890723},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 30 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Mon Jan 30 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

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  • This report documents a four-year study to assess hydraulic conditions in the lower Snake River. The work was conducted for the Bonneville Power Administration, U.S. Department of Energy, by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Cold water released from the Dworshak Reservoir hypolimnion during mid- to late-summer months cools the Clearwater River far below equilibrium temperature. The volume of released cold water augments the Clearwater River, and the combined total discharge is on the order of the Snake River discharge when the two rivers meet at their confluence near the upstream edge of Lower Granite Reservoir. With typical temperature differences betweenmore » the Clearwater and Snake rivers of 10 C or more during July and August, the density difference between the two rivers during summer flow augmentation periods is sufficient to stratify Lower Granite Reservoir as well as the other three reservoirs downstream. Because cooling of the river is desirable for migrating juvenile fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) during this same time period, the amount of mixing and cold water entrained into Lower Granite Reservoir's epilimnion at the Clearwater/Snake River confluence is of key biological importance. Data collected during this project indicates the three reservoirs downstream of Lower Granite also stratify as direct result of flow augmentation from Dworshak Reservoir. These four reservoirs are also heavily influenced by wind forcing at the water's surface and during periods of low river discharge often behave like a two-layer lake. During these periods of stratification, lower river discharge, and wind forcing, the water in the upper layer of the reservoir is held in place or moves slightly upstream. This upper layer is also exposed to surface heating and may warm up to temperatures close to equilibrium temperature. The thickness (depth) of this upper warm layer and its direction of travel may be of key biological importance to juvenile fall Chinook salmon. This report describes field data collection, modeling, and analysis of hydrodynamic and temperature conditions in the Lower Granite Reservoir during the summer flow augmentation periods of 2002, 2003, and 2004. Although temperature, and hence density, differences during flow augmentation periods between the Clearwater and Snake rivers were approximately equal (7-12 C) for all four years, the discharge ratio varied which resulted in significant differences in entrainment of cooler Clearwater River water into the Lower Granite Reservoir epilimnion. However, as a direct result of system management, Lower Granite Dam tailrace temperatures were maintained near 20 C during all years. Primary differences in the other three lower Snake River reservoirs were therefore a result of meteorological conditions and dam operations, which produced variations in wind setup and surface heating. Circulation patterns in all four lower Snake River reservoirs were numerically simulated for periods of 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005 using CE-QUAL-W2. Simulation results show that these models are capable of matching diurnal and long-term temperature and velocity changes in the reservoirs. In addition, the confluence zone of the Clearwater and Snake rivers was modeled using the three-dimensional non-hydrostatic model Flow3D. Once calibrated and validated, the reservoir models were used to investigate downstream impacts of alternative reservoir operation schemes, such as increasing or decreasing the ratio of Clearwater to Snake river discharge. Simulation results were linked with the particle tracking model FINS to develop reservoir-integrated metrics that varied due to these alternative operation schemes. Findings indicate that significant alterations in water temperature throughout the lower Snake River are possible by altering hypolimnetic discharges from Dworshak Reservoir, which may also impact the behavior of migrating juvenile fall Chinook salmon during periods of flow augmentation.« less
  • We report results from an ongoing study of survival and travel time of subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the Snake River during 2003 and in the Columbia River during 1999-2002. Earlier years of the study included serial releases of PIT-tagged hatchery subyearling Chinook salmon upstream from Lower Granite Dam, but these were discontinued in 2003. Instead, we estimated survival from a large number of PIT-tagged fish released upstream from Lower Granite Dam to evaluate transportation from Snake River Dams. During late May and early June 2003, 68,572 hatchery-reared subyearling fall Chinook salmon were PIT tagged at Lyons Ferry Hatchery, truckedmore » upstream, acclimated, and released at Couse Creek and Pittsburg Landing in the free-flowing Snake River. We estimated survival for these fish from release to Lower Granite Dam tailrace. In comparison to wild subyearling fall Chinook salmon PIT tagged and released in the free-flowing Snake River, the hatchery fish we released traveled faster and had higher survival to Lower Granite Dam, likely because of their larger size at release. For fish left in the river to migrate we estimated survival from Lower Granite Dam tailrace to McNary Dam tailrace. Each year, a small proportion of fish released are not detected until the following spring. However, the number of fish released in 2003 that overwintered in the river and were detected as they migrated seaward as yearlings in 2004 was small (<1.0%) and had minimal effect on survival estimates. We evaluated a prototype floating PIT-tag detector deployed upstream from Lower Granite reservoir to collect data for use in partitioning travel time and survival between free-flowing and reservoir habitats. The floating detector performed poorly, detecting only 27 PIT tags in 340 h of operation from a targeted release of 68,572; far too few to partition travel time and survival between habitats. We collected river-run subyearling Chinook salmon (mostly wild fish from the Hanford Reach) at McNary Dam, PIT tagged them, and released them to the tailrace as part of an evaluation of transportation from McNary Dam in 2002. Estimated survival in 2002 from the tailrace of McNary Dam to the tailrace of John Day Dam was 0.746 (s.e. 0.036). For migration years 1999-2002, we found that in the reach from McNary to John Day Dam reach, travel time was shorter (migration rate was greater) and survival probabilities were greater when flow volume was greater. Survival was also correlated with water temperature: warmer water was associated with decreased survival, and there was an apparent survival threshold at about 19.3 C (above this temperature survival decreased substantially).« less
  • In 1997, the National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nez Perce Tribe completed the third year of research to investigate migrational characteristics of subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake River Basin.
  • In 1994, the National Marine Fisheries Service and the US Fish and Wildlife Service began a cooperative study to investigate migrational characteristics of subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. The primary study objectives were to (1) determine the feasibility of estimating detection and passage survival probabilities of natural and hatchery subyearling fall chinook salmon released in the Snake River (Chapter 1), (2) investigate relationships between detection and passage survival probabilities and travel time of subyearling fall chinook salmon and environmental influences such as flow volume and water temperature (Chapter 1), (3) monitor and evaluate dispersal of hatchery subyearlingmore » chinook salmon into nearshore rearing areas used by natural fish (Chapter 2), and (4) monitor and evaluate travel time to Lower Granite Dam, growth from release in the Snake River to recapture at Lower Granite Dam, ATPase levels of fish recaptured at Lower Granite Dam, and survival from release in the free-flowing Snake River to the tailrace of Lower Granite Dam (Chapter 2).« less
  • We report results from four years (1998-2001) of an ongoing study of survival and travel time of subyearling fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. We report analyses of associations among river conditions and survival and travel time estimates, which include data from 1995 through 1997. At weekly intervals from early June to early July each year (mid-May to late June in 2001), hatchery-reared subyearling fall chinook salmon were PIT tagged at Lyons Ferry Hatchery, trucked upstream, acclimated, and released above Lower Granite Dam at Pittsburgh Landing and Billy Creek on the Snake River and at Big Canyon Creek onmore » the Clearwater River. Each year, a small proportion of fish released were not detected until the following spring. However, the number that overwintered in the river and migrated seaward as yearlings the following spring was small and had minimal effect on survival estimates. Concurrent with our studies, a number of subyearling fall chinook salmon that reared naturally in the Snake River were caught by beach seine, PIT tagged, and released. We compared a number of characteristics of hatchery and wild fish. Hatchery and wild fish were similar in 2001, and from 1995 through 1997. Results for 1998 through 2000 showed some relatively large differences between hatchery and wild fish. However, recent information suggests that a considerable proportion of wild subyearling chinook salmon migrating in a given year may actually be stream-type (spring/summer), rather than ocean-type (fall) fish, which may account for some of the differences we have observed.« less