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Title: Evaluation of Salmon Spawning Below Bonneville Dam, 2005-2006 Annual Report.

Abstract

Since FY 2000, scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have conducted research to assess the extent of spawning by chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) and fall Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in the lower mainstem Columbia River. Their work supports a larger project funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) aimed at characterizing the physical habitat used by mainstem fall Chinook and chum salmon populations. Multiple collaborators in addition to PNNL are involved in the BPA project--counterparts include the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Data resulting from the individual tasks each agency conducts are providing a sound scientific basis for developing strategies to operate the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) in ways that will effectively protect and enhance the chum and tule fall Chinook salmon populations--both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Fall Chinook salmon, thought to originate from Bonneville Hatchery, were first noted to be spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam by WDFW biologists in 1993. Known spawning areas include gravel beds on the Washington side of the river near Hamiltonmore » Creek and near Ives Island. Limited surveys of spawning ground were conducted in the area around Ives and Pierce islands from 1994 through 1997. Based on those surveys, it is believed that fall Chinook salmon are spawning successfully in this area. The size of this population from 1994 to 1996 was estimated at 1800 to 5200 fish. Chum salmon also have been documented spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam. Chum salmon were listed as threatened under the ESA in March 1999. At present there is a need to determine the number of fall Chinook and chum salmon spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam, the characteristics of their spawning areas, and the flows necessary to ensure their long-term survival. Ongoing discussions regarding the minimum and maximum flows will result in optimal spawning habitat usage and survival of embryos of both species. Collection of additional data as part of this project will ensure that established flow guidelines are appropriate and provide adequate protection for the species of concern. This is consistent with the high priority placed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Independent Scientific Advisory Board and the salmon managers on determining the importance of mainstem habitats to the production of salmon in the Columbia River Basin. Thus, there is a need to better understand the physical habitat variables used by mainstem fall Chinook and chum salmon populations and the effects of hydropower project operations on spawning and incubation. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was asked to participate in the cooperative study during FY 2000. Since then, we have focused on (1) investigating the interactions between groundwater and surface water near fall Chinook and chum salmon spawning areas; (2) providing in-season hyporheic temperature data and assisting state agencies with emergence timing estimates; (3) locating and mapping deep-water fall Chinook salmon spawning areas; and (4) providing support to the WDFW for analysis of stranding data. Work conducted during FY 2006 addressed these same efforts. This report documents the studies and tasks performed by PNNL during FY 2006. Chapter 1 provides a description of the searches conducted for deepwater redds--adjacent to Pierce and Ives islands for fall Chinook salmon and near the Interstate 205 bridge for chum salmon. The chapter also provides data on redd location, information about habitat associations, and estimates of total spawning populations. Chapter 2 documents the collection of data on riverbed and river temperatures and water surface elevations, from the onset of spawning to the end of emergence, and the provision of those data in-season to fisheries management agencies to assist with emergence timing estimates and evaluations of redd dewatering. Technical assistance provided to the WDFW and PSMFC in evaluation of stranding data is summarized in Chapter 3.« less

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Portland, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
962002
Report Number(s):
DOE/BP-00000652-35
R&D Project: 1999-003-01; TRN: US200915%%380
DOE Contract Number:
652 REL 16
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; COLUMBIA RIVER; COLUMBIA RIVER BASIN; EMBRYOS; ENDANGERED SPECIES; FISHERIES; GEOLOGIC SURVEYS; HABITAT; INCUBATION; MANAGEMENT; POWER SYSTEMS; RIVERS; SALMON; STREAMS; SURFACE WATERS; US FWS; WATER REMOVAL

Citation Formats

Arntzen, Evan, Mueller, Robert, and Murray, Christopher. Evaluation of Salmon Spawning Below Bonneville Dam, 2005-2006 Annual Report.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/962002.
Arntzen, Evan, Mueller, Robert, & Murray, Christopher. Evaluation of Salmon Spawning Below Bonneville Dam, 2005-2006 Annual Report.. United States. doi:10.2172/962002.
Arntzen, Evan, Mueller, Robert, and Murray, Christopher. Thu . "Evaluation of Salmon Spawning Below Bonneville Dam, 2005-2006 Annual Report.". United States. doi:10.2172/962002. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/962002.
@article{osti_962002,
title = {Evaluation of Salmon Spawning Below Bonneville Dam, 2005-2006 Annual Report.},
author = {Arntzen, Evan and Mueller, Robert and Murray, Christopher},
abstractNote = {Since FY 2000, scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have conducted research to assess the extent of spawning by chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) and fall Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in the lower mainstem Columbia River. Their work supports a larger project funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) aimed at characterizing the physical habitat used by mainstem fall Chinook and chum salmon populations. Multiple collaborators in addition to PNNL are involved in the BPA project--counterparts include the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Data resulting from the individual tasks each agency conducts are providing a sound scientific basis for developing strategies to operate the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) in ways that will effectively protect and enhance the chum and tule fall Chinook salmon populations--both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Fall Chinook salmon, thought to originate from Bonneville Hatchery, were first noted to be spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam by WDFW biologists in 1993. Known spawning areas include gravel beds on the Washington side of the river near Hamilton Creek and near Ives Island. Limited surveys of spawning ground were conducted in the area around Ives and Pierce islands from 1994 through 1997. Based on those surveys, it is believed that fall Chinook salmon are spawning successfully in this area. The size of this population from 1994 to 1996 was estimated at 1800 to 5200 fish. Chum salmon also have been documented spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam. Chum salmon were listed as threatened under the ESA in March 1999. At present there is a need to determine the number of fall Chinook and chum salmon spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam, the characteristics of their spawning areas, and the flows necessary to ensure their long-term survival. Ongoing discussions regarding the minimum and maximum flows will result in optimal spawning habitat usage and survival of embryos of both species. Collection of additional data as part of this project will ensure that established flow guidelines are appropriate and provide adequate protection for the species of concern. This is consistent with the high priority placed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Independent Scientific Advisory Board and the salmon managers on determining the importance of mainstem habitats to the production of salmon in the Columbia River Basin. Thus, there is a need to better understand the physical habitat variables used by mainstem fall Chinook and chum salmon populations and the effects of hydropower project operations on spawning and incubation. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was asked to participate in the cooperative study during FY 2000. Since then, we have focused on (1) investigating the interactions between groundwater and surface water near fall Chinook and chum salmon spawning areas; (2) providing in-season hyporheic temperature data and assisting state agencies with emergence timing estimates; (3) locating and mapping deep-water fall Chinook salmon spawning areas; and (4) providing support to the WDFW for analysis of stranding data. Work conducted during FY 2006 addressed these same efforts. This report documents the studies and tasks performed by PNNL during FY 2006. Chapter 1 provides a description of the searches conducted for deepwater redds--adjacent to Pierce and Ives islands for fall Chinook salmon and near the Interstate 205 bridge for chum salmon. The chapter also provides data on redd location, information about habitat associations, and estimates of total spawning populations. Chapter 2 documents the collection of data on riverbed and river temperatures and water surface elevations, from the onset of spawning to the end of emergence, and the provision of those data in-season to fisheries management agencies to assist with emergence timing estimates and evaluations of redd dewatering. Technical assistance provided to the WDFW and PSMFC in evaluation of stranding data is summarized in Chapter 3.},
doi = {10.2172/962002},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Thu Mar 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

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  • Since FY 2000, scientists at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) have conducted research to assess the extent of spawning by chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) and fall Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in the lower mainstem Columbia River. Their work supports a larger project funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) aimed at characterizing the physical habitat used by mainstem fall Chinook and chum salmon populations. Multiple collaborators in addition to PNNL are involved in the BPA project--counterparts include the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (PSMFC), U.S. Geological Surveymore » (USGS), and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Data resulting from the individual tasks each agency conducts are providing a sound scientific basis for developing strategies to operate the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) in ways that will effectively protect and enhance the chum and tule fall Chinook salmon populations--both listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Fall Chinook salmon, thought to originate from Bonneville Hatchery, were first noted to be spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam by WDFW biologists in 1993. Known spawning areas include gravel beds on the Washington side of the river near Hamilton Creek and near Ives Island. Limited surveys of spawning ground were conducted in the area around Ives and Pierce islands from 1994 through 1997. Based on those surveys, it is believed that fall Chinook salmon are spawning successfully in this area. The size of this population from 1994 to 1996 was estimated at 1800 to 5200 fish. Chum salmon also have been documented spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam. Chum salmon were listed as threatened under the ESA in March 1999. At present there is a need to determine the number of fall Chinook and chum salmon spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam, the characteristics of their spawning areas, and the flows necessary to ensure their long-term survival. Ongoing discussions regarding the minimum and maximum flows will result in optimal spawning habitat usage and survival of embryos of both species. Collection of additional data as part of this project will ensure that established flow guidelines are appropriate and provide adequate protection for the species of concern. This is consistent with the high priority placed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Independent Scientific Advisory Board and the salmon managers on determining the importance of mainstem habitats to the production of salmon in the Columbia River Basin. Thus, there is a need to better understand the physical habitat variables used by mainstem fall Chinook and chum salmon populations and the effects of hydropower project operations on spawning and incubation. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was asked to participate in the cooperative study during FY 2000. Since then, we have focused on (1) investigating the interactions between groundwater and surface water near fall Chinook and chum salmon spawning areas; (2) providing in-season hyporheic temperature data and assisting state agencies with emergence timing estimates; (3) locating and mapping deep-water fall Chinook salmon spawning areas; and (4) providing support to the WDFW for analysis of stranding data. Work conducted during FY 2006 addressed these same efforts. This report documents the studies and tasks performed by PNNL during FY 2006. Chapter 1 provides a description of the searches conducted for deepwater redds--adjacent to Pierce and Ives islands for fall Chinook salmon and near the Interstate 205 bridge for chum salmon. The chapter also provides data on redd location, information about habitat associations, and estimates of total spawning populations. Chapter 2 documents the collection of data on riverbed and river temperatures and water surface elevations, from the onset of spawning to the end of emergence, and the provision of those data in-season to fisheries management agencies to assist with emergence timing estimates and evaluations of redd dewatering. Technical assistance provided to the WDFW and PSMFC in evaluation of stranding data is summarized in Chapter 3.« less
  • From 1999 through 2007, the Fish and Wildlife Program of the Bonneville Power Administration funded a project to determine the number of fall Chinook and chum salmon spawning downstream of Bonneville Dam, the characteristics of their spawning areas, and the flows necessary to ensure their long-term survival. Data were collected to ensure that established flow guidelines are appropriate and provide adequate protection for the species of concern. The projects objectives are consistent with the high priority placed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council Independent Scientific Advisory Board and the salmon managers on determining the importance of mainstem habitats tomore » the production of salmon in the Columbia River Basin. Because of the influence of mainstem habitat on salmon production, there is a continued need to better understand the physical habitat variables used by mainstem fall Chinook and chum salmon populations and the effects of hydropower project operations on spawning and incubation. During FY 2007, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory focused on (1) locating and mapping deep-water fall Chinook salmon and chum salmon spawning areas, (2) investigating the interaction between groundwater and surface water near fall Chinook and chum salmon spawning areas, and (3) providing in-season hyporheic temperature and water surface elevation data to assist state agencies with emergence timing and redd dewatering estimates. This report documents the studies and tasks performed by PNNL during FY 2007. Chapter 1 provides a description of the searches conducted for deepwater redds-adjacent to Pierce and Ives islands for fall Chinook salmon and near the Interstate 205 bridge for chum salmon. The chapter also provides data on redd location, information about habitat associations, and estimates of total spawning populations. Chapter 2 documents the collection of data on riverbed and river temperatures and water surface elevations, from the onset of spawning to the end of emergence, and the provision of those data in-season to fisheries management agencies to assist with emergence timing estimates and evaluations of redd dewatering.« less
  • Pacific salmon Oncorhynchus spp. populations have declined over the last century due to a variety of human impacts. Chum salmon O. keta populations in the Columbia River have remained severely depressed for the past several decades, while upriver bright (URB) fall Chinook salmon O. tschawytscha populations have maintained relatively healthy levels. For the past seven years we have collected data on adult spawning and juvenile emergence and outmigration of URB fall Chinook and chum salmon populations in the Ives and Pierce islands complex below Bonneville Dam. In 2004, we estimated 1,733 fall Chinook salmon and 336 chum salmon spawned inmore » our study area. Fall Chinook salmon spawning peaked 19 November with 337 redds and chum salmon spawning peaked 3 December with 148 redds. Biological characteristics continue to suggest chum salmon in our study area are similar to nearby stocks in Hardy and Hamilton creeks, and Chinook salmon we observe are similar to upriver bright stocks. Temperature data indicated that 2004 brood URB fall Chinook salmon emergence began on 6 January and ended 27 May 2005, with peak emergence occurring 12 March. Chum salmon emergence began 4 February and continued through 2 May 2005, with peak emergence occurring on 21 March. Between 13 January and 28 June, we sampled 28,984 juvenile Chinook salmon and 1,909 juvenile chum salmon. We also released 32,642 fin-marked and coded-wire tagged juvenile fall Chinook salmon to assess survival. The peak catch of juvenile fall Chinook salmon occurred on 18 April. Our results suggested that the majority of fall Chinook salmon outmigrate during late May and early June, at 70-80 mm fork length (FL). The peak catch of juvenile chum salmon occurred 25 March. Juvenile chum salmon appeared to outmigrate at 40-55 mm FL. Outmigration of chum salmon peaked in March but extended into April and May.« less
  • In unimpounded rivers, Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) typically spawn under relatively stable stream flows, with exceptions occurring during periodic precipitation events. In contrast, hydroelectric development has often resulted in an artificial hydrograph characterized by rapid changes in discharge and tailwater elevation that occur on a daily, or even an hourly basis, due to power generation (Cushman 1985; Moog 1993). Consequently, populations of Pacific salmon that are known to spawn in main-stem habitats below hydroelectric dams face the risks of changing habitat suitability, potential redd dewatering, and uncertain spawning success (Hamilton and Buell 1976; Chapman et al. 1986; Dauble et al.more » 1999; Garland et al. 2003; Connor and Pflug 2004; McMichael et al. 2005). Although the direct effects of a variable hydrograph, such as redd dewatering are apparent, specific effects on spawning behavior remain largely unexplored. Chum salmon (O. keta) that spawn below Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River are particularly vulnerable to the effects of water level fluctuations. Although chum salmon generally spawn in smaller tributaries (Johnson et al. 1997), many fish spawn in main-stem habitats below Bonneville Dam near Ives Island (Tomaro et al. 2007; Figure 1). The primary spawning area near Ives Island is shallow and sensitive to changes in water level caused by hydroelectric power generation at Bonneville Dam. In the past, fluctuating water levels have dewatered redds and changed the amount of available spawning habitat (Garland et al. 2003). To minimize these effects, fishery managers attempt to maintain a stable tailwater elevation at Bonneville Dam of 3.5 m (above mean sea level) during spawning, which ensures adequate water is provided to the primary chum salmon spawning area below the mouth of Hamilton Creek (Figure 1). Given the uncertainty of winter precipitation and water supply, this strategy has been effective at restricting spawning to a specific riverbed elevation and providing minimum spawning flows that have the greatest chance of being maintained through egg incubation and fry emergence. However, managing the lower Columbia River for a stable tailwater elevation does not provide much operational flexibility at Bonneville Dam, which has little storage capacity. When river discharges increase due to rain events, the traditional approach has been to pass excess water at night to maintain stable tailwater elevations during the daytime. The underlying assumption of this strategy, referred to as reverse load following, is that fish do not spawn at night. However, Tiffan et al. (2005) showed that this assumption is false by documenting nighttime spawning by chum salmon in the Ives Island area. Similarly, McMichael et al. (2005) reported nighttime spawning by Chinook salmon (O. tshawytscha) in the Columbia River, indicating that diel spawning may be a common occurrence in Pacific salmon. During the latter portion of the chum spawning period in December 2003 and 2004, discharges from Bonneville Dam increased from an average of 3,398 m3/s (tailwater elevation {approx} 3.5 m above mean sea level) during the day to over 5,664 m3/s (tailwater elevation {approx} 5.1 m) at night, with peak discharges of 7,080 m{sup 3}/s (tailwater elevation {approx} 6.1 m). This caused concern among fishery managers regarding the potential effects of these high discharges on this population of spawning chum salmon, which is listed under the Endangered Species Act (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 1999). We hypothesized that increased water velocities associated with elevated tailwaters might alter chum salmon spawning behavior if water velocities at redd locations increased beyond the range of suitability (>0.8 m/s; Salo 1991). In 2005, we investigated the movement and behavioral responses of spawning chum salmon at Ives Island to increased tailwater elevations at Bonneville Dam. We used acoustic telemetry to determine if the higher velocities associated with increased tailwater elevations caused fish to leave their redds. We related the duration fish were away from redds and the distances moved to water velocities estimated from a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. Finally, we described specific changes in spawning behavior (e.g., nest digging; swimming activity) during elevated-tailwater tests using a dual-frequency identification sonar (DIDSON).« less
  • In 2002 a total of 364 adult fall chinook and 472 chum were sampled for biological data in the Ives and Pierce islands area below Bonneville Dam. Vital statistics were developed from 290 fall chinook and 403 chum samples. The peak redd count for fall chinook was 214. The peak redd count for chum was 776. Peak spawning time for fall chinook was set at approximately 15 November. Peak spawning time for chum occurred approximately 6 December. There were estimated to be a total of 1,881 fall chinook spawning below Bonneville Dam in 2002. The study area's 2002 chum populationmore » was estimated to be 4,232 spawning fish. Temperature unit data suggests that below Bonneville Dam 2002 brood bright stock, fall chinook emergence began on February 3 2003 and ended 7 May 2003, with peak emergence occurring 20 April. 2002 brood juvenile chum emergence below Bonneville Dam began 27 January and continued through 6 April 2003. Peak chum emergence took place 1 March. A total of 10,925 juvenile chinook and 1,577 juvenile chum were sampled between the dates of 24 January and 21 July 2003 below Bonneville Dam. Juvenile chum migrated from the study area in the 40-55 mm fork length range. Migration of chum occurred during the months of March, April and May. Sampling results suggest fall chinook migration from rearing areas took place during the month of June 2003 when juvenile fall chinook were in the 65 to 80 mm fork length size range. Adult and juvenile sampling below Bonneville Dam provided information to assist in determining the stock of fall chinook and chum spawning and rearing below Bonneville Dam. Based on observed spawning times, adult age and sex composition, juvenile emergence timing, juvenile migration timing and juvenile size at the time of migration, it appears that in 2002 and 2003 the majority of fall chinook using the area below Bonneville Dam were of a late-spawning, bright stock of fall chinook. Observed spawning times, adult age and sex composition, GSI and DNA analysis, juvenile emergence timing, juvenile migration timing and juvenile size at the time of migration suggests chum spawning and rearing below Bonneville dam are similar to stocks of chum found in Hamilton and Hardy creek and are part of the Lower Columbia River Chum ESU.« less