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Title: Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River during Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Salmon Migration, 2002-2006 Final Report.

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. Data collected during this project indicates the three reservoirs downstream of Lower Granite also stratify asmore » 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

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Portland, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
962008
Report Number(s):
DOE/BP-00000652-29
R&D Project: 2002-027-00; TRN: US200915%%384
DOE Contract Number:
652 REL 21
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION; ENTRAINMENT; GRANITES; HEAT EXCHANGERS; HEATING; HYDRAULICS; HYDRODYNAMICS; JUVENILES; MANAGEMENT; METRICS; RIVERS; SALMON; STRATIFICATION; THICKNESS; VELOCITY; WATER

Citation Formats

Cook, C., Dibrani, B., Richmond, M., Bleich, M., Titzler, P.., and Fu, T.. Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River during Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Salmon Migration, 2002-2006 Final Report.. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/962008.
Cook, C., Dibrani, B., Richmond, M., Bleich, M., Titzler, P.., & Fu, T.. Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River during Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Salmon Migration, 2002-2006 Final Report.. United States. doi:10.2172/962008.
Cook, C., Dibrani, B., Richmond, M., Bleich, M., Titzler, P.., and Fu, T.. Sun . "Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River during Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Salmon Migration, 2002-2006 Final Report.". United States. doi:10.2172/962008. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/962008.
@article{osti_962008,
title = {Hydraulic Characteristics of the Lower Snake River during Periods of Juvenile Fall Chinook Salmon Migration, 2002-2006 Final Report.},
author = {Cook, C. and Dibrani, B. and Richmond, M. and Bleich, M. and Titzler, P.. and Fu, T.},
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. 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.},
doi = {10.2172/962008},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Sun Jan 01 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 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.« 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
  • This report summarizes results of research activities conducted in 2002 and years previous to aid in the management and recovery of fall chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in the Columbia River basin. The report is divided into self-standing chapters. For detailed summaries, we refer the reader to the abstracts given on the second page of each chapter. The Annual Reporting section includes information provided to fishery managers in-season and post-season, and it contains a detailed summary of life history and survival statistics on wild Snake River fall chinook salmon juveniles for the years 1992-2002. Peer-review publication remains a high priority ofmore » this research project, and it insures that our work meets high scientific standards. The Bibliography of Published Journal Articles section provides citations for peer-reviewed papers coauthored by personnel of project 199102900 that were written or published from 1998 to 2003.« less
  • Redd counts were used to document the spawning distribution of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Snake River basin upriver of Lower Granite Dam. The first reported redd counts were from aerial searches conducted intermittently between 1959 and 1978 (Irving and Bjornn 1981, Witty 1988; Groves and Chandler 1996)(Appendix 1). In 1986, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife began an annual monitoring program that, in addition to the Snake River, included aerial searches of the Grande Ronde River the first year (Seidel and Bugert 1987), and the Imnaha River in subsequent years (Seidel et al. 1988; Bugert etmore » al. 1989-1991; Mendel et al. 1992). The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Idaho Power Company began contributing to this effort in 1991 by increasing the number of aerial searches conducted each year and adding underwater searches in areas of the Snake River that were too deep to be searched from the air (Connor et al. 1993; Garcia et al. 1994a, 1994b, 1996-2001; Groves 1993; Groves and Chandler 1996). The Nez Perce Tribe added aerial searches in the Clearwater River basin beginning in 1988 (Arnsberg et. al 1992) and the Salmon River beginning in 1992. Currently searches are conducted cooperatively by the Nez Perce Tribe, Idaho Power Company, and U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Our objective for this report was to consolidate the findings from annual redd searches into a single document containing detailed information about the searches from the most recent spawning season, and summary information from previous years. The work conducted in 2002 was funded by the Bonneville Power Administration (Projects 1998-01-003 and 1994-03-400) and the Idaho Power Company.« less
  • The development of the Snake River hydroelectric system has affected fall Chinook salmon smolts by shifting their migration timing to a period (mid- to late-summer) when downstream reservoir conditions are unfavorable for survival. Subsequent to the Snake River Chinook salmon fall-run Evolutionary Significant Unit being listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act, recovery planning has included changes in hydrosystem operations (e.g., summer flow augmentation) to improve water temperature and flow conditions during the juvenile Chinook salmon summer migration period. In light of the limited water supplies from the Dworshak reservoir for summer flow augmentation, and the associated uncertainties regardingmore » benefits to migrating fall Chinook salmon smolts, additional approaches for improved smolt survival need to be evaluated. This report describes research conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) that evaluated relationships among river discharge, hyporheic zone characteristics, and egg pocket water temperature in Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning areas. This was a pilot-scale study to evaluate these relationships under existing operations of Hells Canyon Dam (i.e., without any prescribed manipulations of river discharge) during the 2002-2003 water year. The project was initiated in the context of examining the potential for improving juvenile Snake River fall Chinook salmon survival by modifying the discharge operations of Hells Canyon Dam. The potential for improved survival would be gained by increasing the rate at which early life history events proceed (i.e., incubation and emergence), thereby allowing smolts to migrate through downstream reservoirs during early- to mid-summer when river conditions are more favorable for survival. PNNL implemented this research project at index sites throughout 160 km of the Hells Canyon Reach (HCR) of the Snake River. The HCR extends from Hells Canyon Dam (river kilometer [rkm] 399) downstream to the upper end of Lower Granite Reservoir near rkm 240. We randomly selected 14 fall Chinook salmon spawning locations as study sites, which represents 25% of the most used spawning areas throughout the HCR. Interactions between river water and pore water within the riverbed (i.e., hyporheic zone) at each site were quantified through the use of self-contained temperature and water level data loggers suspended inside of piezometers. Surrounding the piezometer cluster at each site were 3 artificial egg pockets. In mid-November 2002, early-eyed stage fall Chinook salmon eggs were placed inside of perforated polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tubes, along with a temperature data logger, and buried within the egg pockets. Fall Chinook salmon eggs were also incubated in the laboratory for the purpose of developing growth curves that could be used as indicators of emergence timing. The effects of discharge on vertical hydrologic exchange between the river and riverbed were inferred from measured temperature gradients between the river and riverbed, and the application of a numerical model. The hydrologic regime during the 2002-2003 sampling period exhibited one of the lowest, most stable daily discharge patterns of any of the previous 12 water years. The vertical hydraulic gradients (VHG) between the river and the riverbed suggested the potential for predominantly small magnitude vertical exchange. The VHG also showed little relationship to changes in river discharge at most sites. Despite the relatively small vertical hydraulic gradients at most sites, results from the numerical modeling of riverbed pore water velocity and hyporheic zone temperatures suggested that there was significant vertical hydrologic exchange during all time periods. The combined results of temperature monitoring and numerical modeling indicate that only 2 of 14 sites were significantly affected by short-term (hourly to daily) large magnitude changes in discharge. Although the two sites exhibited acute flux reversals between river water and hyporheic water resulting from short-term large magnitude changes in discharge, these flux reversals had minimal effect on emergence timing estimates. Indeed, the emergence timing estimates at all sites were largely unaffected by the changes in river stage resulting from hydropower operations at Hells Canyon Dam. Our results indicate that the range of emergence timing estimates due to differences among the eggs from different females can be as large as or larger than the emergence timing estimates due to site differences (i.e., bed temperatures among sites). We conclude that during the 2002-2003 fall Chinook salmon incubation period, hydropower operations of Hells Canyon Dam had an insignificant effect on fry emergence timing at the study sites.« less