skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Escapement and Productivity of Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead in the John Day River Basin, Technical Report 2004-2005.

Abstract

The objectives are: (1) Estimate number and distribution of spring Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha redds and spawners in the John Day River subbasin; and (2) Estimate smolt-to-adult survival rates (SAR) and out-migrant abundance for spring Chinook and summer steelhead O. mykiss and life history characteristics of summer steelhead. Spawning ground surveys for spring (stream-type) Chinook salmon were conducted in four main spawning areas (Mainstem, Middle Fork, North Fork, and Granite Creek System) and seven minor spawning areas (South Fork, Camas Creek, Desolation Creek, Trail Creek, Deardorff Creek, Clear Creek, and Big Creek) in the John Day River basin during August and September of 2005. Census surveys included 298.2 river kilometers (88.2 rkm within index, 192.4 rkm additional within census, and 17.6 rkm within random survey areas) of spawning habitat. We observed 902 redds and 701 carcasses including 227 redds in the Mainstem, 178 redds in the Middle Fork, 420 redds in the North Fork, 62 redds in the Granite Creek System, and 15 redds in Desolation Creek. Age composition of carcasses sampled for the entire basin was 1.6% age 3, 91.2% age 4, and 7.1% age 5. The sex ratio was 57.4% female and 42.6% male. Significantly more females thanmore » males were observed in the Granite Creek System. During 2005, 82.3% of female carcasses sampled had released all of their eggs. Significantly more pre-spawn mortalities were observed in Granite Creek. Nine (1.3%) of 701 carcasses were of hatchery origin. Of 298 carcasses examined, 4.0% were positive for the presence of lesions. A significantly higher incidence of gill lesions was found in the Granite Creek System when compared to the rest of the basin. Of 114 kidney samples tested, two (1.8%) had clinical BKD levels. Both infected fish were age-4 females in the Middle Fork. All samples tested for IHNV were negative. To estimate spring Chinook and summer steelhead smolt-to-adult survival (SAR) we PIT tagged 5,138 juvenile Chinook and 4,913 steelhead during the spring of 2005. We estimated that 130,144 (95% CL's 97,133-168,409) Chinook emigrated from the upper John Day subbasin past our seining area in the Mainstem John Day River (river kilometers 274-296) between February 4 and June 16, 2005. We also estimated that 32,601 (95% CL's 29,651 and 36,264) Chinook and 47,921 (95% CL's 35,025 and 67,366) steelhead migrated past our Mainstem rotary screw trap at river kilometer (rkm) 326 between October 4, 2004 and July 6, 2005. We estimated that 20,193 (95% CL's 17,699 and 22,983) Chinook and 28,980 (95% CL's 19,914 and 43,705) steelhead migrated past our Middle Fork trap (rkm 24) between October 6, 2004 and June 17, 2005. Seventy three percent of PIT tagged steelhead migrants were age-2 fish, 13.8% were age-3, 12.7% were age-2, and 0.3% were age 4. Spring Chinook SAR for the 2002 brood year was estimated at 2.5% (100 returns of 4,000 PIT tagged smolts). Preliminary steelhead SAR (excluding 2-ocean fish) for the 2004 tagging year was estimated at 1.61% (60 returns of 3,732 PIT-tagged migrants).« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Portland, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
963295
Report Number(s):
DOE/BP-00020364-1
TRN: US200917%%508
DOE Contract Number:
20364
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
13 HYDRO ENERGY; ABUNDANCE; DISTRIBUTION; FEMALES; GILLS; GRANITES; HABITAT; JUVENILES; KIDNEYS; MALES; ORIGIN; PRODUCTIVITY; RIVERS; SALMON; SEX RATIO; STREAMS

Citation Formats

Wilson, Wayne. Escapement and Productivity of Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead in the John Day River Basin, Technical Report 2004-2005.. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/963295.
Wilson, Wayne. Escapement and Productivity of Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead in the John Day River Basin, Technical Report 2004-2005.. United States. doi:10.2172/963295.
Wilson, Wayne. Sun . "Escapement and Productivity of Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead in the John Day River Basin, Technical Report 2004-2005.". United States. doi:10.2172/963295. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/963295.
@article{osti_963295,
title = {Escapement and Productivity of Spring Chinook and Summer Steelhead in the John Day River Basin, Technical Report 2004-2005.},
author = {Wilson, Wayne},
abstractNote = {The objectives are: (1) Estimate number and distribution of spring Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha redds and spawners in the John Day River subbasin; and (2) Estimate smolt-to-adult survival rates (SAR) and out-migrant abundance for spring Chinook and summer steelhead O. mykiss and life history characteristics of summer steelhead. Spawning ground surveys for spring (stream-type) Chinook salmon were conducted in four main spawning areas (Mainstem, Middle Fork, North Fork, and Granite Creek System) and seven minor spawning areas (South Fork, Camas Creek, Desolation Creek, Trail Creek, Deardorff Creek, Clear Creek, and Big Creek) in the John Day River basin during August and September of 2005. Census surveys included 298.2 river kilometers (88.2 rkm within index, 192.4 rkm additional within census, and 17.6 rkm within random survey areas) of spawning habitat. We observed 902 redds and 701 carcasses including 227 redds in the Mainstem, 178 redds in the Middle Fork, 420 redds in the North Fork, 62 redds in the Granite Creek System, and 15 redds in Desolation Creek. Age composition of carcasses sampled for the entire basin was 1.6% age 3, 91.2% age 4, and 7.1% age 5. The sex ratio was 57.4% female and 42.6% male. Significantly more females than males were observed in the Granite Creek System. During 2005, 82.3% of female carcasses sampled had released all of their eggs. Significantly more pre-spawn mortalities were observed in Granite Creek. Nine (1.3%) of 701 carcasses were of hatchery origin. Of 298 carcasses examined, 4.0% were positive for the presence of lesions. A significantly higher incidence of gill lesions was found in the Granite Creek System when compared to the rest of the basin. Of 114 kidney samples tested, two (1.8%) had clinical BKD levels. Both infected fish were age-4 females in the Middle Fork. All samples tested for IHNV were negative. To estimate spring Chinook and summer steelhead smolt-to-adult survival (SAR) we PIT tagged 5,138 juvenile Chinook and 4,913 steelhead during the spring of 2005. We estimated that 130,144 (95% CL's 97,133-168,409) Chinook emigrated from the upper John Day subbasin past our seining area in the Mainstem John Day River (river kilometers 274-296) between February 4 and June 16, 2005. We also estimated that 32,601 (95% CL's 29,651 and 36,264) Chinook and 47,921 (95% CL's 35,025 and 67,366) steelhead migrated past our Mainstem rotary screw trap at river kilometer (rkm) 326 between October 4, 2004 and July 6, 2005. We estimated that 20,193 (95% CL's 17,699 and 22,983) Chinook and 28,980 (95% CL's 19,914 and 43,705) steelhead migrated past our Middle Fork trap (rkm 24) between October 6, 2004 and June 17, 2005. Seventy three percent of PIT tagged steelhead migrants were age-2 fish, 13.8% were age-3, 12.7% were age-2, and 0.3% were age 4. Spring Chinook SAR for the 2002 brood year was estimated at 2.5% (100 returns of 4,000 PIT tagged smolts). Preliminary steelhead SAR (excluding 2-ocean fish) for the 2004 tagging year was estimated at 1.61% (60 returns of 3,732 PIT-tagged migrants).},
doi = {10.2172/963295},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • The objectives are: (1) Estimate number and distribution of spring Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha redds and spawners in the John Day River subbasin; and (2) Estimate smolt-to-adult survival rates (SAR) and out-migrant abundance for spring Chinook and summer steelhead O. mykiss and life history characteristics of summer steelhead. The John Day River subbasin supports one of the last remaining intact wild populations of spring Chinook salmon and summer steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. These populations, however, remain depressed relative to historic levels. Between the completion of the life history and natural escapement study in 1984 and the start ofmore » this project in 1998, spring Chinook spawning surveys did not provide adequate information to assess age structure, progeny-to-parent production values, smolt-to-adult survival (SAR), or natural spawning escapement. Further, only very limited information is available for steelhead life history, escapement, and productivity measures in the John Day subbasin. Numerous habitat protection and rehabilitation projects to improve salmonid freshwater production and survival have also been implemented in the basin and are in need of effectiveness monitoring. While our monitoring efforts outlined here will not specifically measure the effectiveness of any particular project, they will provide much needed background information for developing context for project-specific effectiveness monitoring efforts. To meet the data needs as index stocks, to assess the long-term effectiveness of habitat projects, and to differentiate freshwater and ocean survival, sufficient annual estimates of spawner escapement, age structure, SAR, egg-to-smolt survival, smolt-per-redd ratio, and freshwater habitat use are essential. We have begun to meet this need through spawning ground surveys initiated for spring Chinook salmon in 1998 and smolt PIT-tagging efforts initiated in 1999. Additional sampling and analyses to meet these goals include an estimate of smolt abundance and SAR rates, and an updated measure of the freshwater distribution of critical life stages. Because Columbia Basin managers have identified the John Day subbasin spring Chinook population as an index population for assessing the effects of alternative future management actions on salmon stocks in the Columbia Basin (Schaller et al. 1999) we continue our ongoing studies. This project is high priority based on the high level of emphasis the NWPPC Fish and Wildlife Program, Subbasin Summaries, NMFS, and the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds have placed on monitoring and evaluation to provide the real-time data to guide restoration and adaptive management in the region. By implementing the proposed program we have been able to address many of the goals for population status monitoring, such as defining areas currently used by spring Chinook for holding and spawning habitats and determining range expansion or contraction of summer rearing and spawning populations. The BiOp describes these goals as defining population growth rates (adult monitoring), detecting changes in those growth rates or relative abundance in a reasonable time (adult/juvenile monitoring), estimating juvenile abundance and survival rates (juvenile/smolt monitoring), and identifying stage-specific survival (adult-to-smolt, smolt-to-adult).« less
  • The John Day River subbasin supports one of the last remaining intact wild populations of spring Chinook salmon and summer steelhead in the Columbia River Basin. These populations remain depressed relative to historic levels and limited information is available for steelhead life history. Numerous habitat protection and rehabilitation projects have been implemented in the basin to improve salmonid freshwater production and survival. However, these projects often lack effectiveness monitoring. While our monitoring efforts outlined here will not specifically measure the effectiveness of any particular project, they will provide much needed programmatic or watershed (status and trend) information to help evaluatemore » project-specific effectiveness monitoring efforts as well as meet some data needs as index stocks. Our continued monitoring efforts to estimate salmonid smolt abundance, age structure, SAR, smolts/redd, freshwater habitat use, and distribution of critical life states will enable managers to assess the long-term effectiveness of habitat projects and to differentiate freshwater and ocean survival. Because Columbia Basin managers have identified the John Day subbasin spring Chinook population as an index population for assessing the effects of alternative future management actions on salmon stocks in the Columbia Basin (Schaller et al. 1999) we continue our ongoing studies. This project is high priority based on the level of emphasis by the NWPPC Fish and Wildlife Program, Independent Scientific Advisory Board (ISAB), Independent Scientific Review Panel (ISRP), NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds (OWEB). Each of these groups have placed priority on monitoring and evaluation to provide the real-time data to guide restoration and adaptive management in the region. The objective is to estimate smolt-to-adult survival rates (SAR) and out-migrant abundance for spring Chinook Oncorhynchus tshawytscha and summer steelhead O. mykiss and life history characteristics of summer steelhead.« less
  • The John Day River basin supports one of the healthiest naturally-produced populations of spring chinook in the mid-Columbia River basin. The study of life history and natural escapement conducted from 1978 to 1985 (Lindsay et al. 1986) provided valuable information on production and productivity of the John Day River spring chinook. With the exception of two years since completion of the study in 1985 (1989 and 1995), spring chinook spawning surveys were conducted in index areas only and have not provided adequate information to assess age composition, progeny-to-parent production values, and estimate natural spawning escapement. The PATH project (Marmorek andmore » Peters 1996) has identified the John Day basin spring chinook as an index population for assessing the effects of alternative future management actions on salmon stocks in the Columbia Basin. To meet the data needs as an index stock, sufficient annual estimates of spawner escapement, age composition, and smolt-to-adult survival are essential. There is need to determine the annual spawner escapement and age composition for the John Day basin spring chinook to provide us the ability to estimate progeny-to-parent production for each brood year. This need can be met by expanding the annual chinook spawning surveys, estimating the annual escapement, and determining age composition by scale pattern analyses. This project provides information as directed under two measures of the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program (NPPC 1994). Measure 4.3C specifies that the key indicator populations should be monitored to provide detailed stock status information. In addition, measure 7.1C identifies the need for collection of population status, life history, and other data on wild and naturally spawning populations. This project was developed in direct response to recommendations and needs of the PATH project, the Fish and Wildlife Program, and the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority Multi-Year Implementation Plan.« less
  • The John Day River basin supports one of the healthiest populations of spring chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the entire Columbia River basin. Spring chinook salmon in this basin are therefore, used as an important index stock to measure the effects of future management actions on other salmon stocks in the Columbia basin. To meet the data requirements as an index stock, we estimated annual spawner escapement, age-structure, and smolt-to-adult survival. This information will allow us to estimate progeny-to-parent production for each brood year. To estimate smolt-to-adult survival rates, 1,852 chinook smolts were tagged with PIT tags from 3 Marchmore » to 5 May, 2000. Length of captured smolts varied, ranging from 80 to 147 mm fork length (mean = 113 mm). These fish will be monitored for PIT tags as returning adults at dams and during future spawning ground surveys. During spawning ground surveys, a total of 351.3 km of stream were surveyed resulting in the observation of 478 redds. When expanded, we estimated total number of redds at 481 and total number of spawners at 1,583 fish in the John Day River basin. We estimated that 13% of the redds were in the mainstem John Day, 27% in the Middle Fork, 34% in the North Fork, and 26% were in the Granite Creek basin. Sampled carcasses had a sex ratio comprised of 53% females and 47% males with an age structure comprised of 0.5% age-2, 6.3% age-3, 88.7% age-4, and 4.5% age-5 fish. Five of the 405 carcasses examined had fin clips suggesting they were of hatchery origin. The 1999 index redd count total for the North Fork, Mainstem, and Granite Creek was lower than the 1999 average (535) but well within the range of annual redd counts during this period. The index redd count for the Middle Fork was higher than the 1990's average (92) but considerably lower than the average from 1978-1985 (401). Although quite variable over the past 40 years, the number of redds in the John Day River basin during 1999 was well within the range of redd counts since they were initiated in 1959.« less
  • The four objectives of this report are: (1) Estimate annual spawner escapement and number of spring chinook salmon redds in the John Day River basin; (2) Determine sex ratio, age composition, length-at-age of spawners, and proportion of natural spawners that are hatchery origin strays; (3) Determine adequacy of historic index surveys for indexing spawner abundance and for detecting changes in spawner distribution through time; and (4) Estimate smolt-to-adult survival for spring chinook salmon emigrating from the John Day River basin.