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Title: Redd Site Selection and Spawning Habitat Use by Fall Chinook Salmon, Hanford Reach, Columbia River : Final Report 1995 - 1998.

This report summarizes results of research activities conducted from 1995 through 1998 on identifying the spawning habitat requirements of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. The project investigated whether traditional spawning habitat models could be improved in order to make better predictions of available habitat for fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. Results suggest models could be improved if they used spawning area-specific, rather than river-specific, spawning characteristics; incorporated hyporheic discharge measurements; and gave further consideration to the geomorphic features that are present in the unconstrained segments of large alluvial rivers. Ultimately the recovery of endangered fall chinook salmon will depend on how well we are able to recreate the characteristics once common in alluvial floodplains of large rivers. The results from this research can be used to better define the relationship between these physical habitat characteristics and fall chinook salmon spawning site selection, and provide more efficient use of limited recovery resources. This report is divided into four chapters which were presented in the author's doctoral dissertation which he completed through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. Each of the chapters has been published in peer reviewedmore » journals or is currently under review. Chapter one is a conceptual spawning habitat model that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Chapter two describes the comparison of the physical factors associated with fall chinook salmon redd clusters located at two sites within the Reach. Spatial point pattern analysis of redds showed that redd clusters averaged approximately 10 hectares in area and their locations were consistent from year to year. The tendency to spawn in clusters suggests fall chinook salmon's use of spawning habitat is highly selective. Hydraulic characteristics of the redd clusters were significantly different than the habitat surrounding them. Velocity and lateral slope of the river bottom were the most important habitat variables in predicting redd site selection. While these variables explained a large proportion of the variance in redd site selection (86 to 96%), some unmeasured factors still accounted for a small percentage of actual spawning site selection. Chapter three describes the results from an investigation into the hyporheic characteristics of the two spawning areas studied in chapter two. This investigation showed that the magnitude and chemical characteristics of hyporheic discharge were different between and within two spawning areas. Apparently, fall chinook salmon used chemical and physical cues from the discharge to locate spawning areas. Finally, chapter four describes a unique method that was developed to install piezometers into the cobble bed of the Columbia River.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
R&D Project: 1994-069-00; TRN: US200915%%313
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), Portland, OR (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States