Steelhead repeat spawners, known as kelts, grow quickly with greater blood fat levels soon after their first spawning, a signal that they will repeat spawning in the first year, according to a recent study.
Hatchery females and larger chinook salmon are less likely to return to their hatchery of origin than they are to spawn naturally with wild fish in the Elk Creek basin on the Oregon Coast, even as smaller chinook and males tend to return to the hatchery, according to a recent study.
Some 48 fish and wildlife projects that will cost $43.5 million each year – hatchery work, data management, research -- were reviewed and approved by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council’s Fish and Wildlife Committee at its meeting this week in Butte, Montana.
Some five to 16 million salmon and steelhead had historically returned to the Columbia River basin, but just an average of two million fish return today and only 40 percent of those are naturally produced stocks. If goals in a new Columbia Basin Partnership Task Force report can be met in the next 50 to 100 years, the number of naturally produced fish could increase by eight-fold.
Idaho recently launched a collaborative effort aimed at guiding salmon-steelhead conservation policy, with the Republican Gov. Brad Little urging a diverse, appointed workgroup to consider practical goals rather than getting bogged down in complex and controversial measures such as breaching lower Snake River dams.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft recovery plan for Kootenai River white sturgeon that mainly stays the course with restoration activities that have been underway for the last decade.
Recently completed research is throwing light on why steelhead with seemingly identical genetic makeup – hatchery produced and natural populations – perform differently in the wild, impacting lifetime fitness.
There is plenty of habitat available for reintroduction of spawning and rearing anadromous salmon and steelhead upstream of Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee dams, according to a recently completed report by upper Columbia River tribes.
Responding to the reasonable and prudent alternative outlined in NOAA Fisheries’ 2008 biological opinion for federal Willamette Valley dams, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week proposed to build a selective withdrawal structure at Detroit Dam at a cost of about $100 to $200 million.The SWS would provide water temperature control downstream of Detroit and Big Cliff dams on the North Santiam River and it would provide downstream juvenile fish passage. The Corps would continue to transport adult chinook salmon and steelhead upstream of both dams where they can spawn naturally.