Idaho Fishery Resource Office
Providing assistance to conserve and protect fish and wildlife
 

Projects

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Watercraft Safety Coordination

Watercraft Safety Coordination for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regions 1 & 8 is conducted out of the Idaho Fishery Resource Office.  Watercraft safety training is offered to meet Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of Interior (DOI) policies.  The basic course is called the Motorboat Operator Certification Course (MOCC), which lasts three days, and covers boat maneuvering, trailer parking and backing, water rescue, emergency procedures, fire suppression, aids to navigation, navigation rules, required and recommended equipment, boat and trailer maintenance, boat orientation and terminology, personal safety and emergency equipment, knot tying, visual distress signals, anchoring, beaching, towing, and agency policies.  Specialized courses include training in airboat operation, river running, and open water operations.  Courses are conducted cooperatively with other DOI agencies, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, University of California Davis – Bodega Marine Laboratory, other members of the Scientific Boating Safety Association, and state agencies.

Training is required for DOI personnel who operate motorboats, and anyone who operates DOI motorboats.  Courses are offered to cooperators and non-DOI Federal employees whenever space is available.

Fall Chinook Salmon

Fall Chinook Salmon Banner

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Historically the core population of Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawned upstream of where the Hells Canyon Complex of dams (Hells Canyon, Oxbow, and Brownlee) now lies.  The Hells Canyon Complex was designed to allow fish passage but the system did not work, and spawning upstream of the Hells Canyon Complex ended by the late 1960’s.  By the mid 1970’s four dams (Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose, and Lower Granite) were in place on the lower Snake River.  The lower Snake River dams allowed fish passage and currently most fall Chinook salmon spawning occurs within the 173 km free-flowing reach of the Snake River between Lower Granite and Hells Canyon dams, and the lower reaches of Snake River tributaries including the Imnaha, Salmon, Grande Ronde, and Clearwater.

The placement of dams on the Snake River required mitigation to ensure a viable population of fall Chinook salmon was maintained.  The main approach was to establish a hatchery stock of Snake River fall Chinook salmon by trapping spawners at dams and rearing their offspring at hatcheries.  Lyons Ferry Hatchery was constructed for this purpose and reared its first brood in 1984.

Even with mitigation efforts, by 1992 the Snake River fall Chinook salmon population was low enough to merit listing under the Endangered Species Act.  Determining how to recover the population required information on wild fall Chinook salmon that did not exist.  Thus, staff of the Idaho Fishery Resource Office began a long-term series of cooperative research projects to collect needed information and help managers plan and evaluate recovery efforts.  Our cooperators presently include the Idaho Power Company, Nez Perce Tribe Department of Fisheries Resources Management, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U. S. Geological Survey, University of Idaho, University of Washington, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Research projects have and continue to address: 1) the genetic characterization of wild Snake River fall Chinook salmon; 2) contemporary spawning distribution, 3) juvenile life history diversity and growth, 4) behavior of juveniles during seaward migration, 5) survival of juveniles during seaward migration, 6) the efficacy of supplementation, and 7) the efficacy of summer transportation and spill. 

The following list includes our fall Chinook salmon research staff’s journal articles that have been published or are under peer-review.

Bennett, D. H., W. P. Connor, and C. A. Eaton. 2003. Substrate composition and emergence success of fall Chinook salmon in the Snake River. Northwest Science 77:93-99.

Connor, W. P., H. L. Burge, and D. H. Bennett. 1998. Detection of subyearling Chinook salmon at a Snake River dam: Implications for summer flow augmentation. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 18:530-536.

Connor, W. P., and H. L. Burge. 2003. Growth of wild subyearling Chinook salmon in the Snake River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23:594-599.

Connor, W. P., R. K. Steinhorst, and H. L. Burge. 2000. Forecasting survival and passage for migratory juvenile salmonids. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 20:650-659.

Connor, W. P., T. C. Bjornn, H. L. Burge, A. R. Marshall, H. L. Blankenship, R. K. Steinhorst, and K. F. Tiffan. 2001. Early life history attributes and run composition and of wild subyearling Chinook salmon recaptured after migrating downstream past Lower Granite Dam. Northwest Science 75:254-261.

Connor, W. P, A. R. Marshal, T. C. Bjornn, and H. L. Burge. 2001. Growth and long-range dispersal by wild subyearling spring and summer Chinook salmon in the Snake River. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 130:1070-1076.

Connor, W. P., A. P. Garcia, A. H. Connor, E. O. Garton, P. A. Groves, and J. A. Chandler. 2001. Estimating the carrying capacity of the Snake River for fall Chinook salmon redds. Northwest Science 75:363-370.

Connor, W. P., H. L. Burge, R. Waitt, and T. C. Bjornn. 2002. Juvenile life history of wild fall Chinook salmon in the Snake and Clearwater rivers. North American Journal of Fisheries 22:703-712.

Connor, W. P., H. L. Burge, J. R. Yearsley, and T. C. Bjornn. 2003. The influence of flow and temperature on survival of wild subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the Snake River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23:362-375.

Connor, W. P., R. K. Steinhorst, and H. L. Burge. 2003. Migrational behavior and seaward movement of wild subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the Snake River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23:414-430.

Connor, W. P., C. E. Piston, and A. P. Garcia. 2003. Temperature during incubation as one factor affecting the distribution of Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning areas. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 132:1236-1243.

Connor, W. P., S. G. Smith, T. Andersen, S. M. Bradbury, D. C. Burum, E. E. Hockersmith, M. L. Schuck, G. W. Mendel, and R. M. Bugert. 2004. Post release performance of hatchery yearling and subyearling fall Chinook salmon released into the Snake River. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24:545-560.

Connor, W. P., J. G. Sneva, K. F. Tiffan, R. K. Steinhorst, and D. Ross. 2005. Two alternative juvenile life histories for fall Chinook salmon in the Snake River basin. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 134:291-304.

Connor, W. P., and A. P. Garcia. 2006. Pre-spawning movement of wild and hatchery fall Chinook salmon in the Snake River 135:297-305.

Groves, P.A., and A.P. Garcia. 1998. Two carriers used to suspend an underwater video camera from a boat. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 18:1004-1007.

Garcia, A. P., W. P. Connor, D. J. Milks, S. J. Rocklage, and R. K. Steinhorst. 2004. Movement and spawner distribution of hatchery fall Chinook salmon adults acclimated and released as yearlings at three locations in the Snake River basin. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 24:1134-1144.

Dauble D., R. L. Johnson, and A. P. Garcia. 1999. Fall Chinook salmon spawning in the tailraces of hydroelectric projects. Transactions of the American Fishery Society 128:672-679.

Marshall, A. R., H. L. Blankenship, and W. P. Connor. 2000. Genetic characterization of naturally spawned Snake River fall-run Chinook salmon. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 129:680-698.

Smith, S. G., W. D. Muir, E. E. Hockersmith, R.W. Zabel, R. J. Graves, C. V. Ross, W. P. Connor, and B. D. Arnsberg. 2003. Influence of river conditions on survival and travel time of Snake River subyearling fall chinook salmon. North American Journal of Fisheries Management 23: 939-961.

Williams, J. G., R. W. Zabel, R. S. Waples, J. A. Hutchings, and W. P. Connor. 2008. Potential for anthropogenic disturbances to influence evolutionary change in the life history of a threatened salmonid. Evolutionary Applications 271-285.

Kock, T. J., K. F. Tiffan, W. P. Connor, R. K. Steinhorst, and D. W. Rondorf. Under revision. Evidence for behavioral thermoregulation by subyearling fall Chinook salmon in a thermally regulated reservoir. Recommended for publication in the Journal of Fish Biology after minor revision, June 2008.

Tiffan, K. F., T. J. Kock, C. A. Haskell, W. P. Connor, and R. K. Steinhorst. Under revision. Water velocity and turbulence affect the migrational disposition and migration rate of subyearling fall Chinook salmon in the free-flowing and impounded Snake River. Recommended for publication in Transactions of the American Fisheries Society after minor revision, May 2008.

Connor, W. P., A. P. Garcia, P. A. Groves, B. D. Arnsberg, and J. Hesse. In preparation. Implications of redd counts for fall Chinook salmon recovery in the Snake River basin. Submitted to the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, summer 2008.

Last updated: April 11, 2014
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