Clackamas River Bull Trout Reintroduction Project 2016 Annual Report

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Clackamas River Bull Trout Reintroduction Project 2016 Annual Report

The last bull trout Salvelinus confluentus documented in the Clackamas River was in 1963. Over 40 years later, a 2007 feasibility study suggested the Clackamas River Subbasin could support bull trout and would be a good reintroduction candidate. A reintroduction effort was first implemented in 2011, with the goal of establishing a naturally reproducing population of spawning adults (between 300 and 500) by the year 2030. In 2016, we continued bull trout reintroduction efforts by collecting and transferring 595 juveniles, 94 subadults, and 6 adults from the Metolius River Subbasin to designated locations in the upper Clackamas River. Monitoring and evaluation efforts were conducted to assess the effectiveness of the reintroduction strategy by describing the seasonal distribution of translocated bull trout, assessing reproduction, and characterizing potential impacts to Endangered Species Act-listed salmon and steelhead that currently occupy the Clackamas River Subbasin. The sixth year of the project marks the end of the first phase of the reintroduction effort. Progress has continued to be made toward reaching the project’s goal. Individuals from each translocated life stage have survived, appear to be thriving, and are recruiting into the adult population. The number of adult translocated bull trout using Pinhead Creek during the spawning season has noticeably increased from 15 adults in 2013 to 72 in 2016, and redd counts throughout the study area are at their highest (N = 68) since the initiation of the reintroduction effort. However, there continue to be notable data gaps. Despite multiple years of documented spawning behavior, monitoring efforts have not produced evidence of successful natural reproduction and more robust evaluations of the impacts to listed salmon and steelhead both inside and outside the High Vulnerability Zones are lacking. Implementation and monitoring of the reintroduction project will continue to be evaluated on an annual basis and the reintroduction strategy will be adaptively managed.

Julie Harris, Biometrician at CRFWCO, holding a juvenile Pacific Lamprey in the palm of her hand while wearing a black hoodie. Julie is standing next to bushes in a natural setting
Aquatic Statistician - Natural Population Assessment, Passage and Habitat Assessment
Fish and Aquatic Conservation
Additional Role(s)
Co-organizer for the annual Lamprey Technical Information Exchange,
Coordinating and executing the CRFWCO monthly seminar series,
Associate Editor for the American Fisheries Society Marine and Coastal Fisheries Journal
Study Design,
Data Analysis
Elizabeth Bailey
Marci Koski
Steve Starcevich
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The Columbia River Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office collaborates with local, state and Tribal partners to conserve, restore, and improve native fish and aquatic resources throughout Oregon and along the Columbia River. We study wild and hatchery aquatic organisms and their populations, support...
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The Fish and Aquatic Conservation program leads aquatic conservation efforts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. We are committed to tackling the nation’s highest priority aquatic conservation and recreational challenges to conserve, restore, and enhance fisheries for future generations.
Bull trout and kokanee salmon underwater

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