Monitoring and Evaluation Updates for John Day/ The Dalles Dam Mitigation Programs at Spring Creek and Little White Salmon National Fish Hatcheries

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Monitoring and Evaluation Updates for John Day/ The Dalles Dam Mitigation Programs at Spring Creek and Little White Salmon National Fish Hatcheries

The John Day/The Dalles Dam Mitigation (JDTD) program provides mitigation for the escapement of 30,000 adult fall Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) due to the loss of spawning habitat and production caused by construction of the John Day and The Dalles Dams in the Columbia River. The program is funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and operates with a total adult production (TAP) goal of 107,000 adults which includes freshwater and saltwater harvests, returns to the hatcheries, and fish observed on the spawning grounds. Working towards this TAP goal, juvenile fall Chinook are reared and released from numerous state, tribal, and federally-operated hatcheries. Spring Creek and Little White Salmon National Fish Hatcheries (NFHs) annually contribute to the TAP goal of the JDTD program through the coordinated rearing and release of juvenile tule and upriver bright fall Chinook. In the past ten years, Spring Creek NFH has annually released a mean of 11.7 million juvenile tules into the Columbia River, and contributed a mean of 78,458 adult tules (including 50,469 for harvest) annually to the JDTD program TAP goal. Since 2007, Little White Salmon NFH has annually released a mean of 3.9M juvenile upriver brights into the Little White Salmon River, and supported JDTD programs at other facilities through egg and juvenile transfers. The program at Little White Salmon NFH contributes a mean of 19,902 adult upriver brights (including 9,608 for harvest) to the JDTD program TAP goal. Congressional mandated mass marking of juveniles prior to release from both Spring Creek and Little White Salmon NFHs has been conducted to allow selective harvest of hatchery-reared individuals and protection of wild fish stocks. Additionally, coded-wire and PIT tagging of juveniles at both facilities has provided knowledge on timing of juvenile migration, downstream survival, number of adult returns to the facilities by brood year, smolt-to-adult survival rates, and tracking of fish straying. Collectively, both facilities are successfully meeting their mitigation obligations. Additional monitoring and evaluation projects for both facilities are being developed to determine the success and longevity of the programs in meeting their mitigation goals as part of the JDTD program.

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Author(s)
Kari Dammerman
Doug Olson
Steven Pastor
Publication date
Type of document
Report
Facility
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FWS and DOI Region(s)