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Smolt monitoring at the head of Lower Granite Reservoir and Lower Granite Dam. Annual report 2001 operations



Smolt monitoring at the head of Lower Granite Reservoir and Lower Granite Dam. Annual report 2001 operations



BPA Report DOE BP e; 00003992-3: Unpaginated



This project monitored the daily passage of chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, steelhead trout O. mykiss, and sockeye salmon smolts O. nerka during the 2001 spring out-migration at migrant traps on the Snake River and Salmon River. I n 2001 fish management agencies released significant numbers of hatchery chinook salmon and steelhead trout above Lower Granite Dam that were not marked with a fin clip or coded-wire tag. Generally, these fish were distinguishable from wild fish by the occurrence of fin erosion. Total annual hatchery chinook salmon catch at the Snake River trap was 11% of the 2000 numbers. The wild chinook catch was 3% of the previous year's catch. Hatchery steelhead trout catch was 49% of 2000 numbers. Wild steelhead trout catch was 69% of 2000 numbers. The Snake River trap collected 28 age-0 chinook salmon. During 2001 the Snake River trap captured zero hatchery and zero wild/natural sockeye salmon and six hatchery coho salmon O. kisutch. Differences in trap catch between years are due to fluctuations not only in smolt production, but also differences in trap efficiency and duration of trap operation associated with flow. The significant reduction in catch during 2001 was due to a reduction in hatchery chinook production (60% of 2000 release) and due to extreme low flows. Trap operations began on March 11 and were terminated on June 29. The trap was out of operation for a total of two days due to mechanical failure or debris. Hatchery chinook salmon catch at the Salmon River trap was 47% and wild chinook salmon catch was 67% of 2000 numbers. The hatchery steelhead trout collection in 2001 was 178% of the 2000 numbers. Wild steelhead trout collection in 2001 was 145% of the previous year's catch. Trap operations began on March 11 and were terminated on June 8 due to the end of the smolt monitoring season. There were no days where the trap was out of operation due to high flow or debris. The decrease in hatchery chinook catch in 2001 was due to a reduction in hatchery production (39% of 2000 releases). The increase in hatchery and wild steelhead trap catch is due to the ability to operate the trap in the thalweg for a longer period of time because of the extreme low flow condition in 2001. Travel time (d) and migration rate (km/d) through Lower Granite Reservoir for PIT-tagged chinook salmon and steelhead trout marked at the head of the reservoir were affected by discharge. There were not enough hatchery and wild chinook salmon tagged at the Snake River trap in 2001 to allow migration rate/discharge analysis. For steelhead trout tagged at the Snake River trap, statistical analysis of 2001 data detected a significant relation between migration rate and Lower Granite Reservoir inflow discharge. For hatchery and wild steelhead trout, there was a 2.2-fold and a 1.5-fold increase in migration rate in, respectively, between 50 and 100 kcfs. Travel time and migration rate to Lower Granite Dam for fish marked at the Salmon River trap were calculated. Statistical analysis of the 2001 data detected a significant relation between migration rate and Lower Granite Reservoir inflow discharge for hatchery and wild chinook salmon and hatchery and wild steelhead trout. Migration rate increased 3.7-fold for hatchery chinook salmon and 2.5-fold for wild chinook salmon between 50 and 100 kcfs. For hatchery steelhead there was a 1.6-fold increase in migration rate, and for wild steelhead trout there was a 2.2-fold increase between 50 kcfs and 100 kcfs.e Fish tagged with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags at the Snake River trap were interrogated at four dams with PIT tag detection systems (Lower Granite, Little Goose, Lower Monumental, and McNary dams). Because of the addition of the fourth interrogation site (Lower Monumental) in 1993, cumulative interrogation data is not comparable with the prior five years (1988-1992). Cumulative interrogations at the four dams for fish marked at the Snake River trap were 86% for hatchery chinook, 70% for wild chinook, 71% for hatchery steelhead, and 89% for wild steelhead. Cumulative interrogations at the four dams for fish marked at the Salmon River trap were 74% for hatchery chinook, 83% for wild chinook salmon, 75% for hatchery steelhead trout, and 81% for wild steelhead trout.

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