Upper Columbia Redband Trout: Conservation for the Future

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1 Upper Columbia Redband Trout: Conservation for the Future Bryan Jones and Holly McLellan Colville Confederated Tribes Fish and Wildlife Department

2 Historic Notes Upper Columbia River Large runs of steelhead, Chinook (spring, summer and fall run), coho, sockeye, and Pacific lamprey Fishing encampments were used by Native Americans for thousands of years

3 Hydropower Development Hydropower development in early 1900 s 1906 Post Falls Dam 1908 Nine Mile Dam 1910 Little Falls Dam 1915 Long Lake Dam 1939 Grand Coulee Dam 1955 Chief Joseph Dam Rkm 877 (545 mi) Blocked Area After inundation Redband Rainbow Trout populations persisted

4 Lake Roosevelt Management Lake Roosevelt is co-managed by Colville Confederated Tribes, Spokane Tribe of Indians, and WDFW Wild Rainbow Trout Goal Conserve, enhance, and restore native fish populations in the blocked area and its tributaries, and where appropriate provide opportunities for subsistence harvest by Native American Tribes and recreational harvest Hatchery Rainbow Trout Goal Provide a recreational and subsistence rainbow fishery Operate a hatchery rainbow trout program that does not negatively impact key fishes and aquatic organisms

5 Redband Trout Stock Assessment Redband Stock Assessment began in 2010 CCT: Sanpoil River and eastside tributaries STI: Spokane River and tributaries WDFW: Upper Columbia tributaries and Kettle River Objectives: Determine life history types Estimate recruitment (timing, size, age, abundance) Estimate growth, age at maturity, spawner escapement Estimate harvest (spatial and temporal) Identify and characterize genetically distinct populations

6 Methods: juvenile collection Screw trap Backpack electrofishing Frame nets

7 Methods: adult collection Weir trap Boat electofishing

8 Methods: fish tracking PIT tagging PIT tag PIT tag arrays Implanting radio/acoustic tags Acoustic tag and receiver

9 Recruitment 30,000-40,000 juvenile RBT out-migrate the Sanpoil per year Majority migrate in the spring Ages 1 and 2 most common Fall out-migration; older fish (more age 2 and 3) 2014 Estimated Recruitment (# of Fish) Age 0 Age 1 Age 2 Age 3 Age 4 Age 5 0 Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov

10 Escapement Sanpoil River the only river to sustain > 1,000 fish run Hatchery introgression minimal Most tributaries < 100 fish Many have migration barriers (natural and man made) Concerning from a genetic and long term persistence perspective Still data gaps Habitat modeling indicates tribs. can support 1-2,000 Chinook salmon Tributary habitat is being underutilized

11 Harvest Recreational harvest: LRFEP creel survey Basin Genetic Study: SNPs method Understand genetic diversity, assist with prioritizing conservation and habitat restoration projects >70% Sanpoil origin fish

12 Entrainment Resident Redband Rainbow Trout in the blocked area are migrating downstream and potentially expressing an anadromous life history Redband Trout from the Sanpoil River have shown up at: Rocky Reach, McNary, John Day dams Bird colonies at Potholes reservoir, Crescent and Little Miller islands (mid Columbia) and East Sand Island (mouth of the Columbia ) We estimate that approximately 2-3% of Redband Trout in the blocked area are migrating downstream

13 Avg. Daily Discharge Sanpoil River (CMS) Challenges of 2015 and Beyond? Spring runnoff High and early Low flow conditions 19 CFS in Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

14 2015 Sanpoil River Temperature (º C) Challenges of 2015 and Beyond? Spring runnoff High and early Low flow conditions 19 CFS in 2015 Water Temperature 2014 First year >25 C 2015 up to 28 C >25 C Jun, Jul, Aug Mean Daily Temperature Minimum Daily Temperature Maximum Daily Temperature Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

15 Challenges of 2015 and Beyond? Spring runnoff High and early Low flow conditions 19 CFS in 2015 Water Temperature 2014 First year >25 C 2015 up to 28 C >25 C Jun, Jul, Aug Wildfires 2014 and 2015 North Star 167,000 acres Major Spawning areas in upper Sanpoil Basin

16 Effects on Fish Populations? 2014 recruitment estimate 41, recruitment estimate 20,715

17 Lake Roosevelt Rainbow Trout sport fishing regulation change Using multiple years of data from the cooperative stock assessment, the Redband Trout technical team was able to model exploitation and generate a new harvest regulation Goal: conserve and protect native Redband Trout, while providing increased angler harvest opportunity on hatchery Rainbow Trout Petition submitted to WDFW Jan Daily limit 10 hatchery Rainbow Trout, no size limit Daily limit 1 wild Redband Trout 18 inches or greater Sanpoil Arm of Lake Roosevelt closed to trout fishing Feb. 1 May 30 Supported regionally, and currently in public comment period as part of the Fish Commission s process.

18 Future Directions Continue Redband Trout stock assessment Information vital to balance conservation and harvest needs Monitor migration of blocked area trout Above and below Grand Coulee Dam Switched to FDX PIT tags Array at Sanpoil River mouth Photo credit: Pat Clayton

19 Questions? Acknowledgments Colville Confederated Tribes: Bill Laramie, Robert Thomas, Shay Wolvert, Todd Nanamkin, Charles Joseph, Leslie Plum, Erick Simonsen Spokane Tribe: Casey Flanagan, Brent Nichols, Elliot Kittel, Alix Blake, Brian Crossley, Tim Peone, BJ Keifer WDFW: Charles Lee, Leslie King, Mitch Combs, Jim Meskan Bonneville Power Administration: Gerald McClintok (COTR) Peter Lofy (CO)

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