Select Page

Studies into Factors Limiting the Abundance of Okanagan and Wenatchee Sockeye Salmon

To determine, and ultimately address, factors limiting the abundance of the two principle Columbia Basin sockeye stocks.

Project Goal

To determine, and ultimately address, factors limiting the abundance of the two principle Columbia Basin sockeye stocks.

Impacts

Increased production of sockeye salmon in the upper Columbia River.

Background

Sockeye salmon have declined the most of any Columbia Basin salmonid species since the mid-1800’s. Despite this decline, historically there has been far less done to study, or propagate, this species. This has changed in the past 20 years. Although the bulk of sockeye research and propagation funding has gone towards Snake River sockeye salmon, there has been increasing interest in other sockeye salmon stocks. Despite this interest, and large sockeye runs to the Okanogan Basin in the past two years, much remains unknown about factors limiting sockeye salmon abundance in the Okanogan and Wenatchee basins. In 2006, we began a PSC funded study of upstream passage through the hydrosystem by PIT tagging sockeye salmon at Bonneville Dam. In 2009, funding for this study transitioned to the MOA and an additional project began to study factors limiting abundance of Okanogan and Wenatchee sockeye salmon. This project is particularly timely due to the interest in restoring Okanogan sockeye to subbasin lakes upstream of Osoyoos Lake as well as the lack of response of Wenatchee sockeye salmon to a hatchery program over the past two decades. In addition, mid-Columbia PUDs have sockeye mitigation responsibilities from which we may be able to leverage additional funding.

Project Tasks

  1. Conducting acoustic and trawl surveys in Lake Wenatchee to estimate sockeye smolt abundance.
  2. Installing an acoustic receiver network in the Okanagan Basin and acoustic tagging sockeye salmon at Wells Dam to estimate survival in this reach.
  3. Installing a PIT tag receiver upstream of Osoyoos Lake for survival estimates.
  4. Meeting with YN and WDFW biologists to plan actions for the Wenatchee stock.

Pin It on Pinterest