Major Tributaries: Florian Leischner, Tacoma Power and Barry Berejikian, NOAA
Florian: North Fork fish & habitat monitoring
Sediment transport and channel morphology: monitoring includes movement of rocks, sediment and gravel scouring.
Fish habitat monitoring – we’re trying to stay consistent with TFW North Fork monitoring efforts.
Adult spawner surveys – we’ve contracted with the tribe to do lower and upper watershed surveys
Habitat is being assessed just below Cushman Dam 2 and we’re also assessing McTaggert Creek – the largest tributary below the dams.
These are the preliminary results from 2.5 years of study:
Sediment doesn’t move easily.
Lower North Fork habitat is in good conditions but the tributaries are OK, where wood and pools are concerned (not as much with water flow).
We’ve observed Chum, Coho, Chinoook, Pink, Steelhead, in the order of abundance.
Seeing high egg-to-fry survival: The smolt trap last year showed us that chum in particular have a very good survival since they’re only affected by scour in fresh water. We caught 30K chum fry every day at the smolt for a six week period.
Barry: Hood Canal Steelhead Project
This is really the only experiment of its kind of testing hatchery fish in natural populations, called a replicated-during-after-control-impact-experiment.
Started in 2006, teams started collecting embryos and now done with that. And South Fork Skokomish is part of this project.
I’ll just answer your questions already:
What do we do: Monitor genetics, abundance, life history diversity. We need to determine effects of hatchery programs on natural populations and understanding limiting factors on steelhead productivity.
What’s working: hatchery production, redd monitoring, life history and genetics monitoring and smolt abundance estimation.
How does this support decision making: provides information on if/how hatcheries can contribute to recovery efforts and help prioritize other recovery actions.
Where do you want to go: improve smolt abidance estimates, continue monitoring through 2022.
How do we share information: peer review publications, (12 or so), a project FTP site and meetings like this one.
Methods include NOAA and Skok tribe biologists hiking up and down the streams and collecting redd information every spring. Also smolt and parr sampling taken place since 2006 as well.
More information at: http://nwifc.org/2014/07/steelhead-population-doubled-skokomish-river-hood-canal/