2020 Conference Program Posters

A printable pdf of the full conference program will be available in January

POSTER SESSION

Posters will be set up in the lobby of the Conference Center and authors will be on-hand to answer questions during the two morning breaks.

MONITORING

Evaluation of coded wire body tag (CWT) retention with runs of summer steelhead in the Upper Columbia River Basin
Wesley Tibbits/Confederated Tribe of the Colville Reservation

Abstract

Co-Authors: Brooklyn Hudson/CCT and John Arterburn/CCT

Abstract: Identified in regional overviews of codded wire tagging of anadromous steelhead is the need for standards in tagging levels, tagging techniques, improved tag loss estimates, and the accuracy of counts of released fish. In this study we looked at tag retention of coded wire tags (CWT) placed intramuscularly in hatchery summer steelhead. Fish were captured and sampled during migration; after juvenile release to adult recovery. Preliminary results identified the average tag retention (no tag loss) to be 96.27 percent for adult returns from 134 fish sampled over a period of six release years. Tag retention in juvenile steelhead averaged 99.05 percent over two sample years. Our preliminary results indicate that coded wire body tagging could be used as an effective marking tool for quick identification of fish stocks when it is desirable to keep fish alive. Size of fish at tagging and dorsal ventral placement of tags was also looked at during this study.

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Pit tagging chinook salmon
Tatum Gunn/Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Abstract

Co-Authors: John Pakootas, Vertis Campbell, Jesse Marchand

Abstract: Our topic for the day is pit tagging Chinook salmon how it is important for us. Plus the data we can use to help us try and figure the percentage of our out migrant that make it two the ocean that we have tagged and percentage that return that we have tagged. Plus the two different methods we use from screw trapping to beach seining.

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Refining Hatchery Salmonid Enumeration Techniques using Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) Tags
Hayley Muir/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

Abstract

Co-Authors: Christopher Griffith/USFWS, Michael Murray/USFWS, Mathew Maxey/USFWS, Matt Cooper/USFWS

Abstract: Leavenworth NFH, like many hatcheries, can suffer from undocumented predation during rearing on-station prior to release. This results in lower than reported in-hatchery survival and reduced smolt-to-adult return metrics. Our study describes a methodology that utilizes known fish tagged early in the rearing cycle (prior to overwinter predation) followed by a passive census of fish to accurately estimate predation using PIT antenna arrays at release. The results from our study quantify levels of predation and can describe where predation is occurring on-station. It is important to share this effort with the local fisheries community as results could refine future hatchery predation studies and increase the accuracy of data fundamental to evaluating propagation programs such as fish release and return estimates.

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Monitoring thermal refugia and groundwater inputs to inform large-scale floodplain habitat restoration
Hannah Mortensen/Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank

Abstract

Co-Authors: Kelley Jorgensen/Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank

Abstract: Salmon recovery in the Columbia River is limited by increasing water temperature. Migrating salmon and steelhead require thermal refuge throughout their range for adults returning to spawn, and for juveniles rearing and outmigrating. Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank (Wapato Valley), located in the Columbia River floodplain at the confluence of the Lewis River at river mile 87, is restoring 876- acres of diverse floodplain habitat types including off-channel areas for rearing juvenile salmonids, wetlands, Oregon white oak woodlands, and streaked-horned lark breeding areas. The Lewis River has been identified as one of only a handful of cold-water tributaries to the lower Columbia (below Bonneville Dam). As part of the restoration design process, Wapato Valley has been monitoring baseline water temperature and water level data across the site to identify areas of cold-water input that could benefit salmonids with the removal of habitat barriers. Five years of baseline data collection have demonstrated that the floodplain at Wapato Valley is influenced by groundwater including seeps and springs and groundwater fed beaver-created channels, and hyporheic inputs from the adjacent Columbia and Lewis Rivers.

Temperature data was collected over five years using twenty water data loggers deployed in surface water and ground water locations, including impounded sites and connected side-channels, floodplain wetlands where beavers were intercepting groundwater by digging channels, Gee Creek, the Lewis River and the Columbia River. The data shows seasonal trends in water temperature and documents a high degree of interannual temperature variability driven by water surface elevation, snow pack and precipitation, and river management. Extensive baseline data collection enables Wapato Valley to measure changes in temperature after habitat restoration to document performance standards in the ten years of required post construction monitoring.

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Differences in juvenile release behavior in 1-year and 2-year smolt summer steelhead at Winthrop National Fish Hatchery
John Box/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Abstract

Abstract: Winthrop National Fish Hatchery (WNFH) transitioned its 1-year steelhead program to a local, upriver “Methow Stock” program, necessitating a 2-year smolt rearing strategy. This followed hatchery reform recommendations from the USFWS Columbia Basin Hatchery Review Team (HRT) and the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG). The goal was to integrate the natural and hatchery populations, maintain local population structure, and reduce hatchery based domestication of the Methow population
One of the primary impacts of hatchery programs is when hatchery released fish do not migrate out to the ocean. This is referred to as residualism. This occurs in a 1-year smolt program primarily due to an inability to raise juveniles to a smolt stage. To reduce residualism juveniles were released using a volitional release. This method was successful at retaining the immature parr that were the predominate type of residual. As WNFH transitioned to the 2-year smolt program it became clear that residuals were now more likely to be precocial parr(sexually mature). Precocial parr do not tend to stay in their raceways through the volitional release.
Juvenile monitoring in cooperation with NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center staff has allowed a clearer understanding of precocial parr migration timing as well as additional studies relating to mitigation of precocial parr residualism.

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BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY

Assessment of Bull Trout Distributions in the Upper Entiat Basin through the use of Environmental DNA Analysis
Jose Vazquez/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Abstract

Co-Authors: R.D. Nelle/USFWS Mid-Columbia Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, Thomas Franklin/Rocky Mountain Research Station, Kevin McKelvey/Rocky Mountain Research Station, Michael Schwartz/Rocky Mountain Research Station, Michael Young/Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Abstract: Environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis offers an efficient means of assessing rare aquatic species distributions in large geographic areas. The USFWS-MCFWCO has been using eDNA analysis to assess Bull Trout distributions in the Upper Columbia Basin since 2016. Recent regions of study include the Upper Entiat Basin, where the imperiled Entiat River migratory Bull Trout population is thought to be restricted to 9.2 rkm of spawning and rearing habitat below Entiat Falls, a putative Bull Trout barrier. In the fall of 2017, eDNA samples were collected from approximately 56 rkm of potential Bull Trout habitat upstream of Entiat Falls, representing the first census of potential Bull Trout habitat above the putative barrier. Quantitate PCR analysis did not detect Bull Trout DNA in any of the collected samples, implying that spawning or rearing Bull Trout were likely not present above Entiat Falls. Our results provide valuable distribution information about the Entiat River Bull Trout population, and imply that a large portion of the Entiat River’s potential Bull Trout habitat is likely not occupied by the species.

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Non-lethal effects of predation risk on sub-yearling Chinook salmon in Lake Wenatchee, Washington
Carlos Polivka/U.S. Forest Service PNW Research Station

Abstract

Co-Authors:Rachel D. Hosman, Cascadia Conservation District; David A. Beauchamp, USGS; Matthew Polacek, WDFW; Jennifer Hadersberger, Chelan County Natural Resource District.

 Abstract: Non-lethal effects of predators affect the behavior of prey species, resulting in an “ecology of fear” where habitat use, vigilance, and foraging are all modulated by predators with potential effects on life history traits of individuals of the prey species that may be correlated with future fitness. Foraging behavior can further be driven by predation risk according to an individual’s current condition. One possible response is “asset protection” in which individuals in poorer condition take greater risk and sometimes, but not always, succumb to predation. Individuals in good condition have more to lose when body condition is correlated with future fitness and forgo foraging for vigilance. Asset protection results in many individuals remaining near the mean value of condition; thus, measured variation may be lower relative to that among individuals exposed to fewer predators. Non-lethal effects of predation on Chinook salmon by piscivorous fish are not well understood, particularly in areas with recovering populations. In the Wenatchee River (WA), sub-yearling Chinook rear in the Little Wenatchee and White Rivers, but encounter predation risk from bull trout during movements into Lake Wenatchee and/or outmigration of smolts. Recent observations in the tributaries and lake indicated patterns consistent with asset protection: 1) individuals that remained and were recaptured in tributary pools that offer protection from predators varied less in condition than those that emigrated to the lake. 2) growth variation among individuals was lower in the lake relative to tributaries, and 3) size and condition variation among individuals decreased with increasing time in the lake. These observations suggest that further experimental study of the energetic cost of predation may inform how non-lethal effects of predators affect the population status of Chinook in this sub-basin.

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MANAGEMENT

Use of olfactory cues to guide movements and manage releases of non-migrant juvenile summer steelhead at Winthrop National Fish Hatchery
Michael Humling/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Abstract

Co-Authors: Mary L. Moser/NOAA, Andrew Dittman/NOAA, Christopher Tatara/NOAA, John Box/USFWS Mid-Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office, Teresa Fish/USFWS Mid-Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office, Chris Pasley/USFWS Winthrop National Fish Hatchery, Matt Cooper/USFWS Mid-Columbia Fish & Wildlife Conservation Office

Abstract:  Salmonids use olfaction to locate spawning habitat and identify mates on the spawning grounds. Juvenile hatchery steelhead trout typically migrate downstream after release; but, precociously mature males often remain, overlapping with spawning anadromous adults spatially and temporally. They can pose ecological and gene flow risks to wild and integrated populations. Methods to differentially retain non-migrant males during volitional hatchery releases could help to mitigate these risks.

We tested whether olfactory cues could be used to control fish movements in both experimental and hatchery settings. Using experimental Y-maze trials, we tested whether precociously mature males were attracted to female odors, relative to immature males. We found that precociously mature males exhibited significantly more entries into Y-maze arms with female odors introduced and remained in them significantly longer than in control arms lacking odors. We also tested if precociously mature male steelhead could be differentially retained in the presence of ovulated anadromous female steelhead in hatchery raceways during volitional release. We were not able to replicate the Y-maze results in actual hatchery trials.

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RESTORATION

Methodological lessons from a decade of restoration effectiveness studies in the Entiat River sub-basin, 2009-2018
Carlos Polivka/U.S. Forest Service PNW Research Station

Abstract

Co-Authors: Shannon M. Claeson/U.S Forest Service; Rachel D. Hosman, Rhiannon A. Volking/Cascadia Conservation District; Joseph R. Mihaljevic, Spencer Carran, Greg Dwyer/University of Chicago

Abstract:  From 2008-2016, the Entiat River sub-basin was an Intensively Monitored Watershed (IMW), wherein multiple in-stream habitat restoration projects were implemented at reaches in key ecological valley segments of the basin. We found that, although it is relatively easy to determine that fish are attracted to in-stream structures (usually ELJs), spatial and temporal variability in the results requires approaches that more closely examine behavior, the response of life history traits (e.g., growth), and the spatial scale of the monitoring studies themselves. Importantly, the positive effect of ELJs is often very localized and it is difficult to distinguish this effect with whole-reach-scale survey techniques. In fact, increasing the areal extent of surveys to even 2X the area of pools created by ELJs dampens the observed effect. We have developed a technique that accounts for this issue and thus demonstrates that the habitat capacity of a reach has increased due to treatments. Novel behavioral approaches, that examine immigration and emigration into and out of restored pools, indicate that restoration not only increases fish habitat capacity, but also partially mitigates space competition between sub-yearling Chinook salmon and steelhead. These detailed studies often, but not always, support simple observations of abundance when conducting effectiveness monitoring studies. Additionally, they help identify benefits of restoration that go beyond any perceived or real increases in fish abundance.

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Getting its Jam Back – Tuning in on Methods to Design and Construct Wood Habitat Structures
Marjorie Wolfe/Wolf Water Resources

Abstract

Co-Authors: Nick Legg

Abstract: The Sandy River originates on the slopes of Mount Hood and drains 515 square miles of sediment-rich volcanic terrain. The river is confined by steep valley walls, with a combination of variable high flows and extremely erodible soils, creating dynamic river conditions. Historical flows have ranged from as low as 400 cfs in the summer to 84,400 cfs in the 1964 flood. After the 1964 flood of record, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removed wood accumulations and large wood from the stream channel and floodplains. In addition, many sections of river and tributaries were bulldozed, diked and stream banks were armored with sandbags.

Wolf Water Resources (W2r) has partnered with the Portland Water Bureau (PWB), Metro, Natural Systems Design (NSD), and Bair LLC to design and construct engineered log jams at several restoration locations along the Sandy River. The approach to the design of the jams varied significantly based on the location, project goals, and stakeholder requirements. This poster will discuss the design considerations for the different engineered log jams and how the design approach influenced construction. Log jams implemented with the PWB and NSD were buried deep in the main flow path of the river and had rigorous design criteria for side channel engagement and jam stability. The wood structures designed with Metro and Bair LLC were constructed to simulate natural racking wood such as apex jams and emulated landslides, and had logs above the 100-year event, reducing the potential for failure due to buoyancy. The wood structures were different in many ways, but together the Sandy River log jam projects have placed over 2,000 logs in the river and reconnected more than 4,000 feet of side channel.

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Fish Barriers vs. Funding: A GIS Tool for Accelerating Salmon Habitat Restoration
Robyn Pepin/Aspect Consulting, LLC

Abstract

Abstract: Removing man-made barriers such as culverts and dams is a top priority for salmon recovery goals in the Upper Columbia region. However, there are thousands of barriers, limited resources to remove them, and a diverse group of stakeholders with issues to address. To evaluate current fish barrier removal projects in the Wenatchee basin, Aspect Consulting, the Upper Columbia Salmon Recovery Board, and a technical support team developed a GIS-based prioritization of barriers using species, habitat, and barrier metrics. This repeatable, adaptable tool provides the region with a common language and an apples-to-apples comparison of ecological conditions surrounding each barrier to inform project and funding decisions.

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A method for increasing the temporal resolution of culvert passage assessments
Ryan Klett/Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Abstract

Abstract: Fish passage assessments used by habitat practitioners typically consist of relatively simple field data collection and office approaches that use a single size class, species of fish, and flow level as benchmarks. More data intensive assessments are available using the USFS FishXing software program; however, the result lacks strong temporal resolution without running and cataloging dozens of iterations for each assessment site. We present a method to evaluate month-wise passage probability for multiple salmonid age classes using basic survey data, a site-specific synthetic hydrograph and simple, explicit solutions for normal depth and velocity.

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The Entiat Experimental Forest: Evaluating Short and Long-term Impacts of Wildfire and Post-fire Management on Water Quantity and Forest Ecology
Ryan Niemeyer/University of California Santa Barbara

Abstract

Co-Authors: Richard D. Woodsmith/Woodsmith Watershed Consulting, Kevin D. Bladon/Oregon State University, David W Peterson/USDA Forest Service

Abstract: The Entiat Experimental Forest (EEF) is a long-term catchment study in north-central Washington State. The study site includes three steep (mean slope ~50 %), headwater catchments—Burns, McCrea, and Fox Creeks—each with a mean area of ~500 ha. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) initiated measurements in 1957 with the objectives of quantifying the effects of forest management practices (forest harvesting and road building) on streamflow and water quality. However, in 1970 a severe wildfire burned all three catchments, creating a unique opportunity to investigate the effects of wildfire and post-fire forest management on streamflow. Two of the catchments were salvage logged and aerially seeded and fertilized, while one catchment was left as a burned, unlogged control. After seven years of post-fire measurements, instrumentation was decommissioned in 1977. These data resulted in a first-of-its-kind study of the impact of wildfire on water quality and quantity. In 2003, the stream gauges were re-commissioned and new meteorological instrumentation was installed. These data were collected until 2011. Over the last several years, vegetation surveys have been collected to document differences in the forest communities in each catchment. A forthcoming publication in the journal Hydrological Processes analyzing these long-term hydrologic data demonstrates how differences in post-fire forest management (i.e. salvage logging) produced long-term (35-41 years) differences in vegetation and streamflow. Specifically, in the two catchments that received post-fire management, streamflow has mostly returned to pre-fire levels, while the catchment without post-fire management still has elevated streamflow. Results from this study demonstrate that wildfire and post-fire management can have long-term impacts on ecosystems and streamflow in north-central Washington.

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Forest Restoration, Streamflow, and Stakeholder Engagement: Integrating Forest Owner & Manager Input with Hydro-Ecological Simulations
Ryan Niemeyer/University of California Santa Barbara

Abstract

Co-Authors: Naomi Tague/University of California Santa Barbara, Jennifer Adam/Washington State University, Will Burke/University of California Santa Barbara,Chris Schnepf/University of Idaho, Andrew Perleberg/Washington State University

Abstract: Historically, wildfire was common in the dry ponderosa pine and mixed conifer forests of the interior Pacific Northwest. These frequent fires produced a mosaic landscape with varying stand ages and densities. Fire suppression has produced uncharacteristic dense forests. Policy makers and forest managers have begun to focus on forest thinning and prescribed fire to restore these landscapes. This forest restoration may increase forest drought resilience or increase downstream flow. However, tree drought resilience and streamflow longevity increases will vary across the the Pacific Northwest’s steep biophysical gradients. Our primary research objective is to evaluate where forest restoration will augment tree-drought resilience and downstream flow under current and future climates. Our secondary research objective is to evaluate forest owners and managers’ perspectives on forest restoration, drought, and streamflow. We simulated forest restoration across interior Northwest forests with the hydro-ecological model Regional Hydro-Ecologic Simulation System (RHESSys). Preliminary RHESSys simulation results reveal forest thinning increases downstream flow to a much greater degree in forests with more precipitation. Forthcoming results will reveal the degrees forest thinning can increase downstream streamflow in future climates. We also surveyed forest owners and managers of dry forests in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, as well as downstream water managers, about their perspectives of forest restoration, drought, and streamflow. Across all respondents, the median ideal percentage of their forests to thin was 70%. However, the median percentage of forests that would be thinned with realistic constraints was 20%. In regards to the use of computer simulations for forest management, while 60% of respondents identified computer simulation results as generally helpful, only 29% regularly use simulation results. Results of this work can help inform forest managers and policy makers.

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