Yakama Nation Sockeye Reintroduction VIII

Salmonid Hatcheries and Harvest Management

Hatchery Production
Project ID17-Yaka-01
Recovery DomainsInterior Columbia
Start Date06/01/2018
End Date06/30/2022
Last Edited04/08/2022
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The Yakama Nation is proposing to continue to implement a sockeye salmon reintroduction project in the headwater reservoirs of the Yakima River Basin. Prior to impoundment for irrigation purposes, the natural lakes in the upper watershed were estimated to have produced annual adult returns of several hundred thousand. The irrigation impoundment dams were constructed without fish passage facilities and the native sockeye populations were extirpated. This reintroduction effort utilizes wild adult sockeye of Wenatchee and Okanagan stock that are trapped at Priest Rapids Dam and released directly into Lake Cle Elum. This is a straight adult reintroduction, no hatchery process is utilized in this project.

PCSRF funds are requested to provide staff and logistical support in 2018 and 2019 and beyond to continue an essential element of the sockeye reintroduction program: the trap-and-haul project that transports adult sockeye salmon from Priest Rapids Dam for release into Lake Cle Elum that occurs annually during the sockeye migration from the ocean in June and July. This project occurs concurrently with efforts to reduce the abundance of Mackinaw (Salvelinus namaycush), an introduced predator of juvenile sockeye, in Lake Cle Elum. Up to 10,000 sockeye are proposed to be outplanted.

Spawning ground surveys will be conducted weekly and all redds will be GPS’d, this is used to determine the range of adults in the Cle Elum and Cooper rivers. These surveys are set to begin as soon as the sockeye start their spawning migration from the lake to the river, streams and tributaries above the lake in early September-December. Survey times and crew are adjusted as needed due to ever changing water conditions, sockeye migration timing and spatial distribution. Over time, the expectation is to have a locally adapted run, which will be slightly different genetically from the two existing runs used for reintroduction.

Project Benefit    

The benefit of this project is to reintroduce sockeye back into its historical areas within the Yakima River Basin starting first with Lake Cle Elum. The YN views this project as not only returning sockeye to its historical range, but also as a major part of rebuilding the ecosystem as a whole. In addition to enhancing the diversity, spatial distribution, and resiliency of the aggregate Columbia River sockeye stock, this reintroduction restores the well-described and broad benefits of marine-derived nutrients to a myriad of aquatic and terrestrial species in the upper Yakima watershed, including ESA-listed bull trout and summer steelhead. Removing introduced Mackinaw from the lake is also a critical part of restoring a self-sustaining sockeye population and natural ecosystem function.


Metric Completed Originally

Funding Details

Report Total:$225,000

Project Map


Lake Cle Elum    

  • Worksite Identifier: Lake Cle Elum
  • Start Date: 06/01/2018
  • End Date: 10/31/2020
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Yakima
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 47.282
  • Longitude: -121.1075


  • Un-Named ESU Sockeye



17_Yaka_01_Summer2020ProgressReport_Fig1 17_Yaka_01_Summer2020ProgressReport_Fig2


  • D.0 Salmonid Hatcheries and Harvest ManagementY (Y/N)
    •      . . D.0.a Hatchery and harvest mgmt. funding .00
    •      . . D.0.b
      Complement habitat restoration project
    •      . . D.0.c
      Project Identified in a plan or watershed assessment.
    •      . . D.1 Hatchery Production ProjectY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . D.1.a Hatchery Production Funding
      •      . . . . D.1.e.1 Native/wild broodstock collection/relocationY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . D.1.e.2 Number by species of broodstock collected (LOV)