Lower Klamath River Tributary Juvenile Salmonid Monitoring

Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)

Project IDYUROK-2021-1
Recovery DomainsN CA - S Oregon
Start Date03/01/2022
End Date09/30/2023
Last Edited04/14/2022
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Project Objective: This project is a continuation of long-term population monitoring activities within two anadromous fish-bearing streams that are tributaries to the Lower Klamath River within the Yurok Indian Reservation. Data collected from Blue Creek and McGarvey Creek will be used to assess annual trends and viability of anadromous salmonid runs including: Coho Salmon that are federally and state listed as threatened, steelhead and Coastal Cutthroat Trout that are considered species of concern by the state, and the unique Lower Klamath late-fall Chinook; all trust species that the Tribe has federally reserved fishing rights to harvest.

Due to the substantial shortfall in funding for FY21, the YTFP will partially fund trapping in Lower Klamath Tributaries. YTFP is contemplating whether we will be able to fund efforts in Blue Creek and McGarvey Creek, or if we will have to abandon monitoring efforts at one of these sites, and curtail efforts at the other site.

Project Description: This project focuses on long-term juvenile salmonid production emigrating from Blue Creek and McGarvey Creek. The goals of the project include quantifying abundance for annual trend analysis of outmigrating juvenile salmonid runs. These two streams have undergone extensive watershed restoration planning, implementation, and monitoring since the mid-1990’s. The Yurok Tribal Fisheries Program (YTFP) initiated annual outmigrant trapping projects in Blue and McGarvey Creeks in 1995 and 1997, respectively. Objectives of the project include: 1) quantitatively determine the production of juvenile Chinook and Coho through the sampling of downstream migrants in both drainages during 2022. 2) assess emigration timing and species and size composition for all fish species (including cutthroat trout and steelhead) sampled, and determine age composition for all juvenile steelhead and Cutthroat sampled; 2) in McGarvey Creek, juvenile Coho will be PIT tagged to assess growth, movement, and survival through the use of trapping and SPI data, 3) Blue Creek Chinook abundance data will be used to assess trends over time, carrying capacity, and maximum sustainable yield to assist with establishing Tribal harvest management objectives, 4) provide the Tribe with data for input into Lower Klamath resource management planning, including habitat restoration, treaty fishing rights, and ESA-related issues.

Project Benefit    

Project Benefit: Provide data so that management actions (timber harvest, road maintenance, restoration efforts, and harvest management of late-run fall Chinook) can be improved with respect to their effect on anadromous fish in general, and particularly with respect to ESA-listed SONCC Coho Salmon and late-fall Chinook Salmon of Blue Creek and McGarvey Creek.

In McGarvey Creek, considerable restoration has addressed limiting factors to juvenile Coho production through introduction of large woody debris, engineered log jams, reforestation, creation of off-channel habitat (alcoves), and installation of beaver dam analogs. Success of these projects will be assessed through the continuation of the long-term data set for estimates of juvenile Coho outmigrants at the McGarvey Creek Pipe Trap. Furthermore, we are currently conducting analysis of overwinter survival for PIT tagged McGarvey Creek juvenile Coho from brood year 2009 forward. An increase in overwinter survival over time will infer that creation of over-winter habitat through restoration has resulted in a positive population response. We have also started to measure over-summer survival beginning in the summer of 2015. Analysis of over-winter/over-summer survival estimate trends over time will be used to assess whether restoration actions have addressed limiting factors in the McGarvey Creek watershed.

Recent restoration actions in the Blue Creek watershed include tribal acquisition of large tracts of the Blue Creek watershed and upslope restoration activities. Over 15,000 acres have been designated as an old growth forest preserve. Furthermore, considerable instream restoration is planned for the Blue Creek watershed. Continuation of the long term monitoring of juvenile Chinook production at the Blue Creek rotary screw trap will help inform the success of these restoration actions. In addition, we use this information to analyze the stock recruitment for Blue Creek late-fall Chinook to help manage and protect the Tribe’s federally reserved fishing right.


Metric Completed Originally
Research and Monitoring
  Stream Miles Monitored 46.00

Funding Details

Report Total:$40,000

Project Map


Blue Creek    

  • Worksite Identifier: Blue Creek
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
Area Description
Lower Klamath River

Location Information

  • Basin: Klamath
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed:
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: California
  • Recovery Domain: N CA - S Oregon
  • Latitude: 41.4443486652
  • Longitude: -123.9070177877


  • Southern Oregon / Northern California Coastal Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast Coho Salmon ESU
  • Klamath Mountains Province Steelhead DPS
  • Un-Named ESU Cutthroat




  • E.0 Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)Y (Y/N)
    •      . . E.0.a RM&E Funding .00
    •      . . E.0.b
      Complement habitat restoration project
    •      . . E.0.c
      Project identified in a plan or watershed assessment.
    •      . . E.0.d.1 Number of Cooperating Organizations
    •      . . E.0.d.2
      Name Of Cooperating Organizations.
    •      . . E.0.e.1 Number of reports prepared
    •      . . E.1 MonitoringY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . E.1.a Monitoring funding
      •      . . . . E.1.b.1 Stream Miles Monitored
      •      . . . . E.1.b.2 Acres of Watershed Area Monitored
      •      . . . . E.1.b.3 Square miles of water monitored (Square miles)
      •      . . . . E.1.c.2 Salmonid smolt or fry monitoringY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . E.1.d
          Name Of Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy/Program