Yakama Nation Columbia River Basin Predation

Salmonid Habitat Restoration and Acquisition

Instream Habitat
Project ID22-Yaka-04
Recovery DomainsMiddle Columbia River
Start Date03/01/2023
End Date06/30/2027
Year2022
StatusOngoing
Last Edited05/08/2024
 
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Description    


Anthropogenic impacts to the Columbia River and its tributaries have altered the habitats and environment to favor many species of salmon predators. These predators include native and non-native predatory fish species (e.g. small-mouth bass, walleye), and piscivorous colonial waterbirds (e.g. California gull, Ring-billed gull, Double-crested cormorants, Caspian). We recognize that predation is a keystone agent that controls fish population dynamics. Although predation can be a naturally occurring control mechanism for fish populations, predation management is needed in altered system such as that of the Columbia River. Research over the last three decades has shown and alarming increase in predation on salmonid. As part of the commitment of the Yakama Nation to honor, protect, and restore our sacred fish and water resources we are proposing to implement solutions that will result in the efficient reduction in predator populations in key locations to increase survival of our salmon and steelhead.



Avian predation dissuasion and depredation will occur at Miller Rocks Islands in The Dalles reservoir. We will use both non-lethal deterrents and lethal measures (permit pending) to protect migrating salmon smolts. Active nest dissuasion will be used to prevent gulls from nesting. Hazing efforts will be increased or decreased as needed in response to intensity of nesting activity. The primary techniques used to actively dissuade predatory colonial water birds will be green lasers and bangers, propane cannons and falconry abatement (falconry abatement proved to be an effective means of delaying nesting in 2022). Lethal measures may also be used pending approved depredation permits from USFWS. Intensive hazing activities will be increased and prolonged in 2023 extending from mid-April through late-May. Due to the culturally sensitivity of this location, the Yakama Nation strives to eliminate all nesting activities from Miller Rocks. Avian predation activities will be coordinated through the Regional Avian Predation Forum and resulting reductions in predation rates will be measured and documented through monitoring currently funded by BPA and implemented by Real Time Research Inc. The Yakama Nation holds a casual use agreement with the Bureau of Land Management for this work proposed at Miller Rocks.



We also plan to investigate and measure species composition and abundance in the lower Klickitat and Wind River deltas and reservoir influence reaches with a focus on piscivorous species to understand predation risks to focal salmon species. This work builds on previous juvenile survival studies pointing to significantly lower survival in the lower Klickitat River and other regional delta habitats. We will focus on predator species composition, distribution and abundance. Methods may include boat based sampling via seining, or electrofishing. This effort will work collaboratively with ongoing tagging and monitoring of juvenile salmon, and habitat evaluations.

This funding will also allow for participation in regional avian and invasive species forums.



Specific work to occur by worksite:



WS #1: Miller Rocks Islands in The Dalles Reservoir – Avian dissuasion and depredation activates under this proposal will occur at Miller Rocks Islands with the objective of eliminating gulls and other colonial water birds from this culturally and environmentally sensitive area.



WS #2: Klickitat and Wind River Deltas – We will investigate species composition, abundance and distribution in the lower Klickitat and Wind river deltas with a focus on invasive predator species. We will focus on predator species composition, distribution and abundance. Methods may include boat based sampling via seining, or electrofishing. This effort will work collaboratively with ongoing tagging and monitoring of juvenile salmon, and habitat evaluations. This work will support su

Project Benefit    


Avian predation is one of the largest sources of hydro-system mortality for juvenile steelhead and Chinook salmon (Evans et al., 2022). In 2021, the predation /consumption rate of juvenile Upper Columbia River steelhead and Snake River sockeye at Miller Rocks alone was 12.4% and 13.9% respectively (Evans eta., 2022). Estimates of smolt consumption rates by gulls nesting at Miller Rocks in The Dalles Reservoir were the highest of any colony evaluated in 2021 (Evans et al., 2022), yet the Miller Rocks gull colony is currently unmanaged. Miller Rocks is located within the Yakama Nation Territories and was created by the construction of the Dalles Dam. Miller Rocks is a culturally important location for the Yakama Nation Tribal members; Reducing the gull colony and the associated impacts on migrating juvenile salmon and steelhead is a top priority for the Yakama Nation.



These extremely high consumption rates result in a direct economic loss to tribal fishers as salmon numbers are reduced by bird predation. The total economic loss to tribal members is not easily quantified, but the loss and ability to fish at usual and accustomed places due to bird predation is a cultural loss that is far greater than its economic value.



Predator dissuasion and removal has a demonstrated effect on reducing predation rates and increasing survival of salmon and steelhead smolts. Given the high predation rates in this location we would expect to see a commensurate increase in salmon survival through this reach in direct response to the actions for which we are seeking funding.



Predation by non-native invasive piscine predators (e.g. small mouth bass, walleye) similarly has disproportional impacts on rearing and migrating salmon stocks in the Columba River. Habitat changes in the Columbia River associated with hydroelectric impoundments have altered the riverine habitat into a series of lacustrine systems creating areas that are now more suitable for both native predators such as Northern Pike Minnow and non-native species such as walleye, large-mouth bass, and small-mouth bass. Increasing water temperature as a result of climate change on native predators have been expand their range into critical salmon rearing habits.



The Yakama Nation has documented disproportionately low survival rates of salmon and steelhead in the lower 1.5 kms of the Klickitat River (Romero and Kuhn, 2021). The shallow delta of the Klickitat is heavily influenced by the impounded Columbia River. Water velocities through this reach are drastically reduced by backwater effects which in turn increase smolt travel time and greatly increased predation risk and vulnerability to piscivorous predators (Rieman et al., 1991). Understanding the species composition and abundance in the lower Klickitat River delta and reservoir influenced reaches will allow us to assess potential predation impacts on salmonid species. These data will lead to an understanding of management actions to improve survival of juvenile salmon migrating from the Klickitat River into the Columbia.

Accomplishments

Metric Completed Originally
Proposed
Instream Habitat
  Stream Miles Treated 5.00
Research and Monitoring
  Stream Miles Monitored 2.00

Funding Details

SourceFunds
PCSRF$275,000
Report Total:$275,000


Project Map



Worksites

Lower Klickitat River and Delta    


  • Worksite Identifier: Lower Klickitat River and Delta
  • Start Date: 03/01/2023
  • End Date: 09/30/2024
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Middle Columbia (170701)
  • Subbasin: Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)
  • Watershed: Mill Creek-Columbia River (1707010504)
  • Subwatershed: Town of Murdock-Columbia River (170701050406)
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Middle Columbia River
  • Latitude: 45.694259
  • Longitude: -121.2929

ESU

  • Mid-Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Lower Columbia River Coho Salmon ESU
  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS

Map

Photos

Metrics

Metrics
  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.3
      Monitoring text (from Phase I)
    •      . . C.4 Instream Habitat ProjectY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.4.a Instream Habitat Funding
      •      . . . . C.4.b Total length of instream habitat treated
      •      . . . . C.4.i.1 Predator/competitor removalY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.i.2
          Predator/competitor name(s)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.i.3
          Method of predator/competitor removal
        •      . . . . . . C.4.i.4 Number of predators/competitors removedcontrolled
        •      . . . . . . C.4.i.5 Miles of stream treated for predators/competitors
        • 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.18 Predator/competitor monitoringY (Y/N)
            •      . . . . . . E.1.c.18.a # miles (to nearest 0.01 mile) of stream or streambank monitored
            •      . . . . . . E.1.c.18.c # acres (to nearest 0.1 acre) monitored
            •      . . . . E.1.d
              Name Of Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy/Program

Miller Rocks Island in the Dalles Reservoir    


  • Worksite Identifier: Miller Rocks Island in the Dalles Reservoir
  • Start Date: 03/01/2023
  • End Date: 09/30/2024
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Middle Columbia (170701)
  • Subbasin: Middle Columbia-Hood (17070105)
  • Watershed: Spanish Hollow-Columbia River (1707010501)
  • Subwatershed: Hells Gate Canyon-Columbia River (170701050103)
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Middle Columbia River
  • Latitude: 45.6618
  • Longitude: -120.8751

ESU

  • Mid-Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Upper Columbia River Summer- and Fall-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Upper Columbia River Steelhead DPS
  • Snake River Basin Steelhead DPS
  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS
  • Snake River Sockeye Salmon ESU
  • Okanogan River Sockeye Salmon ESU
  • Upper Columbia River Spring-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Snake River Spring/Summer-run Chinook Salmon ESU
  • Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon ESU

Map

Photos

Metrics

Metrics
  • C.0 Salmonid Habitat Restoration and AcquisitionY (Y/N)
    •      . . C.0.a Habitat restoration and acquisition funding .00
    •      . . C.0.b Length of stream treated/protected
    •      . . C.0.c
      Project identified in a Plan or Watershed Assessment
    •      . . C.0.d.1 Project Monitoring (LOV)
    •      . . C.0.d.2 Monitoring Location (LOV)
    •      . . C.4 Instream Habitat ProjectY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . C.4.a Instream Habitat Funding
      •      . . . . C.4.b Total length of instream habitat treated
      •      . . . . C.4.i.1 Predator/competitor removalY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.i.2
          Predator/competitor name(s)
        •      . . . . . . C.4.i.3
          Method of predator/competitor removal
        •      . . . . . . C.4.i.4 Number of predators/competitors removedcontrolled
        •      . . . . . . C.4.i.5 Miles of stream treated for predators/competitors