Buck Creek Watershed Fish Population and Habitat Analysis

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

Project ID2008-4-03
Recovery DomainsWillamette and Interior Columbia
Start Date04/01/2009
End Date12/31/2012
Last Edited08/27/2020
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The goal of this project was to analyze physical and biotic conditions in the historically anadromous portion of Buck Creek, a major tributary to the White Salmon River above Condit Dam, in advance of the removal of the dam in 2009 in order to determine the creeks potential for anadromous salmonid spawning, rearing and refuge habitat. This was accomplished through a combination of habitat surveys (using established protocols such as Timber, Fish and Wildlife [TFW]), salmonid fish population abundance estimates, aquatic species composition and distribution; water quality analysis and flow measurement. The information collected will be used to bolster the existing Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment (EDT) and other models. These analyses along with ongoing monitoring in Buck Creek will enable the Yakama Nation (YN) and project partners to understand the controlling factors that limit fish abundance and productivity and will help identify, prioritize, and gauge the effectiveness of future restoration actions.

The following activities were undertaken and information gained about salmonid status, life histories, diseases, and genetic composition of the existing juvenile salmonid populations in the potential anadromous portion of Buck Creek:
Obtained fish sampling permits and submitted collection reports to permitting agencies as required. Determined individual fish life history attributes (movement, age, and seasonal growth rates) within the watershed by PIT (passive integrated transponder)-tagging 500 parr per year in several reaches. Derived estimates of salmonid population abundance in select portions of Buck Creek. Determined fish species composition and distribution within Buck Creek. Determined existing kinds, distribution, and severity of fish diseases in the Buck Creek watershed prior to anadromous fish reintroduction. Obtained and archived tissue samples in a non-lethal manner for genetic analysis. Characterized stream and riparian habitat conditions in the potentially anadromous portion of Buck Creek. Conducted stream reach identification, reference point, Habitat Unit and large woody debris (LWD) surveys of the three lowermost EDT reaches of Buck Creek. Conducted Fish Passage Inventory of the three lowermost EDT reaches of Buck Creek. Sampled spawning gravel/sediment. Monitored mean, minimum and maximum daily water temperature at the three lowermost EDT reaches of Buck Creek and monitored flows in Buck Creek. Collected macroinvertebrate samples at various sites in Buck Creek drainage and analyzed and interpret the data collected. Produced a Final Report, to be submitted as an attachement.

Project Benefit    

Anadromous salmon and steelhead in the White Salmon subbasin were virtually extirpated from their historical range by the construction of the 125-foot-tall Condit Dam at river mile (RM) 3.3 in 1913. Remnant anadromous populations currently spawn and rear in accessible habitat below the dam, while approximately 40 miles of habitat above the dam is still inaccessible to anadromous fish. Buck Creek is currently a major spawning area for rainbow trout, and has potential to be spawning and rearing habitat for anadromous and fluvial-adfluvial fish after dam removal. Steelhead adults and rearing juveniles should be able to reach much of the available habitat in Buck Creek (to ~RM 3.8); Chinook and coho salmon are likely to use habitat in the lower 1.9 mi. of Buck Creek for spawning, rearing and refuge, depending on summer water temperatures and flows. Sampling for bull trout in the White Salmon River in recent years has been unsuccessful; however, this system contains historic core habitat for Lower Columbia Recovery Unit bull trout, and fluvial populations could conceivably re-colonize Buck Creek once access to the Columbia River is restored.


Metric Completed Originally
Research and Monitoring
  Stream Miles Monitored 4.00 4.00

Funding Details

Report Total:$108,000

Project Map


Buck Creek    

  • Worksite Identifier: Buck Creek
  • Start Date:
  • End Date:
Area Description

No Area Description data was found for this worksite.

Location Information

  • Basin: Middle Columbia
  • Subbasin:
  • Watershed: 1707010508
  • Subwatershed:
  • State: Washington
  • Recovery Domain: Willamette and Interior Columbia
  • Latitude: 45.78307812692372
  • Longitude: -121.61499023437253


  • Columbia River Chum Salmon ESU
  • Middle Columbia River Steelhead DPS
  • Lower Columbia River Chinook Salmon ESU




  • E.0 Salmonid Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation (RM&E)Y (Y/N)
    •      . . E.0.a RM&E Funding 108,000.00
    •      . . E.0.b
      Complement habitat restoration project
      Condit Dam removal
    •      . . E.0.c
      Project identified in a plan or watershed assessment.
    •      . . E.0.d.1 Number of Cooperating Organizations 2
    •      . . E.0.d.2
      Name Of Cooperating Organizations.
      YIN, US Geological Survey-- Columbia River Research Laboratory
    •      . . E.0.e.1 Number of reports prepared 10
    •      . . E.0.e.2
      Name Of Report
      Allen, M. B. and P. J. Connolly. 2005. Assessment of the White Salmon watershed using the Ecosystem Diagnosis and Treatment model. Prepared for the Yakama Nation Fisheries Department, Toppenish, Washington YIN Fisheries, Semi-Annual PCSRF Progress Reports, 2009-2012
    •      . . E.1 MonitoringY (Y/N)
      •      . . . . E.1.a Monitoring funding 108,000.00
      •      . . . . E.1.b.1 Stream Miles Monitored 4.00
      •      . . . . E.1.b.2 Acres of Watershed Area Monitored 20.0
      •      . . . . E.1.c.13 Restoration effectiveness monitoringY (Y/N)
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.13.a # miles (to nearest 0.01 mile) of stream or streambank monitored 4.00
        •      . . . . . . E.1.c.13.c # acres (to nearest 0.1 acre) monitored 20.0
        •      . . . . E.1.d
          Name Of Comprehensive Monitoring Strategy/Program
        •      . . . . E.1.e
          Description of monitoring
          for final report only