A study was conducted during June–October 2020 to evaluate factors affecting the migration success of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in the Yakima River, Washington. A total of 144 adult sockeye salmon were tagged and released during the study. Most fish (112 fish) were collected, tagged with passive integrated transponder (PIT), and released at the mouth of the Yakima River. The remaining fish were tagged with a radio transmitter and PIT tag: 13 fish were collected, tagged, and released at Prosser Dam; 13 fish were collected and tagged at Prosser Dam, transported downstream, and released at the mouth of the Yakima River; and 6 fish were collected, tagged, and released at the mouth of the Yakima River. Radio-tagged fish released at Prosser Dam initially moved upstream and spread out in the river reach between Prosser and Sunnyside Dams, but all fish stopped moving and several transmitters were recovered. Detection records and temperature data from recovered transmitters were the basis for inferring that avian predators consumed at least 6 of the 13 fish. Fifteen of the 19 radio-tagged sockeye salmon released at the mouth of the Yakima River moved upstream in the Columbia River and were detected at Johnson Island in the Hanford Reach, or at Priest Rapids Dam. Two of these fish, tagged on August 7, eventually moved back downstream and entered the Yakima River when water temperatures in the lower Yakima River were 16–18 degrees Celsius (°C). One fish moved upstream to Sunnyside Dam where its tag was later recovered. The other fish moved farther upstream and was detected at Prosser Dam, but eventually moved downstream and its tag was recovered near Benton City, Washington. None of the recovered tags were found near a carcass. More than one-half of the sockeye salmon that were collected, tagged, and released at the mouth of the Yakima River were subsequently detected, and the greatest proportion of fish from groups released during June, July, and August entered the Yakima River. This finding suggests that adult sockeye salmon are present at the mouth of the Yakima River throughout the summer. Detection records for tagged fish at monitoring sites located near cool water inputs in the lower Yakima River suggest that sockeye salmon do not spend a substantial amount of time at these locations. Fish count data at Prosser Dam fish ladders showed that sockeye salmon had a bi-modal pattern of upstream migration with peaks in late June/early July and September when water temperature in the lower Yakima River was 20 °C or less. Sixty-one percent of PIT-tagged sockeye salmon detected at Prosser Dam were eventually collected at the adult fish trapping facility at Roza Dam where fish are collected and transported upstream to Cle Elum Reservoir. These data, in conjunction with results from other studies, suggest that a substantial proportion of Yakima River sockeye salmon fail to arrive at Roza Dam. Additional research will be required to better understand factors affecting Yakima River sockeye salmon.
|Title||Evaluation of factors affecting migration success of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in the Yakima River, Washington, 2020|
|Authors||Tobias J. Kock, Amy C. Hansen, Scott D. Evans, Richard Visser, Brian Saluskin, Andrew Matala, Paul Hoffarth|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Open-File Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Western Fisheries Research Center|