Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Display All Information

Document Type: Technical Memorandum
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8391
Title: Monitoring Salmon Habitat Status and Trends in Puget Sound: Development of Sample Designs, Monitoring Metrics, and Sampling Protocols for Large River, Floodplain, Delta, and Nearshore Environments
Author/Editor: T. J. Beechie, Oleksandr Stefankiv, Britta Timpane-Padgham, Jason E. Hall, G. R. Pess, M. Rowse, Martin Liermann, Kurt L. Fresh, Michael J. Ford
Publication Year: 2017
Tech Memo Number: NMFS-NWFSC-137
Pages: 185
Date: June 14, 2017
DOI: https://doi.org/10.7289/V5/TM-NWFSC-137
Abstract:

In 1999, the Puget Sound Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and the Hood Canal summer chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) Evolutionary Significant Unit (ESU) were listed as “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  In 2007 Puget Sound Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were also listed as “threatened” under the ESA. It is the statutory responsibility of the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to evaluate progress towards recovery and ultimately to make decisions regarding delisting of Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Hood Canal summer chum salmon, and Puget Sound Steelhead.  To accomplish this, NMFS must assess their status by evaluating the status of the salmonid viability parameters (VSP), and the status and trends of key listing factors. The ESA specifies that this evaluation must happen every five years; the next such evaluation is scheduled for 2015. 

One of the key listing factors for Puget Sound Chinook salmon, Hood Canal summer chum salmon, and Steelhead is the quantity, quality, and distribution of habitat supporting these species. Having consistent habitat data across the ESU is an essential element to any five year status review. This was effectively demonstrated in the recent 5 year status review for Oregon Coastal Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), where consistent data on habitat trends was essential for determining species status (Stout et al 2012). Consistent habitat data across the entire ESU is not currently available for the Puget Sound. A 2011 report commissioned by the NMFS entitled “Implementation status assessment final report – A qualitative assessment of implementation of the Puget Sound Chinook salmon recovery plan” stated “Habitat status and trends monitoring at the population, major population group and ESU (Evolutionary Significant Unit) scales is urgently needed and should be a priority focus for funding.” Presently, there are no spatially explicit habitat data that are comparable for all populations in the Puget Sound ESU, nor is there a program established to collect those data for assessing status and trends of salmon habitats in the Puget Sound. 

Our goal is to develop a habitat monitoring program for five distinct habitat areas: small streams, large rivers, floodplain channels, deltas, and nearshore environments of Puget Sound in order to assess changes in salmon habitat across the ESU. Each of these areas provides habitat for key life stages of Chinook salmon, chum salmon, and Steelhead. Therefore, each area should be monitored so that we can determine whether habitat conditions are improving, static or declining at the next status review. We have three objectives associated with this goal. Our first objective is to develop and measure of suite of habitat metrics that will be used in the upcoming status reviews (possibly 2015 and most likely 2020). Our second objective will be to compare habitat status to VSP parameters across several watersheds.  Our third objective, assuming continued future funding, is to incorporate additional metrics and continue measuring and analyzing all metrics so that they are available to inform the 2020 status review. In this report we describe: (1) a quantitative sampling design that will deliver statistically rigorous results, (2) the habitat metrics and rationale for their selection, (3) the monitoring protocols for each metric in three of the five distinct habitat areas – large rivers, floodplain channels, and deltas, and (4) first year status results for mainstem, floodplain, and delta habitats (nearshore protocols will be developed in 2015).

We first describe our hierarchical approach to monitoring the four habitat areas. Second, we describe our sample design, which stratifies each habitat area based on geomorphic type and land cover (e.g., valley type or shore type, and agriculture or forested) and selects sample sites using a

Files:
Theme: Habitats to Support Sustainable Fisheries and Recovered Populations
Foci: Characterize relationships between habitat and ecosystem processes, climate variation, and the viability of organisms.
Characterize the interaction of human use and habitat distribution, quantity and quality.
Official Citation:

Beechie, T. J., O. Stefankiv, B. Timpane-Padgham, J. E. Hall, G. R. Pess, M. Rowse, M. Liermann, K. Fresh, and M. J. Ford. 2017. Monitoring Salmon Habitat Status and Trends in Puget Sound: Development of Sample Designs, Monitoring Metrics, and Sampling Protocols for Large River, Floodplain, Delta, and Nearshore Environments. U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-NWFSC-137.