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NOAA-NMFS-NWFSC TM-33: Sockeye Salmon Status Review (cont)
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The only river systems in Oregon, besides
the mainstem Columbia, where anadromous O. nerka are consistently
seen each year are the Deschutes and Willamette Rivers.
numbers of sockeye salmon are consistently seen each year and
trapped at the base of the re-regulating dam below Pelton Dam
(which forms Lake Simtustus) on the Deschutes River. These fish
are subsequently released at the same location and it is unknown
whether they spawn below the Pelton/Round Butte Dam complex (ODFW
1995a, Kostow 1996b). Historically, sockeye salmon occurred in
the Deschutes River sub-basin, migrating up the Columbia River
to the Deschutes River and then up the Metolius River to Suttle
Fulton (1970) reported that a 1.2-m-tall
power dam and upright screen were installed at the outlet of Suttle
Lake in 1930 (Mullan 1986). Nielson (1950) reported that "Blueback
salmon formerly ascended to Suttle Lake, but none have been seen
for a number of years." Nielson (1950) also reported that
a fish passage survey of the Deschutes River in 1942 revealed
There is a concrete power dam, 4 feet high, at the outlet of the stream from Suttle Lake. This dam . . . may have been responsible for the disappearance of the blueback salmon run. The spillway has a 15 inch flashboard at the upper end of a sloping concrete apron 11 feet long that would be impassable except under very favorable circumstances. The 3-step fishway is too small for large fish and is blocked at the upper end by a stationary screen. Two rotary screens prevent the escapement of fish from the lake to the creek. The diversion to the small power plant is screened.
Nehlsen (1995) also reported on this dam
at Suttle Lake, and added that a swimming pool dam (built between
1925 and 1938) and power dam (built between 1925 and 1942) were
installed at Lake Creek Lodge on Lake Creek, the outlet stream
of Suttle Lake, and both likely hindered or blocked upstream and
downstream fish passage.
Several subsequent authors (CBFWA 1990,
Olsen et al. 1994, ODFW 1995a) indicated that sockeye salmon continued
to return to the Metolius River and spawned below Suttle Lake
after fish passage to Suttle Lake was blocked. ODFW (1995a) suggested
that sockeye salmon persisted in the Metolius River after construction
of the Suttle Lake barrier, until construction of Pelton Re-regulating
Dam and Pelton Dam in 1958 and Round Butte Dam (which formed Lake
Billy Chinook) in 1964. Sockeye salmon may have persisted by
continued spawning in the Metolius River, with juvenile rearing
occurring in the Deschutes River or Columbia River, or by return
of outmigrants of residual sockeye salmon or kokanee that had
escaped over the Suttle Lake barrier. However, Gunsolus and Eicher
(1962) stated that, "The spawning of blueback salmon is confined
to the Suttle Lake area of the Metolius River and the run is composed,
for all practical purposes, of hatchery fish which the Oregon
Fish Commission has planted in an attempt to generate a run."
Presently, two kokanee populations occur
above the dams: one population resides in Suttle Lake and spawns
in the lake inlet stream (Link Creek), and a second population
resides in Lake Billy Chinook and spawns in the upper Metolius
River (ODFW 1995a). Both kokanee populations have a distinctive
blue-black body coloration and are distinguished from hatchery
kokanee reared in Lake Simtustus and Deschutes River basin hatcheries
by their color pattern (ODFW 1995a). The Lake Billy Chinook/Metolius
kokanee reportedly spawn about the same time that Deschutes River
sockeye salmon arrive at the Pelton Dam hatchery trap, whereas
the Suttle Lake/Link Creek kokanee spawn 2 to 3 weeks later (ODFW
1995a). Sockeye salmon enter the Deschutes River from July to
ODFW (1995a) and Kostow (1996b) suggested that sockeye salmon that are consistently trapped in the Deschutes River may derive from 1) a self-sustaining sockeye salmon population that spawns below the Pelton/Round Butte Dam complex and rears in mainstem Columbia River reservoirs, 2) strays from elsewhere on the Columbia River, or outmigrating smolts of "kokanee-sized" fish that escape over the Pelton/Round Butte Dam complex and return as sockeye salmon.
Artificial propagation data (see Appendix
Table D-2) indicate that over 740,000 sockeye salmon fry and fingerlings
from the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery and 15,000 smolt from
the Bonneville Hatchery were released into Suttle Lake between
1937 and 1958. Additionally over 478,000 sockeye salmon fry,
fingerlings, and smolts of mixed Metolius, Leavenworth, and unknown
parentage were released in the Metolius River or its tributaries
between 1948 and 1961 (see Appendix Table D-2). Many of the reported
returns of sockeye salmon to the Deschutes River prior to the
1960s may have been derived from these juvenile sockeye salmon
et al. (1995a) and Chapman et al. (1995) reported that small numbers
of adult sockeye salmon currently return to the Willamette, Middle
Santiam, and South Santiam Rivers. Juvenile sockeye salmon were
introduced into several reservoirs in the upper reaches of the
Willamette and Santiam Rivers in the 1950s (see Appendix Table
D-2), and presumably the downstream migration of some individuals
derived from these transplants led to returns of anadromous sockeye
salmon (Foy et al. 1995a, Chapman et al. 1995, p. 21).
The following nine spawning populations
of sockeye salmon have been identified in Washington by WDF et
al. (1993): 1) Baker River, 2) Ozette Lake, 3) Lake Pleasant, 4) Quinault Lake, and 5) Okanogan River,
classified as native stocks; 6) Cedar River classified as a non-native
stock; 7) Lake Wenatchee classified as having mixed stock origin;
and 8) Lake Washington/Lake Sammamish tributaries, and 9) Lake
Washington beach spawners, classified as having unknown stock
origin. Chapman et al. (1995) listed four additional spawning
aggregations of sockeye salmon that appear consistently in Columbia
River tributaries: the Methow, Entiat, and Similkameen Rivers
and Icicle Creek in the Wenatchee River drainage.
Sockeye salmon have been periodically
observed in other Washington rivers that lack accessible lake
habitat, including the Nooksack, Samish, mainstem Skagit, Sauk,
Stillaguamish, Green, Skokomish, Dungeness, Calawah, Hoh, Queets
and North Fork Lewis Rivers. Reportedly, several sockeye salmon
are observed yearly during spawner surveys in almost every river
in Puget Sound; this phenomenon is more common, and numbers of
sockeye salmon are higher, in north Puget Sound rivers than in
south Puget Sound rivers (J. Ames17).
River sockeye salmon rear in Lake Osoyoos, which is composed of
three connected basins: north, middle, and south. WDF et al.
(1993) reported that Okanogan River sockeye salmon bound for Lake
Osoyoos begin migrating up the Columbia River in mid- to late-June
and peak in early July. In contrast, Chapman et al. (1995) reported
that sockeye salmon bound for the mid-Columbia River begin entering
the Columbia River in April and May, peaking at Bonneville Dam
in the third week of June and at Rock Island Dam in the third
week of July. Chapman et al. (1995) compared sockeye salmon run-timing
data from dam counts in 1933-1947 to similar counts in 1988-1992
and found that current run-timing is about a week earlier than
it used to be. This change in timing was believed to be due to
reduced water velocities in mainstem reservoir reaches of the
Columbia River, with later velocities allowing for more rapid
upriver fish migration (Chapman et al. 1995). Quinn and Adams
(1996) also reported that sockeye salmon upriver migration timing
is about 6 days earlier now than it was in 1949. Based on scale
pattern analysis, Fryer and Schwartzberg (1994) suggested that
Okanogan River sockeye salmon migrate past Bonneville Dam later
than the population bound for Lake Wenatchee. Major and Mighell
(1966) reported that most adult sockeye salmon begin migrating
up the Okanogan River in mid- to late-July and enter Lake Osoyoos
in August, although in some years sockeye salmon may reach Lake
Osoyoos as early as mid- to late-July. WDFW (1996) stated that
Okanogan sockeye begin migrating slightly
later than the Wenatchee stock, based on scale analysis at Bonneville
Dam which shows Wenatchee fish dominating the early portion and
shifting to Okanogan stock later. Okanogan sockeye probably begin
their entry in early to mid-June and peak at Bonneville Dam in
Migration may be impeded by as much as
3 weeks in some years by high water temperatures during mid-summer
in the Okanogan River (Major and Mighell 1966, Allen and Meekin
1980, Mullan 1986, Swan et al. 1994, Chapman et al. 1995). Sockeye
salmon congregate at the confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia
Rivers when water temperatures exceed 21.1oC and only migrate
up the Okanogan River when temperatures fall below this level
(Major and Mighell 1966, Allen and Meekin 1980, Chapman et al.
Swan et al. (1994) reported that upon
reaching Lake Osoyoos, sockeye salmon stay in the lake from less
than 1 day to 46 days, with a median of 28 days, prior to moving
upstream to the spawning grounds. WDF et al. (1993) indicated
that this population spawns upstream from Lake Osoyoos in the
Okanogan River but below the Southern Okanagan Lands Project Dam
(=Oliver Diversion Dam = Vaseux Dam) during late September through
October. According to Chapman et al. (1995), spawning occurs
primarily from about 1 to 23 October, with a peak about the third
week in October.
Burner (1951) observed a few sockeye salmon
redds on the shoreline of Lake Osoyoos. Allen and Meekin (1980)
observed about 1,200 sockeye salmon spawning on the shoreline
of Lake Osoyoos in October of 1971, whereas only a "few"
to none were observed in 1972-1974.
Lake Osoyoos has been variously characterized
as eutrophic (Mullan 1986) and as displaying the range of conditions
known as mesotrophic (see Appendix Table B-2) (Rensel 1995, cited
in Chapman et al. 1995). Lake Osoyoos is atypical of sockeye
salmon rearing lakes, which are typically oligo- or ultra-oligotrophic
(Mullan 1986, Chapman et al. 1995). From data provided in Mullan
(1986), the morphoedaphic indices for the northern, middle, and
southern basins of Lake Osoyoos were estimated as 10.91, 4.69,
and 14.74 respectively; these values are at the high end of the
scale for sockeye salmon nursery lakes and indicate the potential
for high primary production (see Appendix Table B-2). Lake Osoyoos
has been ranked as one of the most productive of all sockeye salmon
rearing lakes, based on phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance
(Foerster 1968, Allen and Meekin 1980, Chapman et al. 1995).
A strong thermocline develops in Lake Osoyoos during the summer,
when surface temperatures can reach 25oC and the hypolimnion becomes
anoxic, leaving only a narrow 1- to 2-m sub-surface layer of water
in the south basin with conditions suitable to sockeye salmon
survival. These conditions indicate that sockeye salmon juveniles
may be limited to the north and middle basins of Lake Osoyoos
during summer months (Rensel 1995, cited in Chapman et al. 1995).
High plankton productivity has led to
the production in Lake Osoyoos of "some of the largest sockeye
salmon smolts reported in the literature" (Mullan 1986).
The average length of known age-1+ sockeye salmon smolts from
Lake Osoyoos has ranged over a number of years from 94 to 114
mm with a median of about 110 mm (Allen and Meekin 1980, Chapman
et al. 1995), a length exceeded only by sockeye salmon smolts
from Lake Washington, Baker Lake, and Ozette Lake (see Appendix
Table C-4). Age composition data presented in Allen and Meekin
(1980) and Chapman et al. (1995) show that in some years an unusually
large percentage of adult spawners in the Okanogan River sockeye
salmon population are 3-year-old fish, whereas 3-year-olds are
extremely rare in the Lake Wenatchee population (see Appendix
Tables C-1 and C-2).
Okanogan River sockeye salmon are thought
to have the youngest average age at maturity for sockeye salmon
throughout their range (Chapman et al. 1995).
Fry emergence and migration downstream
to Lake Osoyoos has been reported to occur mostly at night, beginning
in early March (prior to the Lake Wenatchee migration), peaking
in mid-April, and concluding by the third week in May (Allen and
Meekin 1980, Shepherd and Inkster 1995 as cited in Chapman et
al. 1995). Data presented in Chapman et al. (1995) indicate that
currently sockeye salmon smolts leave Lake Osoyoos in mid- to
late May and migrate past Rock Island Dam in May (Peven 1987).
In contrast, Wenatchee-origin sockeye salmon smolts typically
arrive at Rock Island Dam in April (Peven 1987). Chapman et al.
(1995) pointed out that currently, sockeye salmon smolts appear
to arrive at downstream dams on the Columbia River earlier than
they did in the 1940s through 1960s, although the reasons for
this earlier run-timing are not clear.
Between 1939 and 1943, all adult sockeye
salmon returning to the Columbia River above the confluence with
the Snake River were trapped at Rock Island Dam on the Columbia
River as part of the Grand Coulee Fish Maintenance Project. A
total of 19,795 of these trapped adult sockeye salmon of mixed
Okanogan River, Lake Wenatchee, and Upper Columbia River heritage
were transported to and released in Lake Osoyoos. Appendix Table
D-2 shows that between 1940 and 1968, about 395,000 fry resulting
from a mixed-stock spawning of Rock Island Dam and Quinault Lake
stock, and over 4.2 million fish descended from original spawners
collected at Rock Island and Bonneville Dams, were released into
Lake Osoyoos (Mullan 1986). In the brood years 1992 and 1993,
73,000 and 110,500 pen-reared juvenile sockeye salmon (adults
captured at Wells Dam) were released in Lake Osoyoos (Chapman
et al. 1995). No adult returns from the releases in 1992 and
1993 have been noted (Chapman et al. 1995).
Sockeye salmon and kokanee-sized O.
nerka are reported to spawn at the same time and place in
the Okanogan River, often with overlapping redds, although it
is unknown whether peak spawn timing of these two groups of fish
are the same. Kokanee-sized fish reportedly acquire a drab-olive
spawning coloration, whereas sockeye salmon in this population
have the typical spawning color pattern (L. LaVoy18). Dark colored
residual O. nerka
presumably occur to some degree in all years on the sockeye salmon
spawning grounds of the Okanogan River (Chapman et al. 1995, p.
Kokanee stocking history in Lake Osoyoos
includes the release of 195,550 kokanee fry from an unnamed source
into Lake Osoyoos between 1919 and 1920 (WDFG 1921a) (see Appendix
Table D-5). Further kokanee stocking information was not obtained
from either U.S. or Canadian sources.
et al. (1993) reported that sockeye salmon bound for Lake Wenatchee
begin migrating up the Columbia River in mid-June, peaking in
early July, and enter Lake Wenatchee in late July to early August.
It was stated in WDFW (1996) that "Wenatchee sockeye enter
the Columbia in May and peak at Bonneville Dam in late June or
early July." Based on scale pattern analysis, Lake Wenatchee
sockeye salmon appear to migrate past Bonneville Dam earlier than
the population bound for the Okanogan River (Fryer and Schwartzberg
1994). As mentioned above for Okanogan River, Chapman et al.
(1995) reported that sockeye salmon bound for the mid-Columbia
River begin entering the Columbia River in April and May, peaking
at Bonneville Dam in the third week of June and at Rock Island
Dam in the third week of July. Chapman et al. (1995) reported
that comparison of run-timing data from dam counts in 1933-1947
and 1988-1992 indicate that current sockeye salmon run-timing
is about a week earlier than it used to be. Quinn and Adams (1996)
also reported that sockeye salmon upriver migration timing is
about 6 days earlier now than it was in 1949. Run-timing of sockeye
salmon in the Wenatchee River, as measured at Tumwater Dam, appears
to be as much as a month earlier at the present time than it was
in the 1930s (Chapman et al. 1995). Factors contributing to this
run-timing change may include improvements to fish ladders at
Tumwater and Dryden Dams on the Wenatchee River, lower river flows
in recent years, and faster within-reservoir migration in the
Columbia River since modern dam construction (Allen and Meekin
1980, Mullan 1986, Chapman et al. 1995).
The Wenatchee population spawns from mid-September
through October in the Little Wenatchee, White, and Napeequa Rivers
above Lake Wenatchee (WDF et al. 1993). According to Chapman
et al. (1995), main spawning activity currently occurs from mid-September
to about the beginning of October, with a peak in the third week
of September. Gangmark and Fulton (1952) reported two lakeshore
seepage areas in Lake Wenatchee that were used by spawning sockeye
salmon. Mullan (1986) indicated that only limited shore spawning
occurs in Lake Wenatchee. Although no active surveys targeting
beach-spawning sockeye salmon have been undertaken, shoreline
spawning has not been observed in recent years in Lake Wenatchee
Lake Wenatchee has been characterized
as a typical oligotrophic or ultra-oligotrophic sockeye salmon
nursery lake: clear, cold, well-oxygenated, and with low productivity
(Allen and Meekin 1980, Mullan 1986, Chapman et al. 1995). Lake
Wenatchee has an estimated metric morphoedaphic index of 0.51,
which is within the range of MEI typical for sockeye salmon nursery
lakes (see Appendix Table B-2) and is considerably lower than
the MEI for Lake Osoyoos (Mullan 1986). Water residence time
in Lake Wenatchee was estimated at the relatively rapid rate of
2.2 exchanges per year (Mullan 1986). A strong thermocline does
not apparently develop in Lake Wenatchee in the summer, and dissolved
oxygen and temperature conditions allow sockeye salmon to use
all depths of the lake (Chapman et al. 1995, p. 83). Thompson
and Tufts (1967) identified Dolly Varden and northern squawfish
as predators of sockeye salmon juveniles in Lake Wenatchee, although
only 12% of Dolly Varden and 1% of northern squawfish collected
had consumed wild sockeye salmon fingerlings.
The average size of known age-1+ sockeye
salmon smolts from Lake Wenatchee have ranged from 65 to 124 mm
fork length, with a median of about 88 mm (Allen and Meekin 1980,
Chapman et al. 1995) (see Appendix Table C-4). Peven (1987) indicated
that sockeye salmon smolts from Lake Wenatchee are generally smaller
than 100 mm, whereas Okanogan River smolts are generally larger
than 100 mm. Age composition data show (see Appendix Tables C-1
and C-2) that although an unusually large percentage of adult
spawners in the Okanogan River sockeye salmon population are 3-year-old
fish, very few Lake Wenatchee sockeye salmon exhibit this age
pattern. Chapman et al. (1995) pointed out that sockeye salmon
from Wenatchee show a stronger tendency to spend 2 years in freshwater
prior to smoltification than do members of the Okanogan River
Dawson et al. (1973) found that sockeye salmon fry were entering Lake Wenatchee between March and May, while Chapman et al. (1995) deduced from data in Gangmark and Fulton (1952) that fry emerge from redds in the Wenatchee River by mid-March.
Peven (1987) showed that Wenatchee-origin sockeye salmon smolts typically arrive at Rock Island Dam in April. As mentioned above for Okanogan River sockeye salmon, Chapman et al. (1995) pointed out that currently, sockeye salmon smolts appear to arrive at downstream dams on the Columbia River earlier than they did from the 1940s through 1960s, although the reasons for this earlier run-timing are not clear.
Between 1939 and 1943, all sockeye salmon
entering the mid-Columbia River were trapped at Rock Island Dam,
and over 32,000 mixed Lake Wenatchee, Okanogan River, and Arrow
Lakes adult sockeye salmon were released into Lake Wenatchee as
part of the Grand Coulee Fish Maintenance Project. Between 1940
and 1968, over 2.4 million fry derived from original Quinault
Lake stock, and over 52.8 million fry descended from original
spawners collected at Rock Island and Bonneville Dams, were released
into Lake Wenatchee (see Appendix Table D-2). Starting with the
1989 brood year, between 167,500 and 372,100 pen-reared Lake Wenatchee-origin juvenile
sockeye salmon have been released yearly into Lake Wenatchee.
From the 1990 release, an estimated 4,133 sockeye salmon returned
in 1994, for a fry-to-adult survival rate of 1.6% (survival estimate
based on scale pattern analysis) (Chapman et al. 1995).
Kokanee are reportedly native to Lake
Wenatchee (Crawford 1979). Sockeye salmon and kokanee have been
seen to spawn at the same time and place in tributaries of Lake
Wenatchee (the forms may have overlapping redds in the White,
Napeequa, and lower end of the Little Wenatchee Rivers), and the
kokanee reportedly acquire a drab olive spawning coloration, whereas
Wenatchee sockeye salmon have the typical spawning color pattern
(L. LaVoy20). Residual O. nerka reportedly
occur on the spawning grounds with Lake Wenatchee sockeye salmon
(Chapman et al. 1995). Between 1934 and 1966, 22.5 million Lake
Whatcom kokanee were released in Lake Wenatchee (Mullan 1986)
and approximately 0.5 million kokanee of the same broodstock origin
were released in 1983 (Knutzen 1995) (see Appendix Table D-5).
This sockeye salmon population is the most southerly coastal population of this species in North America. WDF et al. (1993) indicated that sockeye salmon, or blueback salmon as they are known locally, begin entering the lower Quinault River in small numbers in January and continue to the end of July, peaking in late May to early July. Sockeye salmon have been known to enter the Quinault River as early as December and as late as August (QIN 1981). The duration of this run is unusually long for sockeye salmon, lasting over 7-9 months (Burgner 1991, p. 9). Johnson (1977) stated that it takes sockeye salmon approximately 3 days to migrate between the mouth of the Quinault River and Quinault Lake. Sockeye salmon adults may remain in Quinault Lake for 3-10 months without feeding (QIN 1981) prior to moving upstream to spawn from November through February, primarily in the upper Quinault River and its tributaries (WDF et al. 1993). Sockeye salmon spawn timing for the Quinault stock is unusually protracted; observed duration has been 7 months, from August through March, although peak spawning occurs from November through January (QIN 1981).
The majority of sockeye salmon in the
Quinault system take on a drab gray-green (D. Boyer, Jr.21) or olive (Storm et al.
1990) spawning coloration, in contrast to the typical red body
coloration of sockeye salmon, but are very red-fleshed with high
oil content when they enter the river (D. Boyer Jr.22). Storm et
al. (1990) stated that a small segment of early spawners take
on the more typical coloration of spawning sockeye salmon, and
these may represent a unique strain. Due to carotenoid metabolism,
spawning sockeye salmon may contain up to 65% less carotenoid
than pre-spawning sockeye salmon taken at sea (Crozier 1969).
The loss of tissue carotenoids in Quinault Lake sockeye salmon
may result from the prolonged non-feeding adult lake-residence
period prior to maturation and spawning. Although a green coloration
at spawning is not common for sockeye salmon, spawning individuals
of two sockeye salmon stocks in British Columbia (Weaver Creek
(lower Fraser River) and Alastair Lake (Skeena River)) also reportedly
appear more green than red (C. C. Wood23).
Smolt outmigration occurs in May and June
(Davidson and Barnaby 1936) or April and May (Tyler and Wright
1974), and takes place during the hours of darkness (Tyler and
Wright 1974) (see Appendix Table C-5). The percentage in each
age group, and length and weight of sockeye salmon captured in
the fishery for various years, are presented in Appendix Tables
C-1 and C-8.
Figure 4 illustrates temporal changes in freshwater
and saltwater age composition of Quinault Lake sockeye salmon
by return year.
The Quinault sockeye salmon or blueback has always been culturally and economically important to the Quinault Indians, and its flavor has often been remarked upon.
Lestelle and Workman (1990) stated that
Culturally, this salmon run links Quinault people to their rich heritage as nothing else does. The salmon was always the very lifeblood of Quinault society, and the blueback was the most sacred of the various fish runs.
Brown (1982, p. 32) related that
The Chinook tribe . . . esteemed the Quinault sockeye so highly that they used it as an all-purpose term of excellence. Whites . . . picked this up and mistakenly applied the name to the most prized of the Columbia's runs, the salmon known as the Chinook. For half a century Chinook salmon were known as "Quinnat" . . .
Numerous early references to the superior
quality of Quinault Lake sockeye salmon exist (Willoughby 1889,
Curtright 1979), and the unusual quality of the flesh has often
been attributed to the stored energy reserves necessary to maintain
these fish through the long lake residence period prior to maturation
(QIN 1981, Lestelle and Workman 1990). This population of sockeye
salmon has long supported a commercial set-net fishery operated
by the Quinault Indian Nation near Taholah on the lower Quinault
The U.S. Bureau of Fisheries operated
a fish hatchery from 1914 to 1947 at Falls Creek on Quinault Lake
(this hatchery was referred to as the "Quinault, Washington
Station," and should not be confused with the present-day
Quinault National Fish Hatchery). This hatchery program utilized
native broodstock for the most part; however, out-of-basin transplant
history includes the transfer from Alaska of about 20 million
sockeye salmon eggs from 1916 to 1921 and 260,000 kokanee eggs
from Lake Whatcom in 1925 to the Quinault, Washington Station
on Falls Creek (see Appendix Tables D-1 and
D-5). Kokanee do
not currently inhabit Quinault Lake, although over 300,000 kokanee
fry from unnamed sources were released in Quinault Lake between
1917 and 1922 (WDFG 1919, 1921a, 1923) (see Appendix Table D-5).
A portion of the lower watershed above
Quinault Lake was logged in association with early homesteading
and Sitka spruce harvest for war plane construction during the
First World War. Around this period of time, severe erosion of
the banks of the upper Quinault River occurred, although it is
unknown whether logging caused this accelerated erosion, or whether
the erosion was part of a natural process (D. Boyer, Jr24). Today,
much of the upper Quinault River below the North Fork, where most
sockeye salmon spawning occurs, is a braided stream subject to
severe meander (Davidson and Barnaby 1936, Brown 1982, WDF et
al. 1993). Davidson and Barnaby (1936) reported that
The early settlers and inhabitants of this region describe the upper Quinault River as a large stream that flowed between two rather narrow heavily wooded banks. . . . the logging off of the watersheds of the river has caused excessive washing to the extent that there is no definite river bed but a wide river valley through which the stream frequently changes its course with the winter and spring freshets.
Severe storm runoff problems in the upper
Quinault River in the fall of 1990 and winter of 1990-1991 led
to a prolonged period of lake turbidity (S. A. Chitwood and D.
of adult sockeye salmon up the Ozette River and into Ozette Lake
occurs between dusk to dawn from April to early August (WDF et
al. 1993) (see Appendix Table C-6) or May to August
(Dlugokenski et al. 1981). Kemmerich (1945) counted sockeye salmon
past a weir constructed in the Ozette River in 1924, 1925, and
1926 between 27 May and 8 August, 8 June and 15 September, and
28 May and 8 September, respectively. Jacobs et al. (1996) noted
that the tribal sockeye salmon fishery in the lower Ozette River
that operated between 1948 and 1957, began in mid-April and peaked
from 2 to 15 June. Fifty sockeye salmon were
seen moving up the Ozette River on 20 October 1989 following a
rise in the lake level (LaRiviere 1991).
High water temperatures in Ozette Lake
and River and low water flows in the summer may create a thermal
block to migration and influence timing of the sockeye salmon
migration (LaRiviere 1991). Recorded water temperatures in late-July
and August in the Ozette River near the lake outlet have
exceeded the temperature range over which sockeye salmon are known
to migrate (J. Meyer26).
Currently, spawning is restricted to submerged
beaches where upwelling occurs along the lakeshore or to tributary
outwash fans (Dlugokenski et al. 1981, WDF et al. 1993). Spawning
has been variously reported to occur from mid- to late November
through early February (WDF et al. 1993) and from late November
to early April (Dlugokenski et al. 1981) (see Appendix Table C-6).
Dlugokenski et al. (1981) suggested that discreet sub-populations
may be present in the lake, as evidenced by disjunct spawning
times between beach spawners in different parts of the lake.
The two principle shoreline spawning beaches
for sockeye salmon in Ozette Lake are Olsen's Beach (or Olsen's
Landing) (north of Siwash Creek on the lake's eastern shore) and
the beach area north of Allen's Bay on the lake's western shore
(WDF et al. 1993, Jacobs et al. 1996). Reportedly, some spawning
has also been seen recently on the south shore of Baby Island
at the southern end of Lake Ozette (Jacobs et al. 1996). Historically,
sockeye salmon reportedly spawned in tributary creeks of Ozette
Lake, on the shoreline north of Umbrella Point, and in Ericson's
Bay (Dlugokenski et al. 1981, WDF et al. 1993, Jacobs et al. 1996).
A small degree of outlet spawning may occur in the Ozette River
or in Coal Creek, a tributary of Ozette River below Ozette Lake
(WDF et al. 1993, Jacobs et al. 1996, E. Currence and D. Dailey27
). A number of sockeye salmon fry were inadvertently released
in Umbrella Creek near the tribal hatchery in 1987, and 13 adult
sockeye salmon were noted spawning in this creek 4 years later,
in 1991. Over 8,000 sockeye salmon fry of the 1991 brood year
were released in Umbrella Creek in 1992 and approximately 30-50
sockeye salmon redds were counted in Umbrella Creek in the fall
of 1995 (Jacobs et al. 1996, E. Currence28).
Kemmerich (1945) reported that during
his work with sockeye salmon at Ozette Lake in the years 1923-1926,
"there was no evidence that they ascended any of the tributaries
of the lake to spawn." In reference to Ozette Lake sockeye
salmon, Kemmerich (1939) in a letter to R. E. Foerster stated
We made no special investigations of spawning beds during the years covered . . . but merely observed from time to time that most of the spawning seemed to be along the lake shore in suitable places and especially at the mouths of the several creeks. I do not recall that any sockeyes ascended any of the creeks to spawn but it seems to me that spawning took place during the latter part of September and October.
Abundance of sockeye salmon outmigrant
smolts from Ozette Lake was estimated in 1977 at 9,600 (Dlugokenski
et al. 1981), in 1990 at 7,942, and in 1992 at 2,752 (Jacobs et
al. 1996). Based on these numbers and adult returns 2 years later
(see Jacobs et al. 1996, their table 3), ocean survival of broodyears
1975, 1990, and 1991 were 5.6%, 18%, and 27%, respectively (Jacobs
et al. 1996).
A total of 13 species of fish occur in
Ozette Lake (see Appendix Table B-4). Dlugokenski et al. (1981)
and Blum (1984) listed potential competitors with sockeye salmon
juveniles in Ozette Lake, including kokanee, red sided shiner
(Richardsonius balteatus), northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus
oregonensis), yellow perch (Perca flavescens), and
peamouth (Mylocheilus caurinus). Potential predators listed
by these same authors included cutthroat trout (Salmo clarki),
northern squawfish (Ptychocheilus oregonensis), and prickly
sculpin (Cottus asper). Beauchamp et al. (1995) showed
that competition is unlikely to limit the sockeye salmon population
in Ozette Lake; however, predation on juvenile sockeye salmon,
which was 25 times greater by individual cutthroat trout than
by individual squawfish, may be limiting, although total predator
abundance has yet to be assessed.
Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) migrate
up the Ozette River into Ozette Lake and have been seen feeding
on adult sockeye salmon off the spawning beaches in Ozette Lake.
The numbers of seals and the number of salmon taken by each seal
is unknown. Seal predation on sockeye salmon at the river mouth
and during the salmon's migration up the Ozette River may also
be occurring. The upriver migration of harbor seals to feed on
adult sockeye salmon is common in British Columbia, occurring
100 miles upriver on the Fraser River at Harrison Lake and up
to 200 miles inland on the Skeena River (Foerster 1968). Sockeye
salmon migrate up to Ozette Lake in less than 48 hours and the
majority of adults travel at night (Jacobs et al. 1996).
Chamberlain (1907, p. 40) reported that
"dwarf sockeye" were present in Ozette Lake around the
turn of the century, and it is likely that kokanee were present
prehistorically in Ozette Lake. Between 5,000 and 10,000 kokanee
spawn in small tributaries to Ozette Lake, and Dlugokenski et
al. (1981) and Beauchamp et al. (1995) thought that these numbers
of kokanee were insufficient to deplete food resources for sockeye
salmon. Dlugokenski et al. (1981, p. 34) reported that kokanee
spawn not only in tributaries, but also spawn interspersed with
sockeye salmon on the lakeshore in mid-November to early December.
Over 108,000 kokanee fry from the Lake Crescent Trout hatchery
were planted in Ozette Lake in 1940 (Kloempken 1996, see Appendix
Table D-5). An unknown number of kokanee from an unknown stock
were reportedly planted in Ozette Lake in 1958 (Dlugokenski et
Kemmerich's (1945) escapement counts for
sockeye salmon to Ozette Lake were 3,241 in 1924 (a portion of
the run was missed), 6,343 in 1925, and 2,210 in 1926. No information
relative to the down-river catch of sockeye salmon in the Makah
Tribal fishery was available for this time period. Dlugokenski
et al. (1981) reported that smolt outmigration occurs during the
hours of darkness and peaks around 6 May, and that Ozette Lake
sockeye salmon have the third largest yearling smolt size of any
population reported in the literature. Data on smolt size and
age are presented in Appendix Table C-4 and smolt outmigration
period in Appendix Table C-5.
In 1937, almost 450,000 sockeye salmon
fingerlings cultured at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Quilcene
Hatchery derived from eggs received from the Birdsview Hatchery
on Grandy Creek (Skagit River Basin) were released into Ozette
Lake (Kemmerich 1945, Boomer 1995) (see Appendix Table D-2).
Sockeye salmon of the 1936 brood-year at the Birdsview Hatchery
were composed primarily of Baker Lake broodstock and a probable
Fraser River and Quinault Lake component (Kemmerich 1945). In
1983, 120,000 Quinault Lake sockeye salmon fry were released into
Ozette Lake (MFMD n.d., Hill 1984). Between 1984 and 1995, almost
0.5 million Ozette Lake-origin sockeye salmon fry were reared
at the Makah Tribal Hatchery on Umbrella Creek, a tributary of
Ozette Lake, and released into the Ozette Lake drainage (MFMD
n.d.) (see Appendix Table D-2). Spawning stock for this hatchery
effort have been captured on the lakeshore spawning grounds (WDF
et al. 1993).
Outside of that portion in Olympic National
Park, virtually the entire watershed of Ozette Lake has been logged
(Blum 1988). A combination of past overfishing and spawning habitat
degradation, due to stream and tributary outwash fan siltation,
associated with timber harvest and road building, have been cited
as major causes of this stock's decline (Bortleson and Dion 1979,
Dlugokenski et al. 1981, Blum 1988, WDF et al. 1993). McHenry
et al. (1994) found that percent fine sediments (<0.85 mm)
averaged 18.7% in Ozette Lake tributaries (although these levels
may be partly attributable to the occurrence of sandstones, siltstones,
and mudstones in this basin) and fine sediment levels were consistently
higher in logged watersheds than in unlogged watersheds on the
Olympic Peninsula, as a whole.
During low water levels in summer, much
of the beach habitat may become exposed (Bortleson and Dion 1979).
The exotic plant, reed canary grass (Phalaria arundinacea),
has been encroaching on sockeye salmon spawning beaches in Ozette
Lake, particularly on the shoreline north of Umbrella Creek, where
sockeye spawning has not occurred for several years. This plant
survives overwinter submergence in up to 3 feet of water and may
possibly provide cover for predators of sockeye salmon fry (J.
H. Meyer29). Suitable lakeshore spawning habitat for sockeye salmon
is reported to be extremely limited in Ozette Lake (Blum 1984,
Pauley et al. 1989).
salmon that spawn and rear in Lake Pleasant enter the Quillayute
River and migrate up the Sol Duc River in May to September. Normally,
this stock remains, throughout the summer, in the Sol Duc River
at the confluence with Lake Creek (the Lake Pleasant outlet stream)
until the creek receives sufficient water input to allow the fish
to migrate up to Lake Pleasant. Sufficient stream discharge to
allow upstream migration does not usually occur until late October
to early November (WDF et al. 1993, J. Haymes30). Sockeye salmon
spawn predominantly on lakeshore beaches from late November to
early January. Little spawning has been observed in streams tributary
to Lake Pleasant (WDF et al. 1993). In describing a survey of
potential habitat for sockeye salmon introductions on the Olympic
Peninsula undertaken prior to 1932, Kemmerich (1945) stated that
It was found that a small run of sockeye or blueback salmon already enters Lake Pleasant by way of the Sol Duc River and Lake Creek and these natural run fish were found to be in individual size comparable with the size of the fish of the Lake Quinault and Columbia River runs.
Currently, sockeye salmon in the Lake
Pleasant stock are said to weigh no more than about 2 to 3 pounds
(0.9 to 1.4 kg) (J. Haymes31), which is considerably less than sockeye
salmon from Quinault Lake, with the exception of the very few
jacks and jills recorded from Quinault Lake (see Appendix Table
C-8). Limited data on smolt size are presented in Appendix Table
C-4. Average length of spawners collected in 1995 and 1996 for
genetic analysis were 451 mm (n=10) and 460 (n=72) for males,
and 459 mm (n=5) and 456 (n=28) for females, respectively (see
Appendix Table C-8). This stock has the smallest average adult
body size of any sockeye salmon stock in Washington.
The following out-of-basin introductions
of sockeye salmon into Lake Pleasant occurred in the 1930s: 1)
in 1933, 210,000, and in 1937, 75,000, fingerlings derived from
the Birdsview Hatchery were released into Lake Pleasant (assuming
a 4-year return cycle, the 1932 and 1936 Birdsview Hatchery broodstock
were descended from mixed releases of the progeny of Fraser River
sockeye salmon in 1908 and 1912; Quinault Lake sockeye salmon
in 1916; and Baker Lake sockeye salmon in 1920 and 1928), and
2) in 1934, 175,000 fingerlings from the Birdsview Hatchery were
released into Lake Pleasant (the 1933 broodyear was composed of
Baker Lake broodstock) (Kemmerich 1945, Boomer 1995) (see Appendix
Fisheries biologists of the Washington
Department of Fisheries undertook a survey of Lake Pleasant in
July and September of 1952, in part to determine its suitability
for sockeye salmon rearing (Smoker et al. 1952, Heg 1953). These
two reports were written with the assumption that sockeye salmon
were absent from, or very rare in, Lake Pleasant at this time.
Smoker et al. (1952) stated that
The suitability of Lake Pleasant for the rearing of sockeye can be better determined by further examination. Its carrying capacity can only be learned by making a plant and watching the results. . . . Local residents speak rather vaguely of occasional "bluebacks" being taken in the lower creek. These could be either sockeye or sea-run cutthroats. . . . Upper Lake Creek would provide good spawning for early-run sockeye. Spawning in the lake itself would be negligible.
Heg (1953) stated that
Local residents report that Lake Pleasant used to support a small run of sockeye salmon. However, in view of the large scrap fish population, the unfavorable temperature conditions, and the occurrence of dry years of extreme low flows in the outlet stream, it does not appear likely that this lake can be developed into an important sockeye producer.
In 1956, Lake Pleasant was treated with
rotenone by the Washington Department of Game in an attempt to
eliminate all the resident fish in the lake and its tributaries
in anticipation of using Lake Pleasant as rearing habitat for
winter steelhead. Since the rotenone treatment only occurred
in a single year, anadromous fish with multiple broodyear life
histories were probably less affected by this program than resident
fish. A box-lattice type fish trap was operated in the outlet
creek (Lower Lake Creek) between 1958 and 1962 or 1963 during
the winter steelhead run; however, this trap reportedly did not
impede the adult sockeye salmon migration (J. Ayerst32).
Crutchfield et al. (1965) reported that
an adult trap was operated in Lake Creek in the fall of 1960,
1961, and 1962. During these years, total counts of sockeye salmon
at this trap were 1,223, 1,485, and 763, respectively. In the
spring of 1958, 64,946 juvenile sockeye salmon smolts were counted
in a downstream migrant trap placed in Lake Creek (Crutchfield
et al. 1965). Migration of sockeye salmon up Lake Creek may have
been interrupted for a few years in the early to mid-1970s due
to operation of a weir to trap chinook salmon for artificial propagation
(S. A. Chitwood33).
Kokanee-size O. nerka currently
occur in Lake Pleasant, although their origin is uncertain. Smoker
et al. (1952) stated that
The State Game Department made apparently unsuccessful plants of silver trout [kokanee] in 1936, 1937 and 1938.
No further information on historical or
recent kokanee introductions was available. Both kokanee-sized
fish and sockeye salmon have been observed spawning at the same
place and time on lakeshore beaches of Lake Pleasant (R. Gustafson,
NMFS, Pers. observ., November 1995). Most Lake Pleasant sockeye
salmon display a dirty red coloration on the spawning grounds
Rathbun (1900) indicated that, historically,
sockeye salmon began arriving at the mouth of the Baker River
in the middle of June and reached Baker Lake chiefly during July.
Spawning occurred both in the lake and in Noisy Creek and "Sutter
River" (upper Baker River?) beginning near the end of August
or early September (Rathbun 1900, p. 269). The State of Washington
established a hatchery, principally for sockeye salmon propagation,
at Baker Lake in 1896. Baker Lake Hatchery was sold to the U.S.
Fish Commission in 1899 and continued propagating the majority
of returning sockeye salmon to this system until the end of 1933
Early reports of the Baker Lake Station
included in Reports of the U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries
(Ravenel 1901, 1902; Titcomb 1904), indicated that spawning sockeye
salmon occurred both along the shoreline and in the Upper Baker
River. Around the turn of the century, gill nets were used to
capture adult sockeye salmon for hatchery broodstock along lake
shore spawning beds, and racks were placed in the upper Baker
River in an attempt to prevent sockeye salmon from ascending the
river (Ravenel 1901, 1902; Titcomb 1904). Ravenel (1902) estimated
that in 1900 over 25% of adult sockeye salmon in Baker Lake ascended
the upper Baker River to spawn. Surveys conducted by WDF personnel
in 1954 and 1955 showed that 95% of the sockeye salmon in the
Baker River system at that time, spawned in Baker Lake on shoreline
beaches (Quistorff 1954a,b,c; Quistorff 1959; PRO-Salmon 1994).
Quistorff (1955) stated that
Spawning sockeye salmon were observed in heaviest concentrations along the mid- south shore of Baker Lake where a condition of underground water movement was found.
Some spawning sockeye salmon were also observed by Quistorff (1955) in Channel Creek and in the main upper Baker River one quarter mile downstream of Channel Creek.
Hamilton and Andrew (1954) stated that
sockeye salmon spawned in the upper Baker River without mention
of shoreline spawning. However, Wayne (1961) stated that "the
natural spawning areas for sockeye salmon . . . had been located
along the north shore of the lake." It is unknown whether
sockeye salmon that originally spawned on the shoreline of Baker
Lake, and to some degree in tributaries of Baker Lake, consisted
of a single genetic stock or multiple stocks. However, as pointed
out in Hendry and Quinn (1997), between 1899 and 1933 hatchery
operations "thoroughly mixed the descendants of any subpopulations
that might initially have been present."
Construction of Lower Baker Dam just above the town of Concrete on the Baker River in 1924 to 1927 created Lake Shannon Reservoir (Wayne 1961). During dam construction in 1925, approximately 8,000-10,000 adult sockeye salmon were blocked from reaching Baker Lake, and only 40 sockeye salmon were successively lifted over the dam and eventually reached Baker Lake (Kemmerich 1945). Between 1926 and 1957, sockeye salmon were trapped at the base of Lower Baker Dam and transported over the dam in small steel tanks on a 244-m-long highline cableway and then chuted into the reservoir (Wayne 1961).
Pre-spawner mortalities occurred below
the dam (Wayne 1961), and escapement records for this period are
for sockeye salmon that actually passed over the dam; Kemmerich
(1945) estimated that 20-25% of sockeye salmon counted over the
dam between 1926 and 1933 never reached Baker Lake due to mortalities
resulting from this handling.
Following cessation of propagation efforts in 1933, and until construction of Upper Baker Dam in 1956, sockeye salmon that reached Baker Lake were allowed to spawn naturally. At that time, outmigrating sockeye salmon either passed over the surface spillway of Lower Baker Dam (where mortality was estimated at 64% when one spillway was open) or through the turbines (where mortality was estimated at 34%) (Hamilton and Andrew 1954). Hamilton and Andrew (1954) estimated that the sockeye salmon population had declined by 55% since dam construction. Use of a ski-jump spillway, first installed in 1955, considerably decreased spillway mortalities (Regenthal 1955) but resulted in loss of potential hydroelectric power (Wayne 1961).
Construction of Upper Baker Dam in 1959
inundated the original Baker Lake and created New Baker Lake (Upper
Baker Reservoir), submerging the natural lakeshore spawning beaches
and most of the potential tributary spawning areas beneath more
than 18 m of water (Wayne 1961). Today this reservoir is commonly
referred to as Baker Lake.
Fish handling facilities were updated
in the late 1950s with construction of a new barrier dam and fish
trap 0.8 km downstream of Lower Baker Dam. These events induced
the use of tanker trucks for transporting adult sockeye salmon
to Baker Lake, construction of artificial spawning beaches adjacent
to Channel Creek above Baker Lake, the installation of turbine-pump-operated
smolt collecting barges ("gulpers") at the head of each
dam, and 20 to 25-cm-diameter fish transportation pipes that guided
smolts from the gulpers through the face of each dam to be deposited
into the tailrace channel below each dam (Wayne 1961, Quistorff
1966). Use of the transportation pipe through Upper Baker Dam
was discontinued in 1987, and outmigrating juvenile sockeye salmon
trapped since then at the Upper Baker Dam gulper have been trucked
from Upper Baker Dam to the Baker River below Lower Baker Dam.
Guide nets have subsequently been installed at both dams to discourage
outmigrating fish from going over the spillways or through the
Artificial sockeye salmon spawning beaches
1, 2, and 3 were constructed in 1957, 1959, and 1966, respectively
above Baker Lake off Channel Creek. Beach 1 ceased operation
in 1965, but the spawner capacity of beaches 2 and 3 continues
at 1,500 adult sockeye salmon each. Sockeye salmon fry from beaches
2 and 3 currently leave the beaches on their own volition through
outlets into Channel Creek and from there into Baker Lake. The
future of spawning beaches 2 and 3 is uncertain. According to
WDFW (1996), "the state and tribes favor the continued use
of beaches 2 and 3, but Puget Power and the Forest Service would
like to close them." Spawning beach 4, on Sulphur Creek,
below Upper Baker Dam, began operating in 1990 with a spawner
capacity of 3,000. Fry leaving beach 4 are captured and hauled
by tanker truck to Baker Lake.
Since the construction in 1958 of a barrier
dam and fish trap below Lower Baker Dam, adult sockeye salmon
have been trapped and hauled by tanker truck to the spawning beaches
or to Baker Lake. Since 1986, a portion of the fry leaving the
spawning beaches have been collected and reared in net-pens in
Lake Shannon Reservoir prior to being released as smolts through
the Lower Baker Dam gulper. Total smolt releases between 1987
and 1992 were over 400,000 (WDF et al. 1993) (see Appendix Table
D-2 and "Artificial Propagation" section). It was stated
in WDFW (1996) that
The future of the net pen program is uncertain. There have been three consecutive years of major IHN outbreaks in the net pens. Although the program did increase egg-to-smolt survival, it did not increase smolt-to-adult survival. In 1996, sockeye fry (brood year 1995) are not expected to be taken to the net pens.
Currently, adult sockeye salmon return
to the Baker River trap from mid-June to mid-August and spawn
in the artificial beaches from late September through December,
peaking from late October to late November (WDF et al. 1993).
In addition to releases into the artificial spawning beaches,
significant numbers of adult sockeye salmon were released into
Baker Lake in 1967, 1972, and 1994, and most likely in 1962, 1963,
and 1964, as well (WDFW 1996). For instance, over 1,000 sockeye
salmon (25% of the fish trap count) were released in Baker Lake
in 1967 (Orrell 1969). The return of almost 16,000 sockeye salmon
to Baker River in 1994 far exceeded the 4,000-fish capacity of
the spawning beaches. Following consultations between WDFW and
the Skagit System Cooperative (representing Skagit River area
tribes) regarding a fishery on this stock, the remaining 12,000
adults were liberated into Baker Lake in an experiment
to determine survival rate and production potential for natural
spawning of sockeye salmon in Baker Lake (J. Ames35).
The lower portion of the upper Baker River
is now a braided stream subject to severe meander and, like shoreline
spawning habitat, is subject to effects of reservoir drawdown
in winter and spring (G. Sprague36). Baker Lake and beaches 2 and
3 near Channel Creek commonly freeze over in winter, but Lake
Shannon and beach 4 never freeze over (G. Sprague37).
Kokanee are present in the system, although
Ward (1929, 1930, 1932) and Kemmerich (1945) thought that "kokanee-sized"
O. nerka in Baker Lake were derived from sockeye salmon
residuals. Following construction of Lower Baker Dam, resident
O. nerka were observed spawning in Baker Lake for the first
time and were presumed to have originated from sockeye salmon
residualizing in Lake Shannon Reservoir (Ward 1929, 1930, 1932,
Between 1991 and 1994, 1,158,200 hatchery
reared Lake Whatcom kokanee were released in Lake Shannon (Knutzen
1995). Lake Whatcom kokanee were reportedly released into Baker
Lake in the past,38 although we were unable to locate stocking records.
In average years, 40-100 "kokanee-sized" O. nerka
spawn in the outlet channel that drains the two upper sockeye
salmon spawning beaches and flows into Channel Creek (W. Steuer39).
It is possible that a portion of the kokanee that have been recently
planted in Lake Shannon Reservoir from Lake Whatcom stock may
have outmigrated through the Lower Baker Dam gulper. It is unknown
whether these potential outmigrating kokanee have returned as
sockeye salmon; however, if they have, they would presumably have
been placed together with native sockeye salmon in the spawning
beaches (G. Sprague40).
following historical overview of changes to the Lake Washington
Basin has been compiled from Evermann and Meek (1898), Ajwani
(1956), Woodey (1966), Larson (1975), Stickney and McDonald (1977),
Corsaletti (1981), Chrzastowski (1983), and Buerge (1985, 1989).
Between 1911 and 1916, construction of
the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and associated engineering projects,
profoundly altered both the natural drainage patterns of Lake
Washington and potential migratory routes of anadromous fish native
to the basin. During this period, the Cedar River was diverted
to discharge into Lake Washington, the level of Lake Washington
was lowered approximately 3 m, the outlet into the Black River
ceased to exist, the Sammamish River channel was widened and deepened,
and the newly constructed Lake Washington Ship Canal became the
new lake outlet.
Historically, Lake Washington drained
to the south through the Black River, which flowed for 5.3 km
to its confluence with the White River (now the Green River) to
form the Duwamish River and then flowed into Puget Sound. The
Cedar River entered the Black River less than 1 km below the Lake
Washington outlet, and Lake Washington's principal tributary was
the Sammamish River (historically called Squak Slough). The Black
River had an average depth of 1.2 m and ranged in width from 15
to 46 m. At flood stage, the Cedar River commonly reversed the
flow of the upper segment of the Black River, causing Cedar River
water to flow into Lake Washington. At these times, the Black
River had water flowing in opposite directions at its two ends,
north into Lake Washington and west into the Duwamish River.
This is why the Black River was called "Mox La Push,"
meaning "two mouths," in the Chinook jargon. Prehistorically,
the Cedar River may have been a major tributary to Lake Washington
In 1911, construction on the locks (now
the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks), dam, and Fremont and Montlake
Cuts began. According to Chrzastowski (1983) and Buerge (1985,
1989), the Cedar River was permanently diverted into Lake Washington
in the summer of 1912 by excavation of a channelway 24 m wide
and 610 m long. This diversion was precipitated by severe flooding
on the Cedar River in the winter of 1911 that required the evacuation
of the city of Renton. The locks were completed in the spring
of 1916, and by 25 July 1916 the level of Salmon Bay had
been raised to equal that of Lake Union. The lowering of the
level of Lake Washington to that of Lake Union was gradual, occurring
over a 4-month period from July to October 1916 (Stickney and
McDonald 1977, Chrzastowski 1983). The lowering of Lake Washington
also increased the gradient of the Sammamish River, making it
too shallow and narrow for navigation, and leading to the widening,
deepening, and channelization of the Sammamish River in 1916 by
the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Stickney and McDonald 1977,
Chrzastowski 1983). The opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal
was celebrated on 4 July 1917.
The lowering of Lake Washington in 1916
left the channel of the Black River high and dry, while the diversion
of the Cedar River into Lake Washington in 1912 caused the Cedar
River to become Lake Washington's principal tributary and approximately
doubled the flow of freshwater into Lake Washington. Ajwani (1956)
Whether the runs of fish occurring at the time of these diversions were eliminated or what the degree of their reduction was, cannot be determined because of lack of data.
Reports in the literature are equivocal
as to whether sockeye salmon were historically present in the
Lake Washington/Lake Sammamish Basin prior to 1916, although kokanee
were numerous. Prior to construction of the Lake Washington Ship
Canal, fishing for "silvers" and "trout" was
reported to be at its best near the confluence of the Black River
and Lake Washington (Larson 1975, Slauson 1976). Silver salmon
is a common local name for coho salmon, while in the early part
of this century kokanee were called "silver trout" (and
are still so designated in Washington State fishery regulations).
Hammond (1886), in reference to Lakes Washington and Sammamish,
The only fish in them is a species of trout, very few in number, the largest of which are about a foot in length.
Seale (1895) reported the collection of
"six large specimens" of "dark" O. nerka
taken in Lake Washington on 7 November 1892 and two others,
"more silvery in color," taken on 30 June 1895. No
dimensions for these fish were recorded, although the species
was reportedly "very abundant" (Seale 1895). Woodey
(1966) surmised from the dates of collection and coloration of
the specimens that the O. nerka reported by Seale (1895)
were most likely kokanee. Four of Seale's (1895) specimens of
O. nerka collected in Lake Washington on 7 November 1892
are currently deposited in the California Academy of Sciences
fish collection (D. Catania41). The relatively short fork lengths
of these 4 specimens (241-249 mm) indicate that Seale's (1895)
"six large specimens" of O. nerka were kokanee,
not sockeye salmon.
Jordan and Evermann (1896) reported that
Prof. O. B. Johnson observed large "redfish," presumably
sockeye salmon, at Lake Washington. Evermann (1896) reported
that the "small redfish" was found at Lake Washington,
and goes on to say that
Prof. O. B. Johnson found the small form spawning in Lake Washington near the last of November, 1888, and on October 8, 1889.
Evermann and Meek (1898), in reference
to Lake Washington, stated that
Salmon are said to enter the lake through the Black River early in the fall, but none was seen. They are probably the large form of the redfish or sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka). Redfish are said to run up into shallow places during the latter part of October and a part of November . . .
All stocks of sockeye salmon presently
found in Lake Washington complete their migration into Lake Washington
before the end of August (WDF et al. 1993), suggesting that the
salmon Evermann and Meek (1898) reported as entering the Black
River in the fall were not sockeye salmon, or that sockeye salmon
had radically different run-timing in Lake Washington in the 1890s
compared to the present day, and that this stock is now extinct.
While seining in Lake Washington, Evermann and Meek (1898) collected
17 "small redfish" ranging in length from 24 to 27 cm,
but did not collect anadromous-sized O. nerka.
In regard to Lake Sammamish, Evermann
and Meek (1898) stated "no information could be obtained
as to what kind of salmon enter the lake," but reported that
local residents said that redfish were plentiful in "Squak
Slough" (Sammamish River) and that "salmon run with
the redfish." Evermann and Meek (1898) presumed that redfish,
or "grayling" as they were called locally, spawned from
the latter part of October to early or mid-November.
Subsequent authors either stated that
a small population of sockeye salmon occurred in Lake Washington
(Rathbun 1900; Evermann and Goldsborough 1907; Cobb 1911, 1914,
1930) or that Baker River had the only population of sockeye salmon
in Puget Sound (Cobb 1927, Rounsefell and Kelez 1938, Royal and
Seymour 1940, Kemmerich 1945). Pratt and Jewell (1972) reported
that no record has been located of "sea-run" sockeye
salmon in Lake Washington prior to their introduction in 1935.
Surveys conducted on the Cedar River, Big Bear Creek, Cottage
Lake Creek, and Evans Creek on 2 and 3 September 1930 did not
report the occurrence of sockeye salmon (WDFG 1932). Currently,
early September is near the beginning of sockeye salmon spawn
timing for these streams (WDF et al. 1993). In reviewing the
history of O. nerka in the Lake Washington/Lake Sammamish
drainage, Hendry (1995) concluded that "limited runs of sockeye
salmon . . . were probably present at the turn of the century,"
The status of Lake Washington sockeye salmon during this period (1917-1937) will probably never be fully determined but it is certainly unlikely that large populations were present.
Sockeye salmon vertebral remains were identified in prehistoric fish remains from the Duwamish No. 1 archeological site (45-KI-23), located 3.8 km upstream from Elliot Bay on the Duwamish River, utilized by aboriginal humans between A.D. 15 and A. D. 1654 (Butler 1987). Fish remains from two archeological sites on the former Black River, Tualdad Altu (45-KI-59, Earlington site) and Sbabadid-D (45-KI-51-D), revealed numerous Oncorhynchus sp. remains, but identification to the species level was not undertaken in this study (Chatters 1988, Butler 1990).
Smith (1940), reporting on cultural interviews
with local tribal elders, stated that "when asked about the
red salmon (O. nerka) informants said the silver side might
be called that as it turned red in freshwater, but they knew of
no separate species by this name." Smith (1940) goes on
A small salmon was said to live permanently in Lake Washington spawning in the creeks which emptied into the lake. The Duwamish of that section and even those at the intersection of the White and Green Rivers were said to prefer this salmon to that which entered the rivers from the Sound.
This reference to land-locked salmon most
likely refers to the numerous kokanee then present in Lake Washington.
The undisputed historic presence of kokanee
in Lake Washington indicates that sockeye salmon existed in Lake
Washington, at least in prehistoric times. Several factors may
have favored subsequent evolution of kokanee (and non-anadromy)
at the expense of anadromous O. nerka in Lake Washington.
Chrzastowski (1983) stated
For most of the year, Lake Washington in its natural state was a poorly flushed lake, and water quality reportedly worsened noticeably during the dry season (July-Sept.) when the lake was relatively stagnant. Average residence time for the lake water in the natural state probably was about twice the present-day value, or nearly 5 years.
In addition, spring floods on the Cedar
River that commonly backed up the Black River into Lake Washington
(preventing the lake from draining for a time) would probably
have occurred during the period of potential smolt outmigration
(March to early June). Both these factors (low flushing rate
and difficulty of locating the outlet during flood stages) may
have inhibited smolt outmigration.
Foerster (1937) found that when surface
epilimnion temperatures rose above 10oC in Cultus Lake, a physiological
temperature barrier was formed that terminated downstream migration
of young sockeye salmon. The observations of Foerster (1937)
may be used to support the hypothesis that prior to diversion
of the Cedar River into Lake Washington, which more than doubled
the lake's water budget, relatively low outflow and seasonal development
of a deep epilimnion of warm water may have presented a physical
and/or physiological impediment to downstream sockeye salmon smolt
migration. Recent historical changes in the drainage pattern
of Lake Washington may have created conditions that were more
favorable to development of anadromous O. nerka. However,
it should be noted that currently sockeye salmon smolts in Lake
Washington are known to continue to outmigrate into June through
17oC temperature water (Warner 1997).
WDF et al. (1993) recognized three separate
stocks of sockeye salmon currently in the Lake Washington/Lake
Sammamish drainage: Cedar River, Lake Washington/Lake Sammamish
Tributaries, and Lake Washington beach spawning. WDF et al. (1993)
indicated that sockeye salmon stocks that spawned in the Cedar
River were of non-native origin, and stocks that spawned in other
Lake Washington/Lake Sammamish tributaries and on lakeshore beach
habitat in Lake Washington were of unknown origin and were perhaps
native to the drainage.
Available artificial propagation data
and transplantation records provide evidence that the current
Cedar River and Issaquah Creek (a tributary of Lake Sammamish)
sockeye salmon are introduced populations (Royal and Seymour 1940,
Kolb 1971, Burgner 1991) (see Appendix Table D-2). The majority
of Cedar River sockeye salmon spawn from mid-September into January
(a few are still spawning in February), with a peak in mid- to
late October (WDF et al. 1993). The Cedar River population was
believed by Kemmerich (1945), Royal and Seymour (1940), Kolb (1971),
and Pratt and Jewell (1972) to be derived from the direct planting
of over 1 million fry and fingerlings between 1935 and 1944 (see
Appendix Table D-2 and "
Artificial Propagation" section).
These introductions originated from a sockeye salmon stock perpetuated
at the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries Birdsview Hatchery on Grandy Creek
in the Skagit River Basin.
The Birdsview Hatchery stock was started
in 1908 from Fraser River sockeye salmon captured in commercial
traps at Point Roberts, and egg takes in 1912 and 1916 indicate
that substantial numbers of adult fish returned from these initial
releases in Grandy Creek and Grandy Lake (Kemmerich 1945). In
1916, fry derived from Quinault Lake were used to supplement the
Birdsview Hatchery stock (Kemmerich 1945, see Appendix Table D-2).
However, over the years 1914-1945 the parent stock for this hatchery
program was overwhelmingly Baker Lake sockeye salmon (Kemmerich
Out-of-basin releases in the Lake Washington/Lake
Sammamish Basin totaled over 3.4 million fry and fingerlings from releases
of 1) an unknown stock in 1917, 2) Birdsview Hatchery stock between
1935 and 1945, and 3) Cultus Lake stock released in 1944, 1950,
and 1954 (Woodey 1966, Kolb 1971, Hendry 1995) (see Appendix Table
D-2). From 1947 to 1970, adult sockeye salmon returning to the
Issaquah Hatchery provided broodstock for numerous additional
fry and fingerling releases to Issaquah Creek, and limited releases
to Lake Union and the Cedar River (Kolb 1971).
Sockeye salmon in the Lake Washington/Lake
Sammamish tributaries stock spawn primarily in Big Bear Creek,
Cottage Lake Creek, and East Fork Issaquah Creek, with minor numbers
in other Lake Sammamish tributaries (WDF et al. 1993), such as
Laughing Jacobs and Lewis Creeks (Ostergaard et al. 1994). Spawning
in these creeks extends from early September through November,
with a peak in mid- to late October, depending on stream flow.
Issaquah Creek received sockeye salmon fry and fingerling plants
of over 1.6 million Birdsview Hatchery-origin fish between 1935
and 1945, and over 59,000 Cultus Lake-origin fish in 1950 and 1954. North Creek, a
Sammamish River tributary, received over 23,000 Cultus Lake sockeye
salmon fry planted in 1944 (Kolb 1971).
Kemmerich (1945), reporting on the effectiveness
of introductions of sockeye salmon of the 1934 broodyear from
the Birdsview Hatchery into the Cedar River and Issaquah Creek,
stated that two sockeye salmon were found "in the Bear Creek
fish trap of the State Game Department" on 5 October 1938.
No sockeye salmon had been planted in Big Bear Creek up to this
point, with the exception of fry planted in the spring of 1937
which would not have reached maturity in 1938. However, Kemmerich
(1945) pointed out that 76,000 sockeye salmon fry from Baker Lake
had been planted in Issaquah Creek in the summer of 1935. Out-of-basin
releases of O. nerka fry into Big Bear Creek and its two
tributaries, Cottage Lake Creek and Evans Creek, included 576,000
sockeye salmon fry, primarily of Baker Lake origin, stocked in
Big Bear Creek in 1937 (Royal and Seymour 1940, Kemmerich 1945,
Kolb 1971). In addition, over 34 million Lake Whatcom kokanee
were stocked in Big Bear and Evans Creeks between 1917 and 1969
(Pfeifer 1992), and over 177,000 kokanee from an unknown source
population stocked in Big Bear Creek in 1917 (Pfeifer 1992) (see
Appendix Tables D-2 and D-5).
Kokanee used for stock transfers in the
early part of this century were most commonly derived from either
Kootenay Lake, British Columbia or Lake Whatcom, Washington (Pfeifer
1992). Pfeifer (1992) stated that
I cannot rule out the possibility that kokanee from Kootenay Lake were among the many early introductions for which the egg or fry source was not explicitly recorded. In the Lake Washington system, the kokanee found in Big Bear Creek exhibit a spawn timing intermediate to that of the Kootenay and Whatcom strains, and are found spawning alongside the anadromous form.
Currently, kokanee in the Lake Washington/Lake
Sammamish Basin can be separated into two groups based on very
different spawn timing; 1) a group of early-entry kokanee in
Issaquah Creek (a tributary at the southern end of Lake Sammamish)
that exhibit late July to early September spawn timing, and 2)
kokanee in the Sammamish River and Lake Sammamish tributaries,
including a second run of kokanee in Issaquah Creek that spawn
in September/October in Big Bear Creek, October/November in Issaquah
Creek, and late November/December in Laughing Jacobs and Lewis
Creeks (Pfeifer 1992, Ostergaard et al. 1995). Ostergaard et
al. (1995) stated that early entering kokanee in Issaquah Creek
are known to be native, while kokanee in other tributaries to
Lake Sammamish and the Sammamish River are believed to be non-native,
based on their later run-timing. Ostergaard (1996) listed 8 creeks,
tributary to the east and south shores of Lake Sammamish, that
historically supported native early entering kokanee. Ostergaard
(1996) estimated the 4-year (1992-1995) total spawning population
of these kokanee in Issaquah Creek at 81 fish.
Kokanee once existed in streams tributary
to Lake Washington, other than the Sammamish and Cedar Rivers.
Shultz and Students (1935) observed kokanee spawning in Swamp
Creek, a tributary of the lower Sammamish River, from September
to November 1933. The University of Washington Fish Collection
has specimens of kokanee collected in Swamp Creek on 30 August
1920, 28 October 1928, and 27 November 1933. Since these observations
and collections were made before the first recorded transplants
of kokanee to Swamp Creek (see Appendix Table D-5), it is apparent
that not all kokanee native to the Lake Washington/Lake Sammamish
Basin had exclusively early run-timing.
Spawning sockeye salmon intermingle with
spawning Big Bear Creek and late-entry Issaquah Creek kokanee
(Pfeifer 1992), as well as with kokanee spawning in Laughing Jacobs
and Lewis Creeks (Ostergaard et al. 1995). Kokanee are also reported
to spawn together with sockeye salmon in the Cedar River (Pfeifer
1992), although the coloration of Cedar River kokanee-sized fish is typical of the coloration
shown by residuals in other lake systems (J. Ames42).
Pfeiffer (1992) stated that fish traps
were operated in Big Bear Creek by the King County Game Department
and the Washington Department of Game in the 1930s. In reference
to Big Bear Creek, Ajwani (1956, p. 67-68) stated that
A wooden weir was constructed across the stream in 1925, when the County Game Commission was in operation. At that time the county would take all the eggs obtained from the silver trout run and either plant or trade these eggs elsewhere. . . . For its size, this stream is . . . one of the largest producers of silver trout in the state.
The run-timing of kokanee in Big Bear Creek is essentially concurrent with that of anadromous sockeye salmon: from early September to late November with a peak in the first to second week of October (Ostergaard et al. 1995). Therefore, kokanee fish traps and weirs operated in Big Bear Creek in the 1920s and 1930s would presumably have impeded migration of sockeye salmon that may have been in the system at that time. Prior to the single recorded transplant of 576,000 sockeye salmon fry into Big Bear Creek in 1937 and the recorded return of 2 adults in October 1938 and another 2 adults in October 1940, no mention of sockeye salmon in Big Bear Creek occurs in the published literature.
Surveys by King County Surface Water Management
Division in 1992, 1993, and 1994 recorded only 242, 23, and 9
kokanee, respectively in the Big Bear Creek drainage (Ostergaard
et al. 1995). In addition, Ostergaard et al (1995) stated that
the 9 fish seen in 1994 may have been residual sockeye salmon
or sockeye salmon x kokanee hybrids. Past results of electroshocking
in Big Bear Creek by WDFW have indicated that the number of kokanee
visually observed is a small fraction of the actual number of
fish present (WDFW 1996), therefore it is probable that the kokanee
population in Big Bear Creek during 1992-1994 was larger than the numbers in
Ostergaard et al. (1995) suggest. Ostergaard (1996) estimated
an escapement of 317 kokanee to Big Bear Creek in the fall of
1995, based on WDFW survey numbers.
Beach spawning sockeye salmon are found
in both Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish; WDF et al. (1993)
considered the beach spawners in Lake Washington a separate stock,
but the status of the Lake Sammamish beach spawners was undetermined
due to lack of information. Berggren (1974) reported that the
numbers of beach-spawning sockeye salmon in Lake Sammamish between
1969 and 1972 ranged from a low of 125-200 in 1969 to a high of
1,400-1,900 in 1971. Recent estimates of Lake Sammamish beach-spawning
sockeye salmon were unavailable. Lake Washington beach spawning
occurs primarily between October and January. Spawning has been
observed in many locations around the perimeter of Lake Washington,
but primarily at Pleasure Point Beach on the southeast shoreline,
in the Bellevue area, near Juanita Point, along Enatai Beach (Buckley
1965), and around the shoreline of Mercer Island (Woodey 1966,
WDF et al. 1993).
to the hatchery program at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery
(NFH), sockeye salmon were apparently not present in the Methow
River (WDF et al. 1938, Mullan 1986, Chapman et al. 1995). Over
1.8 million sockeye salmon of Rock Island and Bonneville Dam origin
were released in the Methow River from Winthrop NFH between 1945
and 1957 as part of the GCFMP (Mullan 1986, Chapman et al. 1995)
(see Appendix Table D-2). Chapman et al. (1995) indicated that
small numbers of sockeye salmon continue to return to the Methow
River every year and this population appears to be self-perpetuating.
Allen and Meekin (1973) reported that, based on weir counts,
about 1% of the sockeye salmon passing Wells Dam in 1965 and 1966
entered the Methow River. French and Wahle (1960) and Fryer and
Schwartzberg (1993) reported that sockeye salmon spawning occurred
between river kilometers 57 and 64 on the Methow River downstream
of Twisp. Langness (1991) reported that sockeye salmon were observed
spawning in the Methow River from 1987 to 1990 and that the distribution
of spawning was essentially the same as reported in French and
Wahle (1960). It has been postulated that sockeye salmon that
spawn in the Methow River may rear in mainstem reservoirs on the
Columbia River (Chapman et al. 1995).
Allozyme data presented by Chapman et
al. (1995) indicate a closer association of Methow River sockeye
salmon with Lake Wenatchee sockeye salmon than with Okanogan River
sockeye salmon. However, recent analysis of allozyme data based
on sockeye salmon collected in 1994 (Okanogan River fish collected
at Wells Dam) indicate that sockeye salmon from the Methow River,
Wenatchee River, and Okanogan River (Wells Dam) belong to a common
gene pool (Utter 1995). The apparent genetic similarity between
Wenatchee and Okanogan River sockeye salmon reported in Utter
(1995) is inconsistent with findings of significant genetic distance
between Wenatchee and Okanogan populations as reported in Utter
et al. (1984), Brannon et al. (1994), Thorgaard et al (1995),
and Winans et al. (1996).
to the hatchery program at the Entiat National Fish Hatchery,
sockeye salmon had not been observed in the Entiat River (WDF
et al. 1938, Mullan 1986, Chapman et al. 1995). Approximately
161,787 juvenile sockeye salmon derived from Quinault Lake stock
were released into the Entiat River in 1942 and 1943 (Chapman
et al. 1995) (see Appendix Table D-2). In addition, 22,341 Lake
Chelan kokanee, derived from Lake Whatcom stock, were released
into the Entiat River in 1944 (Mullan 1986) (see Appendix Table D-5).
Barnaby (1946) indicated that of 60,010
marked sockeye salmon juveniles of the 1941 brood released in
the Entiat River on 8 May 1943, 93 were recovered as adults in
1944 and 658 in 1945. In 1945, 33 marked sockeye salmon were
recovered in the Entiat River, 3 in the Wenatchee River, and 622
in the Columbia River commercial fishery (Barnaby 1946). In contrast,
Fulton and Pearson (1981) indicated that 670 adults from this
experiment were recovered in the lower river fishery, with only
one recovered in the Entiat River and 3 in the Wenatchee River.
Apparently, these introductions established a small sockeye salmon
population that provided enough returning adults to provide broodstock
in the 1950s for release into Lake Wenatchee, Lake Osoyoos, and
Icicle Creek (Mullan 1986, Chapman et al. 1995) (see Appendix
Although Mullan (1986) believed that transplants
of Quinault Lake stock established sockeye salmon in the Entiat
River, he postulated these three alternate hypotheses to explain
their occurrence: 1) inadvertent inclusion of sockeye salmon
with other species of salmon trapped at Rock Island Dam and released
in 1939-1940 in the Entiat River, 2) escape of juvenile sockeye
salmon from the Entiat Hatchery, and 3) straying from other stocks.
Since natural sockeye salmon stocks had not become established
in the Entiat River prior to the GCFMP, Mullan (1986) discounted
straying as a possible origin for Entiat River sockeye salmon.
Currently small numbers of sockeye salmon are observed in the
Entiat River almost every year (Chapman et al. 1995). Chapman
et al. (1995) considered these fish either as strays from Lake
Wenatchee or Okanogan River or as artifacts of the hatchery stocking
program carried on during the 1940s and 1950s. It was postulated
that sockeye salmon that spawn in the Entiat River rear in mainstem
reservoirs on the Columbia River (Chapman et al. 1995).
the Similkameen River, which originates in British Columbia, is
considered the main tributary of the Okanogan River downstream
from Lake Osoyoos, it is considerably larger than the Okanogan,
contributing some 3 to 4 times the water volume of the mainstem
Okanogan (WDF et al. 1938, Bryant and Parkhurst 1950, Mullan 1986).
Fulton (1970) and Allen and Meekin (1980) listed Palmer Lake
and its inlet tributary Sinlahekin Creek as historical sockeye
salmon habitat. In contrast, Mitchell (1980) suggested that prior
to construction of Enloe Dam in 1920, the original Squantle (Similkameen)
Falls was 7.6 to 9.1 m high and would have acted as a block to
upstream migration of sockeye salmon to Palmer Lake. Bryant and
Parkhurst (1950) reported that 500 dead unspawned sockeye salmon
were found in the Similkameen River in 1936 and that these fish
may have been part of the population that normally spawned above
Lake Osoyoos. French and Wahle (1954) observed sockeye salmon
below Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River from early to mid-August,
but not in late August or September of 1954. Other authors reporting
the occurrence of sockeye salmon in the Similkameen River included
Chapman (1941), French and Wahle (1960, 1965), CBFWA (1990), Langness
(1991), and Chapman et al. (1995).
Currently, small numbers of sockeye salmon
are seen almost every year below Enloe Dam on the Similkameen
River (Chapman et al. 1995). The origin of these sockeye salmon
is uncertain; hypotheses proposed include straying of sockeye
salmon from the Okanogan River and returns of anadromous individuals
derived from kokanee in upstream Palmer Lake (Chapman 1941, Rounsefell
1958a, Fulton 1966). WDFG (1921a, 1921b) recorded the release
of 132,500 kokanee (silver trout) into Palmer Lake in 1919-1920.
In 1966, Fulton (1966) reported that 45,000 kokanee and 87,000
sockeye salmon were released in Sinlahekin Creek and Palmer Lake
(see Appendix Tables D-2 and D-5
); 15 thermally marked outmigrants
from this release were captured at Priest Rapids Dam.
Creek is a tributary of the Wenatchee River below Lake Wenatchee
and is also the site of Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. Over
1.5 million juvenile O. nerka were released directly into
Icicle Creek between 1942 and 1969: 1.1 million of Rock Island
Dam heritage, over 270,000 of Entiat River heritage (progeny of
Quinault Lake stock), over 44,000 of Methow River heritage, over
100,000 of Lake Wenatchee heritage, about 3,000 from an unknown
British Columbia sockeye salmon stock, and over 29,000 Lake Wenatchee
kokanee (Chapman et al. 1995, NRC 1995) (see Appendix Table D-2).
Chapman et al. (1995) stated that currently, small numbers of
adult sockeye salmon are observed in Icicle Creek almost every
year. Since the Leavenworth NFH is located only 4.5 km from the
Wenatchee River, Mullan (1986) suggested that observations of
sockeye salmon in Icicle Creek could represent some residual attraction
of hatchery-reared fish to the water they were reared in before
their release into Lake Wenatchee, or it could have represented
straying into the wrong tributary. As pointed out by Chapman
et al. (1995), no sockeye salmon have been reared at Leavenworth
since the mid-1960s; however, "generally less than a few
dozen" sockeye salmon are still seen in Icicle Creek each
reference to the glacially influenced Nooksack River, Rathbun
(1900) stated that
The sockeye have been said to enter it, but the evidence to that effect is not conclusive.
Kershaw (1902) stated that "the sockeye
occasionally ascend the river in small numbers." In reference
to sockeye salmon, Crawford (1907) stated
a few have been known to enter the Nooksack River and spawn in one of its small tributaries . . . those from the Nooksack . . . were noticed during the great run of 1905 when the sockeyes ran closer to the shore on the Sound than has ever been known before. Last season a great many salmon ascended the Nooksack River.
FWTC (1970) stated that
At least one section of the Nooksack system supports a small run of sockeye salmon. It is a half-mile-long side channel of the North Fork, located 3.5 miles upstream from the town of Glacier. Other stream sections, and some tributaries, in both the North and South Fork Nooksack, also receive limited sockeye runs.
Williams et al. (1975) also reported that
sockeye salmon spawn along a half-mile side channel of the North
Fork Nooksack River about 3.5 miles above the town of Glacier
and below Lookout Creek (RKm 100.5). Small numbers of spawners
are still seen each year in the North and South Forks of the Nooksack
and in Maple Creek (D. Hendrick43). As summarized in Appendix Table
C-7, WDFW Salmon Spawning Ground Survey Data (Egan 1977, 1995,
1997) indicated several locations, dates, and peak numbers of
spawning sockeye salmon in the Nooksack River.
Sockeye salmon are caught in the Nooksack
River as by-catch in the Nooksack Tribal coho harvest during the
months of September through October. This freshwater fishery
occurs from the confluence of the North and South Forks of the
Nooksack River, downstream to the mouth (D. Grieggs44). Recent
tribal harvest has ranged from 15 in 1992 to 386 in 1991 (Hoines
1995). Run-timing of sockeye salmon caught in the Nooksack Tribal
fishery is significantly later than either Baker River or Lake
Washington sockeye salmon stocks, which terminate by mid-August,
but Nooksack River sockeye salmon run-timing does overlap the
timing of several lower Fraser River stocks (see Appendix Tables
C-6 and C-7).
Several anecdotal reports indicated that
early hatchery supplementation of sockeye salmon occurred at the
Nooksack Hatchery on Kendall Creek (Pacific Fisherman 1905a),
and that introductions into the Nooksack River of a small number
of out-of-basin sockeye salmon fry also occurred (Pacific Fisherman
Salmon Spawning Ground Survey Data (Egan 1977, 1995, 1997) indicated
several locations, dates, and peak numbers of spawning sockeye
salmon in the Samish River (see Appendix Table C-7). Anecdotal
records indicated that extensive culture of sockeye salmon, taken
in fish traps in Puget Sound, occurred at the Samish State Hatchery
at least in the years 1915-1917 (Pacific Fisherman 1915a, 1915b,
1916, 1918). WDFG (1916a, 1917, 1920) recorded the release into
Lake Samish and Cain Lake of almost 9 million sockeye salmon fry
between 1915 and 1918. They reported that the fish released were
derived from sockeye salmon captured on the west side of Lummi
Island (off Bellingham Bay) (see Appendix Table D-2). In 1920,
over 165 sockeye salmon spawned naturally above the Samish Hatchery
racks (WDFG 1921b).
Between 1934 and 1937, over 0.5 million
sockeye salmon fry from the Birdsview Hatchery on Grandy Creek
were released in Lake Samish (Royal and Seymour 1940, Kemmerich
1945) (see Appendix Table D-2). Several sockeye salmon were observed
in 1937 and 1938 at the Samish State Hatchery and in the Samish
River (Kemmerich 1945). An estimated 300-400 sockeye salmon returned
to the Samish Hatchery in the fall of 1940 (Royal and Seymour
1940, Kemmerich 1945).
Skagit River Basin-In
reference to riverine-spawning sockeye salmon in the glacially
influenced Skagit River Basin, WDF et al. (1993) stated
They are consistently found in very small numbers in the upper Sauk River and the mainstem Skagit near Newhalem. Whether these represent strays from the Baker or other river systems or are small self-sustaining populations of a few individuals is unknown.
WDFW Salmon Spawning Ground Survey Data
(Egan 1977, 1995, 1997) indicated several locations, dates, and
peak numbers of spawning sockeye salmon in the Skagit River Basin
(see Appendix Table C-7). Juvenile sockeye salmon displaying
parr marks have been observed in the mainstem Skagit River near
the town of Lyman (D. Hendrick45).
In the 1930s, extensive sockeye salmon
transplants were made from Birdsview Hatchery into the following
Skagit River tributaries: Day Creek, Illabot Creek, Bacon Creek,
and Diobsud Creek, as well as Lake McMurray, McMurray Creek, Big
Lake, and Clear Lake on Nookachamps Creek (Kemmerich 1945) (see
Appendix Table D-2). No returns were noted from these plantings
to Nookachamps Creek, Illabot Creek, or Day Creek. About 300
sockeye salmon were seen in Bacon Creek in 1936, and 20 and 6
in Diobsud Creek in 1936 and 1937, respectively.
Salmon Spawning Ground Survey Data (Egan 1977, 1995, 1997) indicated
several locations, dates, and peak numbers of spawning sockeye
salmon in the Stillaguamish River (see Appendix Table C-7). Between
1929 and 1937, 322,175 juvenile sockeye salmon were released into
Lake Cavanaugh and Pilchuck Creek (see Appendix Table D-2). In
the fall of 1935, 1936, 1937, and 1938, returning sockeye salmon
adults counted at the base of the falls on Pilchuck Creek amounted
to 40, 3,000-4,000, 1,000-2,000, and 200-300, respectively (Kemmerich
1945). Recent tribal freshwater harvest information recorded 186 sockeye salmon taken in 1989 on the
Stillaguamish River, but none in other years (Hoines 1995).
Duwamish River/Green River-WDFW
Salmon Spawning Ground Survey Data (Egan 1977, 1995, 1997) indicated
several locations, dates, and peak numbers of spawning sockeye
salmon in the Green River (see Appendix Table C-7). Sockeye salmon
have been observed spawning below Howard Hanson Dam on the Green
River (E. Warner46). Recent tribal freshwater harvest of sockeye
salmon in the Duwamish-Green River Basin has ranged from 0 in
1987 to 278 in 1984 (Hoines 1995). At least 392,050 sockeye salmon
fry derived from Green River, Quinault Lake, and unspecified Alaska
stocks were released into the Green River from the Green River
State Hatchery between 1925 and 1931 (WDFG 1928, 1930, 1932) (see
Appendix Table D-2).
fish trapped at the base of Mud Mountain Dam on the White River,
a tributary of the Puyallup River in Puget Sound, are trucked
around the dam and placed in the White River above Mud Mountain
Dam. Small numbers of sockeye salmon have been reported in the
yearly Mud Mountain Fish Haul Reports beginning in 1983, when
19 adult sockeye salmon were counted over the dam. Since 1985,
when 378 sockeye salmon were counted at Mud Mountain Dam, small
numbers ranging from 5 to 114 have been counted each year at this
facility (MMDFHR 1996). Mud Mountain Reservoir is a run-of-the-river
flood-control reservoir, and as such does not provide lake-rearing
conditions for sockeye salmon. Information on possible spawning
locations for sockeye salmon released above Mud Mountain Dam was
Salmon Spawning Ground Survey Data (Egan 1977, 1995, 1997) indicated
that 19 sockeye salmon and 6 sockeye salmon redds were observed
in August 1966 at river kilometer 20 on the Nisqually River (see
Appendix Table C-7). In addition a few sockeye salmon have been
reported in Mashel River and Ohop Creek, although none have been
reported in Nisqually River surveys since 1982. A very few sockeye
salmon are reported in the tribal freshwater harvest statistics
for the Nisqually River (Hoines 1995).
to WDFW (1996),
Anadromous size sockeye are occasionally observed in the North Fork Lewis River downstream of Merwin Dam.
Hamilton and Rothfus (1963) reported that
890,000 sockeye salmon fry were released in Lake Merwin in 1961
and that over 3,000 sockeye salmon smolt were counted in a downstream
migrant trap in spring 1962. Appendix Table D-2 also shows that
large numbers of sockeye salmon fry (over 900,000) were released
in the Lewis River in 1961, and an additional 38,000 fry were
released in a tributary of Lake Merwin in 1965. Returns of sockeye
salmon to the Lewis River below Lake Merwin reported in WDFW (1996)
may represent a remnant of these transplants.
(1996) reported that sockeye salmon have been observed coming
back to the same spawning ground on the Dungeness River and that
"their timing was earlier than other sockeye in Washington,
suggesting they were not strays." WDFW Salmon Spawning Ground
Survey Data (Egan 1977, 1995, 1997) indicated that 1-5 sockeye
salmon are observed in the Dungeness River during the months of
August-September in most survey years (see Appendix Table C-7).
Quillayute River/Calawah River-WDF
(1973) reported that the Calawah and Bogachiel Rivers supported
"a small run of sockeye salmon that must rear in the stream."
Phinney and Bucknell (1975) reported that a small number of "river-race"
sockeye salmon spawn in the lower reaches of the North Fork and
South Fork Calawah Rivers as well as in several small tributaries.
During the 1960s, 3 to 6 sockeye salmon were reportedly seen
every year in the same place during July to August on the South
Fork Calawah River near Hyas Creek (J. Ayerst47). Houston (1983,
1984) suggested that the Quillayute River may have a "river
dwelling" population of sockeye salmon "of fewer than
10 fish per year average."
and Deschamps (1955) reported that small numbers of sockeye salmon
are taken in the Hoh River in June and July. Houston (1983, 1984)
suggested that the Hoh River may have a "river dwelling"
population of sockeye salmon "of fewer than 10 fish per year
average." Up to 50 sockeye salmon were observed schooling
around RKm 47.5 on the Hoh River in mid-September 1985, and sockeye
salmon were also observed around RKm 45.8 in 1994 and 1995 (J. Haymes48).
The Hoh River receives a large glacial melt-water input and is
milky in the summer, making fish identification difficult. Other
indications are that a self-sustaining spawning population of
sockeye salmon does not occur in the Hoh River (J. Jorgensen49).
Recent tribal freshwater harvest of sockeye salmon in the Hoh
River has ranged from 0 in 1991 to 26 in 1992 (Hoines 1995).
Queets River/Clearwater River-In
some years a large tribal fishery catch of sockeye salmon occurred
in the Queets River (Wendler and Deschamps 1955, Brix and Kolb
1971). Wendler and Deschamps (1955), citing the fact that there
are few, if any, accessible lakes in the Queets River system,
suggested that "sockeye salmon caught in the Queets River
are probably strays from the nearby Quinault River." Wendler
and Deschamps (1955) also stated that
In general, when the Quinault River has a good run of sockeyes, many are caught in the Queets. Also, the converse is true.
Dipping-in of Quinault Lake sockeye salmon
into the Queets River most likely explains the bulk of the large
sockeye salmon catch in the Queets River (Wendler and Deschamps
1955, S. A. Chitwood and D. Boyer, Jr.50).
Houston (1983, 1984) suggested that the
Queets River may have a "river dwelling" population
of sockeye salmon "of fewer than 100 fish per year average."
Brown (1982, p. 30) observed mature sockeye salmon in
Paradise Creek on the Queets River. WDF (1973) stated that "limited
numbers of sockeye reportedly spawn in the Clearwater River"
and Phinney and Bucknell (1975) stated that "sockeye salmon
reportedly spawn in the mainstem of the Clearwater River and several
tributary streams." The Clearwater River is a tributary
of the Queets River. Analysis of over 300 Queets River sockeye
salmon scales collected between 1975 and 1993 has revealed only
one sea-type sockeye salmon in the Queets River fishery (QIN 1995a),
however, river-type sockeye salmon (that do not outmigrate as
underyearlings) cannot be differentiated by scale age from lake-type
sockeye salmon (see "Life History of O. nerka"
section). The Queets River receives a large glacial melt-water
input from the Olympic Mountains. Both Edie (1975) and Cedarholm
et al. (1978) stated that the Clearwater River, a tributary of
the Queets River, had small populations of sockeye salmon.
A total of 917 anadromous sockeye salmon
stocks have been identified in British Columbia (Slaney et al.
1996). Major sockeye salmon stocks on Vancouver Island are as
follows: 1) Cheewhat Lake; 2) Hobiton River/Hobiton Lake; 3)
Henderson Lake; 4) Sproat Lake and Great Central Lake in the Somass
River Basin; 5) Kennedy Lake, Upper Kennedy River, Clayoquot River,
Cold Creek, and Muriel Lake in the Kennedy River System; 6) Mahatta
River/O'Connell Lake in Quatsino Sound; and 7) Woss Lake, Nimpkish
Lake, and Vernon Lake in the Nimpkish River Basin (Aro and Shepard
Major sockeye salmon stocks in the Queen
Charlotte Islands are these: 1)Mathers Lake, 2) Copper Creek/Skidegate
Lake, 3) Yakoun Lake, 4) Mercer Creek/Mercer Lake, 5) Awun Lake, 6) Ian Lake, and 7) Naden
River/Eden Lake. Major coastal sockeye salmon stocks in central
to south mainland British Columbia include: 1) Sakinaw Lake,
2) Heydon Lake, 3) Phillips River, 4) Mackenzie Lake, 5) Klinaklini
River, 6) Kakweiken River, 7) Long Lake/Smokehouse Creek, 8) Rivers
Inlet/Owikeno Lake, 9) Koeye Lake, 10) Atnarko River/Tenas Lake, 11) Tankeeah
Lake, 12) Kimsquit Lake, and 13) Port John Lake. Major coastal
sockeye salmon stocks in north mainland British Columbia are as
follows: 1) Kitlope Lake, 2) Canoona Lake, 3) Banks Lake, 4)
Mikado Lake, 5) Devon Lake, 6) Lowe Lake, 7) Curtis Lake, and
8) Bonilla Lake (Aro and Shepard 1967).
The following are major sockeye salmon
stocks in the Fraser River: 1) Cultus Lake, 2) Upper Pitt River/Pitt
Lake, 3) Weaver Creek/Harrison Lake, 4) Harrison River Rapids
(river/sea-type), 5) Birkenhead River/Lillooet Lake, 6) Seymour
Creek/Shuswap Lake, 7) Scotch Creek/Shuswap Lake, 8) Lower Adams
River/Shuswap Lake, 9) Lower Shuswap River/Shuswap Lake, 10) Gates
Creek, 11) Raft River, 12) Fennel Creek, 13) Chilko Lake, 14)
Taseko River, 15) Horsefly River, 16) Mitchell River, 17) Nadina
River/FranÁois Lake, 18) Stellako River/Fraser Lake, 19)
early Stuart (= Takla Lake/Trembleur Lake/Stuart Lake), 20) late Stuart = Trembleur Lake/Stuart
Lake, and 21) Bowron River (Aro and Shepard 1967).
Lake-type sockeye salmon in British Columbia
inhabit nursery lakes that can be categorized as either coastal
or interior, and as clear, humic-stained, or glacial. Coastal
lakes are thermally stratified in summer and become continuously
mixed in winter following turnover (monomictic); they experience
cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers on the south coast and
wetter, colder summers on the north coast. Interior lakes have
episodes of mixing, before and after ice formation, and become
thermally stratified in both summer and winter (dimictic). However,
these lakes experience a more typically continental climate on
the leeward side of the Coastal Mountains.
Coastal lakes experience peak flow and
nutrient input in winter, when sunlight and temperatures are low,
a pattern leading to low nutrient concentrations and low productivity.
These lakes are generally classified as oligotrophic. Interior
lakes, such as those upstream from Hell's Gate on the Fraser River,
experience maximum water and nutrient input in spring when light
intensity and water temperatures are increasing. These lakes
consequently have higher nutrient and productivity levels, and
are classified as oligo-mesotrophic (Stockner 1987).
Many coastal lakes in central British
Columbia are humic-stained and smaller than clear, larger lakes
on the south mainland coast and Vancouver Island. Humic substances
reduce light penetration and diminish the depth of the euphotic
zone (Stockner 1987). Glacial lakes include both coastal and
interior types, and their high turbidity is imparted by suspended
silts and clays (glacial flour) carried down by tributaries during
Glacial lakes produce some of the smallest
1-year-old sockeye salmon smolts recorded (Goodlad et al. 1974,
Hyatt and Stockner 1985). Generally sockeye salmon smolts leaving
interior lakes of British Columbia as yearlings are larger than
similar age smolts from coastal systems. This may be due to the
greater rearing area of interior lakes or to the higher productivity
of interior lakes (Foerster 1968, Hyatt and Stockner 1985).
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