Northwest Fisheries Science Center

Hatchery Reform Science Projects


Dr. Barry Berejikian
Program Manager
Staff Directory

Hood Canal steelhead supplementation

ESA-listed Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) includes all of the populations in Hood Canal. Quantitative assessments of hatchery effects are critical to understanding the role that artificial propagation should play in rebuilding naturally self-sustaining runs. This project is a replicated, before-after-control-impact experiment to test the effects of hatchery steelhead supplementation on natural populations.

The project has three phases: pre-supplementation (2006—2010), during supplementation (2011—2018), and post-supplementation (2019—2022). A multi-agency collaboration including the NWFSC and other federal, state, and tribal agencies have been collecting data on the abundance and productivity of the populations, and characterizing life history and genetic properties of Hood Canal steelhead.

Adult hatchery-reared steelhead have begun spawning the supplemented streams. The Hood Canal steelhead project has annually collected data on 1) redd abundance and spawn timing, 2) smolt outmigrant abundance and timing, 3) parr and smolt age structure, 4) genetic variation at microsattelite loci, and 5) genetic variation present in the three hatchery and natural components of the three supplemented populations.

We have quantified the degree of anadromy among populations with otolith microchemistry analysis and are currently analyzing data on maternal effects on offspring life history pathways. Hatchery reform methods developed include new broodstock collection techniques and two-year smolt rearing strategies.

The project has provided the first published information on early marine survival and behavior of steelhead smolts through Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, and the Juan de Fuca Straits which is being expanded to include a meta-analysis of early marine survival throughout Puget Sound. Residualism and diet composition of released hatchery fish and early marine survival rates have been quantified to help identify ecological interactions and differences in survival of hatchery and wild steelhead.


Barry Berejikian, Megan Moore, Katy Doctor, Rob Endicott, Don Van Doornik Chris Tatara, Jeff Atkins

Recent Publications

Moore, M.E., B.A. Berejikian, E.P. Tezak. In review. Behavioral changes and increased mortality risk for steelhead smolts migrating past a fjord-spanning floating bridge. Ecological Applications. Berejikian, B.A., L.A Campbell, and M.E. Moore (In review) Large-scale freshwater habitat features influence the degree of anadromy in eight Hood Canal Oncorhynchus mykiss populations. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci.

Van Doornik, D.M, B.A. Berejikian and L.A. Campbell. (In review). Gene flow between sympatric life history forms of Oncorhynchus mykiss located above and below migratory barriers in Hood Canal, Washington. PLoS One.

Moore, M., B. A. Berejikian, and E. P. Tezak. 2012. Variation in the early marine survival and behavior of natural and hatchery-reared Hood Canal steelhead. Plos One 7(11).

Berejikian, B.A., D.A. Larsen, P. Swanson, M.E. Moore, C.P. Tatara, W.L. Gale, C.R. Pasley, and B.R. Beckman. 2012. Development of natural growth regimes for hatchery-reared steelhead to reduce residualism, fitness loss, and negative ecological interactions. Env. Biol. Fish. 94(1): 29-44

Berejikian, B.A., Gable, J.T., and Vidergar, D.T. 2011. Effectiveness and Trade-offs associated with hydraulic egg collections from natural Salmon and steelhead redds for conservation hatchery programs. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 140(3): 549-556.

Moore, M.E., Goetz, F.A., Van Doornik, D.M., Tezak, E.P., Quinn, T.P., Reyes-Tomassini, J.J., and Berejikian, B.A. 2010b. Early marine migration patterns of wild coastal cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarki clarki), steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), and their hybrids. PLoS One 5(9).

Moore, M.E., Berejikian, B.A., and Tezak, E.P. 2010a. Early marine survival and behavior of steelhead smolts through Hood Canal and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society 139(1): 49-61.

Van Doornik, D.M., Berejikian, B.A., Campbell, L.A., and Volk, E.C. 2010. The effect of a supplementation program on the genetic and life history characteristics of an Oncorhynchus mykiss population. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 67(9): 1449-1458.