Title

An Evaluation of Fish Passage Through Small Urban Streams in Central Washington

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Room 137B

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Coho salmon, Urban streams, Reintroduction

Abstract

A study was conducted to assess fish passage through culverts and buried sections of two urban streams in Ellensburg, Washington. Both streams, Mercer Creek and Wilson Creek, had historically supported anadromous populations of steelhead and coho salmon, but both are now locally extirpated. In July 2012, 6024 PIT tagged juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) were released at four different sites in the two streams. Release sites were located upstream and downstream of the majority of covered sections in each stream. Several sites were sampled throughout the city in 2012-13 using a backpack electrofisher and a mobile PIT tag antenna to determine if upstream or downstream movement that had occurred. Results showed that both upstream and downstream movement occurred, with some fish being detected at dams on the mainstem Columbia River. While some of the released fish successfully out-migrated past several culverts, sampling efforts revealed that some sections within the city were impassable and may pose problems for reintroduction efforts. More research is needed to determine the condition of the impassable stream channels that are buried beneath the city.

Faculty Mentor(s)

James, Paul

Additional Mentoring Department

Biological Sciences

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May 15th, 3:40 PM May 15th, 4:00 PM

An Evaluation of Fish Passage Through Small Urban Streams in Central Washington

SURC Room 137B

A study was conducted to assess fish passage through culverts and buried sections of two urban streams in Ellensburg, Washington. Both streams, Mercer Creek and Wilson Creek, had historically supported anadromous populations of steelhead and coho salmon, but both are now locally extirpated. In July 2012, 6024 PIT tagged juvenile coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) were released at four different sites in the two streams. Release sites were located upstream and downstream of the majority of covered sections in each stream. Several sites were sampled throughout the city in 2012-13 using a backpack electrofisher and a mobile PIT tag antenna to determine if upstream or downstream movement that had occurred. Results showed that both upstream and downstream movement occurred, with some fish being detected at dams on the mainstem Columbia River. While some of the released fish successfully out-migrated past several culverts, sampling efforts revealed that some sections within the city were impassable and may pose problems for reintroduction efforts. More research is needed to determine the condition of the impassable stream channels that are buried beneath the city.