Mortality Estimates of Juvenile Spring–Summer Chinook Salmon in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary, 1992–1998: Evidence for Delayed Mortality?

  • Schreck C
  • Stahl T
  • Davis L
 et al. 
  • 45

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 50

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

Abstract Recovery of Endangered Species Act?listed salmonids in the Columbia River basin has relied upon the efficacy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's juvenile salmon transportation program to move fish past Snake and Columbia River hydropower dams. The effectiveness of this program has been assessed by the indirect method of comparing smolt-to-adult returns. We present some of the first data and mortality estimates of barged and run-of-river (ROR) radio-tagged juvenile spring?summer Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha after release in the lower Columbia River, representing years of study. Our data suggest that smolt mortality (1) is very low for ROR and barged fish between Bonneville Dam and the estuary proper, a migratory distance of 180 river kilometers (rkm); (2) occurs in the lower estuary (rkm 0?46); (3) varies more across dates within a year than between years or between passage types (barged or ROR); (4) increases with time within a season and increasing numbers of avian predators, including Caspian terns Sterna caspia and double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus; and (5) is estimated to be 11?17% of all smolts annually. Preliminary evidence suggests that at least some smolt mortality is influenced by differential predation by avian predators on Chinook salmon infected with Renibacterium salmoninarum and possessing low smoltification levels (relatively low gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity). Fish type (barged or ROR) did not appear to influence mortality because of avian predation. This project was also the first to identify avian predators as a major source of mortality for out-migrant Columbia River basin salmonids.
Abstract Recovery of Endangered Species Act?listed salmonids in the Columbia River basin has relied upon the efficacy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's juvenile salmon transportation program to move fish past Snake and Columbia River hydropower dams. The effectiveness of this program has been assessed by the indirect method of comparing smolt-to-adult returns. We present some of the first data and mortality estimates of barged and run-of-river (ROR) radio-tagged juvenile spring?summer Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha after release in the lower Columbia River, representing years of study. Our data suggest that smolt mortality (1) is very low for ROR and barged fish between Bonneville Dam and the estuary proper, a migratory distance of 180 river kilometers (rkm); (2) occurs in the lower estuary (rkm 0?46); (3) varies more across dates within a year than between years or between passage types (barged or ROR); (4) increases with time within a season and increasing numbers of avian predators, including Caspian terns Sterna caspia and double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus; and (5) is estimated to be 11?17% of all smolts annually. Preliminary evidence suggests that at least some smolt mortality is influenced by differential predation by avian predators on Chinook salmon infected with Renibacterium salmoninarum and possessing low smoltification levels (relatively low gill Na+,K+-ATPase activity). Fish type (barged or ROR) did not appear to influence mortality because of avian predation. This project was also the first to identify avian predators as a major source of mortality for out-migrant Columbia River basin salmonids.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Carl B. Schreck

  • Thomas P. Stahl

  • Lawrence E. Davis

  • Daniel D. Roby

  • Benjamin J. Clemens

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free