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Lower Columbia River Salmon Enhancement

The purpose of this project is to assess the extent of spawning by ESA listed chum salmon and fall chinook salmon in the mainstem Columbia River so that the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) can be managed in a manner to protect and enhance these important populations. This is a cooperative project between the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Oregon Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the U.S. Geological Survey. PNNL is assessing the relationship between groundwater and surface water input within hyporheic habitats where chum and fall chinook salmon spawn. Both surface and sub-surface water temperature and water surface elevation data have been collected in spawning areas to investigate redd site selection, to provide managers with anticipated times to emergence based on cumulative temperature units, and to evaluate incidents of redd dewatering. This has allowed managers to maintain adequate flows to protect redds during the egg incubation period. PNNL staff are also involved in using underwater video technology to locate salmon redds and map habitat variables in deep water (i.e., 2-9 m). Both shallow and deep-water redd counts have been made annually for chum and chinook salmon since 1999.



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