Hatchery and wild salmon in the Columbia River estuary --similar or different?

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1 Hatchery and wild salmon in the Columbia River estuary --similar or different? Laurie Weitkamp Northwest Fisheries Science Center Newport Field Station

2 Talk outline Background: Columbia River hatchery and wild salmon production and issues Methods: H vs. W, geographic origins, studies Results: General patterns of juvenile salmon use Hatchery and wild salmon comparisons Habitat use Relative abundance Timing & size Food habits Summary & Conclusions

3 Why salmon hatcheries? Hatcheries bypass high egg incubation and early rearing mortality - Often started as compensation for habitat loss, declining fish runs Currently support most fisheries 50-90% mortality 5-10% mortality

4 Columbia River salmon hatcheries First Columbia River hatchery started 1872 in response to declining Chinook runs Peak production 1988: 250 million salmon = 9.8 million pounds Currently 140 million from >70 facilities 70 million fall Chinook 31 million spring Chinook 23 million coho 15 million steelhead Failed to restore salmon runs to historical levels

5 Concerns about hatchery salmon Potential impacts to wild populations: Competition for food & space Predation (attract predators, prey on wild fish) Disease transmission Genetic effects if interbreeding Hatchery harvest rates too high for wild populations

6 Concerns about wild Columbia R salmon 13 groups listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act 5 Chinook, 5 steelhead, 1 ea. sockeye, chum, coho Huge effort underway on restore wild salmon through habitat restoration, dam passage improvements, predator controls, fishery restrictions, etc. Uncertain impacts of hatchery fish on wild salmon, especially where opportunities to mix: river corridors estuaries marine waters

7 What do we know about H & W salmon in the Columbia Estuary? Similar or different with respect to: Habitat use Relative abundance Size & timing Food habits

8 Challenge: telling hatchery from wild fish Adipose fin clips Clipped = hatchery Unclipped= hatchery + wild Hatchery clip rates Tags (have rearing type field) CWT (most H) PIT (some H or?) Genetics Not informative

9 Estuary sampling methods Purse seines in deep water, beach seine in shallow water Beach seine Columbia River estuary Purse seine Purse seine Beach seine site

10 Purse seine Beach seine

11 General patterns of juvenile salmon in the Columbia River estuary

12 Juvenile salmon abundance (PS) Yearling Chinook Coho Subyearling Chinook Steelhead

13 Juvenile salmon habitat use Beach Seine N = 8475 Coho Purse Seine N = 1731 Sockeye Subyr Chinook Chum Subyr Chinook Steelhead Coho Yr Chinook Subyearling Chinook Yearling Chinook Chum Coho Cutthroat trout Steelhead Sockeye Yr Chinook

14 Genetic stock composition of Chinook salmon Shallow Water Beach Seine Deep Water Purse Seine Spr Cr UCR su/fa 0 UCR su/fa 1 M&UCR sp Snake UCR su/fa 0 W Casc fall W Casc fall Spr Cr Will spr W Casc spr W Casc fall April June July - October April June July October Graphics: D Teel

15 Hatchery-wild comparisons

16 Purse seine H-W relative abundance Attribute\Spp. Yr Chinook Subyr. Chinook Coho Steelhead Hatch. production (millions) % ad clipped at hatchery % ad clipped in estuary Estimated % hatchery in purse seine catches * 91.6 * Capped at 100%

17 Hatchery-wild relative abundance

18 Size differences: H vs. wild salmon Hatchery = wild Hatchery > wild Hatchery = wild Hatchery > wild

19 Hatchery-wild subyr. Chinook size Beach seine - Marked Beach seine - Unmarked Purse seine - Marked Purse seine - Unmarked Fork Length Day of year Larger fish in deeper (PS) than shallow water (BS) Big size difference between marked & unmarked in shallow water (BS) but not deep water (PS)

20 Yr. Chinook timing and size Length in estuary M & UCR spr Snake fall 1 U CR su/fa 1 Snake spr W Casc spr Willamatte spr Date in estuary M & UCR spr Snake fall 1 Snake spr U CR su/fa 1 W Casc spr Willamatte spr

21 Subyr. Chinook timing and size Length in estuary Spr Cr fall Snake fall 0 U CR su/fa 0 W Casc fall Date in estuary Spr Cr fall Snake fall 0 U CR su/fa 0 W Casc fall

22 Subyr. Chinook size & time in estuary (GSI)

23 Subyr. Chinook timing and size Length in estuary Spr Cr fall Snake fall 0 U CR su/fa 0 W Casc fall Date in estuary Spr Cr fall Snake fall 0 U CR su/fa 0 W Casc fall

24 Steelhead timing and size LOCR MCR UCR SNAKE WILL Length in estuary Dark bars: Hatchery Light bars: Unclipped (=H+W) LOCR MCR UCR SNAKE WILL Date in estuary

25 Prey consumed by H-W salmon U=unmarked, M=marked

26 Summary Majority (>70%) of juv. salmon in CR estuary are of hatchery origin <100% hatchery marking = difficult to tell hatchery from wild Habitat use similar between Hatchery and wild salmon H & W coho, yr. Chinook, and steelhead in deep water habitats Slightly more wild than hatchery subyearling Chinook in shallow water Hatchery fish generally larger than unmarked fish (esp. steelhead) exception: subyearling Chinook salmon (timing = size) Timing similar between H & W salmon (~1 week) exception: wild subyr Chinook salmon 2-4 weeks later than hatchery Diet overlap appears to be high among and within groups No evidence that H steelhead consuming wild salmon (subyr Chinook or chum)

27 Conclusions High potential for competition between hatchery and wild salmon (within and among species) in estuaries Occupying same habitats at same times (ex. subyr Chinook) Consuming same prey types Also potential for direct behavioral interactions Larger hatchery fish may have size advantage 100% mark rates for hatchery fish would greatly improve ability to make comparisons

28 Questions?

29 Clip rates by group (% clipped) Yearling Chinook Coho Subyearling Chinook Steelhead

30 Bias from fish origin method Ex. Steelhead origins GSI CWT PIT tags n=468 n=59 n=22

31 Geographic origins of Columbia salmon Genetics Coded wire tags (CWT) PIT tags Chinook Steelhead Everything tagged CR coho mush Coho Chinook Steelhead 24 mil tagged (h) [Coho] Chinook Steelhead 2 mil tagged (h & w) Bias: UCR & Snake

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