Barged/In-river steelhead migrant data - Evaluation of methods to reduce straying rates of barged juvenile steelhead

Metadata Updated: February 2, 2017

The goals of this study are to develop methods to reduce wandering and straying of steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) that are collected and barged from the Snake River to below Bonneville Dam. Salmon and steelhead that stray and spawn in non-natal streams are a significant conservation concern, because they may confound accurate assessment of the VSP parameters of recovering native populations and decrease the productivity of these populations through genetic introgression or ecological competition. These issues are a particular concern for listed mid-Columbia River stocks because salmon that are collected and barged downstream as juveniles have shown higher stray rates into these watersheds as returning adults relative to in-river migrants.

However, while barging may contribute to elevated stray rates, there are substantial benefits from barging because transported Snake River steelhead consistently have higher smolt-to-adult returns than steelhead left to migrate in-river. Therefore, it is important to identify and develop strategies for reducing the stray rates of transported steelhead while maintaining the survival benefits consistently observed for barged steelhead. The specific aims of this proposal are as follows:

1) Conduct an analysis of existing coded wire (CWT) and PIT tag data to identify causative factors associated with straying by Columbia River salmonids, particularly as it relates to natural rates of straying and straying associated with transport.

2) Assess imprinting of barged and in-river migrants by monitoring imprinting associated changes in physiological function and gene expression as indicators of imprinting success.

3) Identify key environmental parameters (e.g. orienting current, water exchange rate, novel tributary water) that are important for imprinting barged fish and develop barging protocols to optimize imprinting success and thereby minimize straying using a controlled laboratory study.

4) Initiate tests of a modified barge protocol designed to maintain survival benefits while reducing wandering, delay, and straying behavior of returning adults. The work is being conducted by NWFSC scientists in collaboration with the University of Washington.

Products for this project will include annual reports, peer-reviewed publications, presentation of results at local and national meetings, and consultation with the FCRPS managers.

Physiological and field data on barged and in-river migrant steelhead.

Access & Use Information

Downloads & Resources


Metadata Date February 29, 2016
Metadata Created Date September 26, 2015
Metadata Updated Date February 2, 2017
Reference Date(s) (publication)
Frequency Of Update

Metadata Source

Harvested from NOAA CSW Harvest Source

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date February 29, 2016
Metadata Created Date September 26, 2015
Metadata Updated Date February 2, 2017
Reference Date(s) (publication)
Responsible Party Northwest Fisheries Science Center (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Access Constraints Access Constraints: NA | Use Constraints: Disclaimer - While every effort has been made to ensure that these data are accurate and reliable within the limits of the current state of the art, NOAA cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in the data, nor as a result of the failure of the data to function on a particular system. NOAA makes no warranty, expressed or implied, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty.
Bbox East Long -121.3193
Bbox North Lat 45.6934
Bbox South Lat 45.6834
Bbox West Long -121.3293
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update
Guid gov.noaa.nmfs.inport:17955
Harvest Object Id 6caf8682-2c00-4ff0-a233-32167fc5ba80
Harvest Source Id 2aed8e29-fc5b-4cde-aa66-fb1118fd705e
Harvest Source Title NOAA CSW Harvest Source
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress onGoing
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 2010-01-01
Temporal Extent End 2016-12-31

Didn't find what you're looking for? Suggest a dataset here.