Smolt Condition and Timing of Arrival at Lower Granite Reservoir: Annual Report for 1986 Operations




chinook, hatchery, Lower Granite Reservoir, migration, recapture, salmon, Salmon River, smolt, Snake River, steelhead, trout


This project monitored the daily passage of smolts during the 1986 spring outmigration at two migrant traps, one each on the Snake and Clearwater rivers. Average migration rates for freeze-branded chinook salmon smolts were 28.2 km per day and 22.1 km per day for steelhead trout smolts between release sites and the head of the Lower Granite Reservoir. The yearling chinook salmon migration begins in earnest when Salmon River discharge makes a significant rise in early to mid-April. Most yearling chinook salmon pass into Lower Granite Reservoir in April followed by the passage of steelhead trout in May. Chinook salmon smolt recapture data from the Snake River trap suggest a strong dependence of migration rate on quantity of Snake and Salmon River discharge, although no statistical correlation exists at this time. Daily and seasonal descaling rates were calculated for each species at each trap. Rates were highest for hatchery steelhead trout, intermediate for yearling chinook salmon, and lowest for wild steelhead trout. Descaling rates were generally higher in 1986 than those observed in 1984 and 1985.

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