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Hiram M. Chittenden Locks Salmon Counts

Hiram M. Chittenden Locks Sockeye Salmon Counts
June-July 2017

Total Counts: 132,837
Date Daily
Counts
Totals
6/12 728 728
6/13 332 1,060
6/14 1,281 2,341
6/15 1,359 3,700
6/16 2,039 5,739
6/17 2,124 7,863
6/18 1,964 9,827
6/19 2,563 12,390
6/20 2,448 14,838
6/21 2,071 16,909
6/22 2,230 19,139
6/23 4,342 23,481
6/24 2,797 26,278
6/25 3,482 29,760
6/26 4,319 34,079
6/27 4,665 38,744
6/28 3,614 42,358
6/29 5,585 47,943
6/30 3,877 51,820
7/1 4,481 56,301
7/2 6,286 62,587
7/3 5,411 67,998
7/4 7,466 75,464
7/5 5,562 81,026
7/6 2,126 83,152
7/7 5,496 88,648
7/8 4,721 93,369
7/9 4,777 98,146
7/10 4,795 102,941
7/11 3,525 106,466
7/12 2,772 109,238
7/13 2,271 111,509
7/14 1,684 113,193
7/15 2,115 115,308
7/16 1,407 116,715
7/17 1,240 117,955
7/18 1,344 119,299
7/19 1,318 120,617
7/20 1,302 121,919
7/21 995 122,914
7/22 845 123,759
7/23 790 124,549
7/24 495 125,044
7/25 266 125,310
7/26 949 126,259
7/27 742 127,001
7/28 710 127,711
7/29 777 128,488
7/30 636 129,124
7/31 443 129,567
8/1 371 129,938
8/2 256 130,194
8/3 193 130,387
8/4 224 130,611
8/5 373 130,984
8/6 533 131,517
8/7 103 131,620
8/8 98 131,718
8/9 107 131,825
8/10 255 132,080
8/11 157 132,237
8/12 137 132,374
8/13 106 132,480
8/14 46 132,526
8/15 26 132,552
8/16 110 132,662
8/17 59 132,721
8/18 26 132,747
8/19 57 132,804
8/20 33 132,837

Lake Washington sockeye salmon have been counted each year since 1972 as they enter freshwater at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) counted the sockeye from 1972 through 1992, and currently Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and WDFW staffs conduct the counts cooperatively. Although small numbers of sockeye enter the system in May and early June, the period from the second week of June through the end of July is the standard counting interval used to determine if there are sufficient sockeye to open fishing seasons. Sockeye counts begin on June 12th each year to provide consistent data from year to year. The sockeye are sample counted daily during set time periods as they pass through both the locks and the fishway, and the counts are converted into a daily total number of fish passing upstream. In early July, State and Tribal managers begin to make weekly projections of the expected total run size based on the current total counts. When the co-managers believe that the total run size includes sufficient surplus fish above the escapement goal of 350,000 sockeye, sport and Tribal fishing seasons will be opened.

2017 Pre-season Sockeye Forecast

The pre-season forecast for the 2017 sockeye return is 77,292. The estimate is based primarily upon sibling relationships in recent years (2012-2014). Since lake and marine survival rates are highly variable from year to year, the actual return to Lake Washington could be higher or lower than 77,292.

Collecting biological samples from adult sockeye

In 2017 a comprehensive biological sampling program will continue gathering critical information for the management of Lake Washington sockeye salmon, including changes in populations, survival rates, genetic identification, changes in size, etc.

The goal is to collect approximately 200 adult sockeye each week as they move from seawater into the Lake Washington Basin. Biologists from the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe will lead the sampling effort, with the collaboration of WDFW staff who will assist in the collection and processing of samples from the adult sockeye. Seattle Public Utilities provides funding for processing and analysis of these biological samples.

The types of information that will be collected are:

  • Scales
  • Lengths
  • Genetic Samples (DNA)
  • Mark Samples (Otoliths and tags)
  • Sex

The following are examples of three important biological data sets.

Age Composition - Sockeye salmon age compositions are a necessary step in measuring survival rates. Insufficient age data have been collected in recent years because of budget constraints and due to the difficulty of collecting a representative sample. Scales from the adult fish will be used to determine ages.

Wild/hatchery proportions - Artificially produced sockeye salmon will be an important component of the return in 2017 and coming years. The hatchery fish are 100% otolith (small bones inside the head) marked for differentiation from wild-origin sockeye. The accurate estimation of the numbers of returning hatchery fish is important to evaluate hatchery performance, and can be used to inform in-season fishery management decisions.

Genetic Diversity - Because genetic (DNA) analysis has only recently become available as an assessment tool, consistent genetic sampling programs have not been a part of the management process. Tissue samples collected from Lake Washington sockeye stocks will be used to make future comparisons between populations based on DNA profiles. This may allow the in-season monitoring of the returns of various wild and hatchery stocks, the crafting of protective measures in fisheries, and may allow the measurement of the influence of hatchery fish on wild sockeye.

Coho

Coho (adult) Salmon at Ballard Locks

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Chinook

Chinook (adult) Salmon counts at Ballard Locks

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