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Assessment of Salmonids and Their Habitat Conditions in the Walla Walla River Basin within Washington: 1999 Annual Report

Category: Fish/Shellfish Research and Management - Fish/Shellfish Research

Date Published: July 2000

Number of Pages: 96

Author(s): Glen Mendel, David Karl, and Terrence Coyle


Concerns about the decline of native salmon and trout populations have increased among natural resource managers and the public in recent years. As a result, a multitude of initiatives have been implemented at the local, state, and federal government levels. These initiatives include management plans and actions intended to protect and restore salmonid fishes and their habitats.

In 1998 bull trout were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as “Threatened”, for the Walla Walla River and its tributaries. Steelhead were listed as “Threatened” in 1999 for the mid–Columbia River and its tributaries. These ESA listings emphasize the need for information about the threatened salmonid populations and their habitats.

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is entrusted with “the preservation, protection, and perpetuation of fish and wildlife....[and to] maximize public recreational or commercial opportunities without impairing the supply of fish and wildlife (WAC 77.12.010).” In consideration of this mandate, the WDFW submitted a proposal in December 1997 to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for a study to assess salmonid distribution, relative abundance, genetics, and the condition of their habitats in the Walla Walla River basin.

The primary purposes of this project are to collect baseline biological and habitat data, to identify major data gaps, and to draw conclusions whenever possible. The study reported herein details the findings of the 2000 field season (March to November, 2000).

Suggested Citation:
Mendel, Glen, David Karl, Terrence Coyle, ''Assessment of Salmonid Fishes and Their Habitat Conditions in the Walla Walla River Basin'', Project No. 1998-02000, 96 electronic pages, (BPA Report DOE/BP-07035-2)