Category: Wild Salmon Population Monitoring
Published: April 2015
Publication number: FPA 15-03
Author(s): Kelly Kiyohara
This report describes the emigration of five salmonid species from two tributaries in the Lake Washington watershed: Cedar River and Bear Creek. Cedar River flows into the southern end of Lake Washington; Bear Creek flows into the Sammamish River, which flows into the north end of Lake Washington. In each watershed, the abundance of juvenile migrants is the measure of freshwater production upstream from the trapping location. In 1992, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) initiated an evaluation of sockeye fry migrants in the Cedar River to investigate the causes of low adult sockeye returns. In 1999, the Cedar River juvenile monitoring study was expanded in scope in order to include juvenile migrant Chinook salmon. This new scope extended the trapping season to a six month period and, as a consequence, also allowed estimation of coho production, and assessment of steelhead and cutthroat trout movement.
In 1997, WDFW initiated an evaluation of sockeye fry migrants in the Sammamish watershed. In 1997 and 1998, a juvenile trap was operated in the Sammamish River during the downstream sockeye migration. In 1999, this monitoring study was moved to Bear Creek in order to simultaneously evaluate Chinook and sockeye production. Since 1999, the Bear Creek juvenile monitoring study has also provided estimates of coho production and described ancillary data on movement patterns of steelhead and cutthroat trout.
The primary study goal of this program in 2014 was to estimate the number of juvenile sockeye fry, and natural-origin Chinook and coho migrating from the Cedar River and Bear Creek into Lake Washington. This estimate was used to calculate survival of the 2013 brood from egg deposition to lake/river entry and to describe the migration timing of each species. Cutthroat and steelhead movements were assessed through catch totals but no abundance estimates were made. Biological data representing each population is also summarized.