Green River Juvenile Salmonid Production Evaluation: 2014 Annual Report
 
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Green River Juvenile Salmonid Production Evaluation: 2014 Annual Report

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

Date Published: October 2015

Number of Pages: 62

Publication Number: FPA 15-11

Author(s): Peter C. Topping and Joseph H. Anderson

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

This report provides the 2014 results from the juvenile salmonid monitoring study conducted on the Green River in central Puget Sound, Washington. The primary objective of this study was to estimate the juvenile abundance of natural-origin Chinook salmon in the Green River. Additional objectives were to estimate the number of juvenile migrants and life history characteristics of other salmonid species. Juvenile salmonids were captured in a five-foot screw trap located at river mile 34.5 (55 rkm). Catch was expanded to a total migration estimate using a time-stratified approach that relied on release and recapture of marked fish throughout the outmigration period.

The trap was operated from January 24 through July 7, 2014. During this period, the trap fished 83% of the time. We estimated the freshwater production (juvenile abundance) of Chinook (subyearling), coho, steelhead and pink.

(Table 1). Table 1. Catch, freshwater production, fork length (mm), and out-migration timing of natural-origin juvenile salmonids caught in the Green River screw trap in 2014. Data represent freshwater production above the juvenile trap, which is located at river mile 34.5.

Species/Life Stage Catch Production
(% CV)
Avg Fork Length
(± S.D.)
Median
Chinook-Subyrlg
7,384
396,623
(21.25%)
61.1
(± 18.7)
5-Mar
Chinook-Yrlg
6 --a --- 5-Apr b
Coho-Yrlg
3,049
106,365
(11.4%)
103.6
(± 14.0)
11-May
Steelhead-Smolt 1,279 31,638
(15.70%)
171.2
(± 18.33)
5-May
Pink 239,150 14,396,053
(11.09%)
3.9 (± 1.6)
7-Mar
Chum 69,365 ---c ---c 28-Marb

a Capture rates were not high enough to derive a production estimate or describe migration timing for yearling Chinook.

b These are median catch dates which are not adjusted for trap efficiency and therefore serves as an index of migration timing.

c Unable to distinguish between natural origin and hatchery production.

Chinook salmon spawn above and below the juvenile trap. A basin-wide production estimate was derived by applying estimated survival above the trap to spawning below the trap; a screw trap fished in Big Soos Creek estimated production from that tributary. Egg-to-migrant survival of Green River Chinook for the 2014 outmigration (2013 brood) was estimated to be 11.39%, yielding a basin-wide production estimate of 520,406 juveniles. Included in this estimate was a preliminary estimate of 101,748 Chinook migrating from Big Soos Creek with a egg-to-migrant survival of 15.17%. This estimate was generated by a screw trap located just above the hatchery and operated by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe.

Juvenile migrant Chinook in the Green River are predominantly subyearlings. Outmigration timing of subyearling Chinook was bimodal. The fry (≤ 45 mm fork length) represented 80% of all subyearling migrants and peaked in early March, parr migrants (> 45 mm fork length) represented 20% of the migration and peaked in early June.