BPA Fish and Wildlife FY 1997 Proposal

Section 1. Administrative
Section 2. Narrative
Section 3. Budget

see CBFWA and BPA funding recommendations

Section 1. Administrative

Title of project
Wild Smolt Behavior/Physiology (ESA)

BPA project number   9202200

Business name of agency, institution or organization requesting funding

Sponsor type   WA-Federal Agency

Proposal contact person or principal investigator
 NameWalt Dickoff
 Mailing addressNation Marine Fisheries Service
U.S. Dept of Commerce
2725 Montlake Blvd East
Seattle, WA 98112

BPA technical contact   Tom Vogel, EWN 503/230-5201

Biological opinion ID   None

NWPPC Program number   

Short description
Document the physiological development of spring chinook salmon that will serve as a goal for the hatchery production of more "wild-type" juvenile salmon.

Project start year   1992    End year   2000

Start of operation and/or maintenance   

Project development phase   Implementation

Section 2. Narrative

Related projects

Project history
This project is an outgrowth and obvious next step of a previous study entitled "Smolt quality assessment of hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon in the Columbia River Basin." High quality salmon smolts are defined as fish that migrate rapidly downstream and survive to adulthood. Our original study of hatchery-reared spring chinook salmon indicated that differences in smolt quality as assessed by physiological and morphological indices accounted for differences in smolt survival to adulthood. High growth rates of hatchery smolts during the 40 to 60 days before release correlated with adult survival. Results suggested that manipulation of growth rate hatchery fish prior to their release may improve their survival to adulthood. The present project aimed to verify these findings relating growth rate to adult survival and investigate the development of wild spring chinook salmon. Naturally-reared salmon smolts generally show higher survival to adulthood than hatchery-reared smolts. A detailed, systematic study of the physiology and morphology of wild chinook salmon has never been done. Physiological development of wild juvenile chinook salmon may serve as model for hatchery rearing. Producing a more wild-like hatchery fish may improve their survival.

Biological results achieved
Although results from the project are promising, the work is not yet at the stage where hatchery production scale studies have been started or have had documented results on improving adult salmon return rates. Hatchery managers are aware of some of this project's results to date and have implemented tests of the studies recommendations, for example, at Spring Creek NFH. Results from these hatchery tests are not yet available.

Annual reports and technical papers
One Annual Report is in draft stage, and two manuscripts are in review for submission to Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences:
1) Beckman, B.R., D.A. Larsen, and W.W. Dickhoff. The relationship of fish size and growth to smoltification in spring chinook salmon. I. Migratory tendencies.
2) Beckman, B.R., W. W. Dickhoff, D. A. Larsen, S. Moriyama, and B. Lee-Pawlak. The relationship of fish size and growth to smoltification in spring chinook salmon. II. Plasma insulin-like growth factor-I and other physiological measures.

Management implications
Knowledge of how to produce higher quality and more wild-type smolts that migrate downstream rapidly, show high survival to adulthood, and minimize negative impacts on naturally-produced smolts should be broadly applicable to management objectives. For example, hatchery production of higher quality smolts with high survival to adulthood would result in either a larger number of adult salmon produced or allow similar numbers of hatchery adults produced from a smaller number of hatchery-reared fish.
Wild type hatchery smolts may be smaller than the traditional large hatchery smolts. A reduced size difference between wild and hatchery-reared smolts would remove a size advantage for hatchery smolts in agonistic hatchery-wild fish interactions.
Increasing downstream migratory tendency and rate in hatchery fish would reduce hatchery-wild fish interactions. Hatchery fish would move downstream more purposefully and at a higher rate, reducing the opportunity for wild-hatchery encounters.
More rapidly migrating smolts would reduce the requirement for increased river flow and dam drawdown.

Specific measureable objectives
1. Enhance smolt quality - Confirm relation between growth rate and smolt quality
A. Compare temperature and ration manipulation to affect smolt quality
B. Estimate range of critical growth rates and timing necessary for high smolt quality
C. Scale up to hatchery production studies
2. Enhance downstream migration - Confirm relation between growth rate and downstream migratory tendency and rate.
A. Controlled lab experiments I short-term
B. Scale up to in-stream survival and migration studies in the C.R. Basin

Testable hypothesis
1. Physiological and behavioral characteristics of naturally reared chinook salmon can be identified, and used to develop hatchery practices to rear fish with a more wild phenotype. 2. Hatchery-produced smolts having a more wild phenotype will have minimal negative impact on wild fish and survive to adults at a higher rate than traditional hatchery fish.
3. Growth rate during smoltification is more important than size at release from hatcheries for high smolt-to-adult survival.

Underlying assumptions or critical constraints
Sufficient numbers of wild salmon will be available for sampling.

A variety of study approaches are used.
Wild fish will be collected from the Yakima River Basin, sampled and analyzed for physiological and morphological features. Sample analysis will include body size, gill ATPase activity, blood hormone levels, total body lipid, liver glycogen and stomach fullness. Data will be analyzed to determine possible salient features that may be biological significant as differences between wild and hatchery reared fish.
Methods for manipulating juvenile salmon growth rates will be developed and compared for their effects on smolt physiology and behavior (migration). Migration behavior will be analyzed in an artificail stream. Migration behavior and in-stream survival of fish with differing growth rates will be analyzed.
Standard statistical methods will be used as appropriate (Zar 1984). These include both parametric and nonparametric analyses; ANOVA, multiple range testing (Fisher PLSD), linear and nonlinear regression, and Chi-square.
Chinook salmon will be used primarily, although some behavioral testing may use coho salmon in addition. For wild fish sampling in the Yakima River Basin, approximately 300 juvenile chinook salmon will be collected. Thousand of chinook and coho salmon will be examined in our Seattle hatchery. These will come from Puget Sound stocks.

Brief schedule of activities
Activity will be continuous during the year.
Continued sampling of wild Yakima Spring Chinook salmon.
Conduct experiments examining effect of growth rate on salmon physiology and behavior.
Conduct experiments evaluating methods to manipulate growth rate in hatchery.

Biological need
Smolt to adult survival of hatchery reared fish is generally lower than that of wild fish. This is due in part to poorer quality of hatchery compared to wild smolts. Improved quality of hatchery smolts should improve their survival.

Critical uncertainties

Summary of expected outcome
Improved smolt to adult survival of hatchery reared fish by improving smolt quality will increase the efficiency of hatchery production. Improving smolt quality and migration rates will reduce negative impact of hatchery fish on wild fish, reduce straying rates, and allow maintained adult contribution with lower numbers of hatchery fish released.

Dependencies/opportunities for cooperation


Monitoring activity

Section 3. Budget

Data shown are the total of expense and capital obligations by fiscal year. Obligations for any given year may not equal actual expenditures or accruals within the year, due to carryover, pre-funding, capitalization and difference between operating year and BPA fiscal year.

Historic costsFY 1996 budget data*Current and future funding needs
1992: 296,395
1994: 366,276
1995: 369,704
Obligation: 0
Authorized: 345,673
Planned: 345,673
1997: 350,000
1998: 447,000
1999: 469,000
2000: 493,000

* For most projects, Authorized is the amount recommended by CBFWA and the Council. Planned is amount currently allocated. Contracted is the amount obligated to date of printout.

Funding recommendations

CBFWA funding review group   Mainstem

Recommendation    Tier 1 - fund

Recommended funding level   $350,000

BPA 1997 authorized budget (approved start-of-year budget)   $350,000