Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
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Survival Estimate for Passage through Snake and Columbia River Dams and Reservoirs
Province Subbasin %
Mainstem - 100.00%
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Beginning in 1993, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the University of Washington (UW) began research to determine survival and travel-time characteristics of wild and hatchery-reared spring/summer Chinook salmon and hatchery steelhead migrating through Snake River dams and reservoirs (Muir et al. 2001a, 2001b; Skalski et al. 1998, Smith et al. 2002, Williams et al. 2001).  This research was expanded in 1995 to include Snake River fall Chinook salmon (Smith et al. 2003).  The initial goals of this research program were to 1) field test and evaluate the single-release, modified single-release, and paired-release Models for the estimation of reach and project survival, 2) provide annual estimates of reach and project survival with known precision, and 3) explore relationships among fish travel time, fish survival, and environmental conditions.  The first goal was addressed in detail during the first 5 years of research.   Presently, work continues on the second and third goals.   Additionally, we are now evaluating adult returns of PIT-tagged fish to further understand the relationships among juvenile survival, travel time, migration timing, and other factors, such as numbers of bypasses or passage routes, that juveniles encountered during their downstream migration to look for correlations with adult survival (Williams et al. 2005).  We also continue to evaluate violation of survival model assumptions, a necessary step in producing unbiased survival estimates.

The purpose of this project is to provide statistical input to the design and analysis for these smolt survival studies.  The analyses are based on data derived from passive integrated transponder tags (PIT tags) and radio-tags. Investigations focus on survival of wild and hatchery chinook and steelhead salmon in the Snake and Columbia Rivers.


Muir, W. D., S. G. Smith, J. G. Williams, E. E. Hockersmith, and J. R. Skalski.  2001(a).  Survival estimates for PIT-tagged migrant juvenile Chinook salmon and steelhead in the lower Snake River, 1993-1998.  N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 21:1-14.

Muir, W. D., S. G. Smith, J. G. Williams, and B. P. Sandford  2001(b).  Survival of juvenile salmonids passing through bypass systems, turbines, and spillways with and without flow defectors at Snake River dams.  N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 21:135-146.

Skalski, J. R., S. G. Smith, R. N. Iwamoto, J. G. Williams, and A. Hoffmann. 1998.  Use of passive integrated transponder tags to estimate survival of migrant juvenile salmonids in the Snake and Columbia rivers.  Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 55:1484-1493.

Smith, S. G., W. D. Muir, J. G. Williams, and J. R. Skalski.   2002.  Factors associated with travel time and survival of migrant yearling Chinook salmon and steelhead in the lower Snake River.  N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 22:385-405.

Smith, S. G., W. D. Muir,  E. E. Hockersmith, W. Zabel, R. J. Graves, C. V. Ross, W. P. Conner, and B. D. Arnsberg.  2003.  Influence of river conditions on survival and travel time of Snake River subyearling fall Chinook salmon.  N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 23:939-961.

Williams, J. G., S. G. Smith, and W. D. Muir.  2001.  Survival estimates for downstream migrant yearling juvenile salmonids through the Snake and Columbia River hydropower system, 1966-1980 and 1993-1999.  N. Am. J. Fish. Manage. 21:42-49.

Williams, J. G., S. G. Smith, R. W. Zabel, W. D. Muir, M. D. Scheuerell, B. P. Sandford, D. M. Marsh, R. McNatt, and S. Achord.  2005.  Effects of the federal Columbia River power system on salmon populations.  NOAA Technical Memorandum, NMFS-NWFSC-63.
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* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 30-Jun-2020.

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Full Name Organization Write Permission Contact Role Email Work Phone
Jamae Hilliard Bonneville Power Administration Yes F&W Approver (360) 418-8658
Jenifer Mccune Bonneville Power Administration No Contracting Officer (503) 230-7429
John Piccininni Bonneville Power Administration Yes COTR (503) 230-7641
Tami Sadusky University of Washington No Administrative Contact (206) 543-8952
Craig Scanlan University of Washington Yes Technical Contact (206) 685-1995
Richard Townsend University of Washington Yes Administrative Contact (206) 616-7492

Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Submit results to a peer-reviewed publication A: 162. Develop statistical models to analyze adult radio-tag data to estimate survival 12/29/2006
Improve Program ROSTER analysis capabilites B: 156. Extend Program ROSTER analysis capabilities 06/21/2006 06/21/2006
Project Administration C: 119. Manage and Aminister the Project 04/06/2007 04/06/2007

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
All Anadromous Salmonids
  • 1 instance of WE 162 Analyze/Interpret Data

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 162 Develop statistical models to analyze adult radio-tag data to estimate survival
B 156 Extend Program ROSTER analysis capabilities
C 119 Manage and Aminister the Project
D 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA