Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Program
SOW Report
Contract 65316: 2002-031-00 EXP GROWTH MOD (UW)
Project Number:
Growth Modulation in Salmon Supplementation
Province Subbasin %
Columbia Plateau Yakima 100.00%
Contract Number:
Contract Title:
2002-031-00 EXP GROWTH MOD (UW)
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61266: 2002-031-00 EXP GROWTH MOD (UW)
Contract Status:
Contract Description:
Growth Rate Modulation in spring Chinook salmon supplementation
Statement of Work and Budget FY2014

Reasonable and Prudent Alternative (RPA) 63.2 of FCRPS Biological Opinion calls for determining the effects of implementing hatchery reforms on salmon and steelhead populations and RPA 65.2 is focused on estimating Fall Chinook hatchery program effects on productivity. A major focus of current actions under Northwest Power and Conservation Council (NWPCC 2004) and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) programs is the support of 12 supplementation programs to assist in recovery of 8 ESUs of Chinook salmon and steelhead trout listed as threatened or endangered under the ESA. A significant concern for these programs is that they release fish that are ecologically, genetically, and phenotypically similar to their wild cohorts. In response to this concern, a number of rearing guidelines for supplementation programs have been made in the Artificial Production Review and Evaluation report (APRE).

The primary goals of this project are to assesses the proportion of precociously maturing males and smolt associated physiological development of Chinook salmon produced in supplementation and conservation hatcheries in the Columbia River Basin and to conduct both basic and applied research to help devise rearing protocols to reduce unnaturally high rates of precocious male maturation and produce fish with similar physiological, morphological and life-history attributes as wild fish. Previously, we have identified the prevalence and magnitude of age-2 male maturation (minijack) in conservation and supplementation programs for Spring and Summer Chinook salmon in the Columbia River Basin. In some programs, in some years, 60% of the males produced are destined to mature at age 2. In the Yakima Supplementation program the average minijack rate over 10 years is 41% which is 9 fold the rate we have estimated in wild Yakima Spring Chinook (Harstad et al. in press). This represents an obvious loss of production. More insidiously, the minijack phenotype also results in unnatural selection profiles on the smolts released from the hatchery and profound demographic effects on the spawning grounds, ultimately and undeniably altering the genetic structure of the natural populations that the conservation programs were designed to protect. Minijacks represent an ecological presence that may prey on and compete for food and habitat with native stocks. Finally, high minijack rates represent a significant source of error in calculations of smolt-to-adult return rates (SAR's); the central currency for survival estimates throughout the Columbia Basin.

Through this ongoing project we have documented that hundreds of thousands of minijacks are released from hatchery programs each year. These are actually not smolts when released and they rarely return as adults to the spawning grounds. It is essential to quantify their presence prior to release in programs of interest and devise methods to control production of unnaturally high minijack rates. Reduction in the rate of minijack production can lead to direct increases in smolt production and reduction in domestication selection. However, there are significant challenges associated with these efforts as growth profiles that reduce early male maturation often produce small smolts. Numerous studies have shown that smolt size is highly correlated with adult survival. This project is specifically designed to reconcile the paradox presented by these conflicting principals. Key Project Personnel have conducted experiments that suggest reducing growth rates and lipid deposition in the autumn/winter of the fish’s 1st year will reduce early male maturation rates. In addition, experiments have shown that delaying ponding until March/April can eliminate high rates of age-1 male maturation.

Preliminary data suggests that yearling hatchery releases of URB fall Chinook salmon (currently a key part of supplementation programs for ESA listed Snake River URB fall Chinook salmon) results in a high proportion of early male maturation. This represents a loss of production of full size anadromous fish and also represent a threat to the maintenance of the genetic integrity of the naturally spawning population. Documented evidence also suggests that yearling releases of URB fall Chinook salmon result in a high proportion of early maturing males in the Yakima and Umatilla Basins. Counts of age-2 upstream migrants at Three Mile Falls Dam on the Umatilla River suggest that significant minijack production was evident at the initiation of yearling fall Chinook salmon releases in the Umatilla River (Umatilla Fall Chinook HGMP). While potentially ubiquitous and common, little effort has been put forth to either enumerate or evaluate minijack production; thus, the problem is largely (and conveniently) ignored.

This project has three central objectives:

Objective 1)  (Continuing work)

Improve survival and reduce fitness loss in Columbia River URB Fall Chinook salmon. We will determine rates of minijack production (through measurement of plasma 11-ketotestosterone levels) and associated physiological development including growth, whole body lipid, plasma IGF-1 (endocrine index of growth physiology) and Na+/K+-ATPase activity (enzyme indicator of smolt development) in Umatilla stock URB Fall Chinook Salmon (serving as a proxy for listed Snake River stocks) reared at Bonneville Hatchery for a production scale 2x2 factorial experiment exploring the effects of High and Low Ration and High and Low lipid diet on life-history development over four consecutive brood years (BY's 2010-2013 released 2012-2015). This study will be monitored by Don Larsen, Brian Beckman of NOAA Fisheries, Seattle and Dr. Graham Young of the University of Washington, Seattle in partnership with co-managers from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW- Lance Clarke and Scott Patterson). Our monitoring effort for this work started in FY 2011 under the final year of the previous solicitation period (FY 07-09 extended to 2010-11) and is scheduled to continue until spring 2015. The effectiveness of this work will be monitored through compilation of physiological profiles for each brood year and treatment group, minijack surveys conducted for each treatment at the time of release, juvenile survival and minijack migration via pit-tag interrogation in the Columbia River hydro by-pass systems and adult ladders and ultimately via adult return rates from 2014-2017. Final results and conclusions will be reported in annual and final contract reports, at scientific conferences and in peer reviewed publication(s).

Objective 2) (Completion)

Refine rearing protocols to reduce minijack rates and optimize smolt development in URB Fall Chinook salmon.  In FY 13 we completed the rearing portion of a laboratory scale experiment at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC), Seattle exploring the effects of alterations in emergence timing and growth rate (via ration manipulation) on life-history development and associated physiology in Umatilla River URB Fall Chinook gametes obtained from the Umatilla (or Bonneville) Hatchery.  This experiment is being conducted with eggs obtained from brood year 2011 adults that returned to the Umatilla River that were acquired during the  FY11 contract period and will continue through final sample analysis in spring 2014. The objective will be conducted by Don Larsen and Brian Beckman of NOAA Fisheries, and Graham Young and contract staff from the University of Washington, Seattle. The effectiveness of this research will be monitored through physiological profiles for growth and seawater tolerance compiled for each treatment group throughout the experiment and final age-1 and age-2 maturation surveys conducted during and at the end of the experiment. Final results and conclusions will be reported in annual and final contract reports, at scientific conferences and in peer reviewed publication compiled during this contract period.

Objective 3) (Continuing work)

Quantification of basin wide Chinook salmon minjack rates.  This objective has historically focused on quantifying long-term minijack rates in Chinook salmon from the Yakima River Supplementation Program and other hatchery spring, summer and fall Chinook populations throughout the Columbia River basin.  Over the course of these studies a major finding is the observation that segregated hatchery populations have reduced minijack rates compared to integrated programs due to domestication selection.   In this current contract period we intend to conduct minijack surveys from two integrated and two segregated populations of Idaho hatchery spring Chinook salmon.  In cooperation with Christine Kozjkay (Fishery Principal Research Biologist, IDFG) we intend to conduct surveys of the integrated and segregated South Fork Salmon River spring/summer Chinook salmon populations at McCall Hatchery, McCall ID and the segregated and one  integrated populations at Sawtooth hatchery, Idaho.

Objective 4) (New).

Test the Null Hypothesis:  Spring Chinook salmon sourced from different hatchery stocks with varying degrees of integration and/or segregation reared under identical "common-garden" growth regimes will express the same rates of minijack maturation and the same threshold size for initiatioin of maturation.  This experiment will be conducted with brood year 2014 spring Chinook salmon sourced from approximately 6 separate populations of Snake and Columbia River hatchery spring Chinook salmon from a mixture of integrated and segregated stocks.

There are two contracts (University of Washington and NOAA ) under this project.  There are many duties associated with this project that are shared between the two contracts and they are noted in the description for specific work elements. In general, the University of Washington Contract is associated with data collection, fish rearing, maintaining hatchery, and laboratory sample analysis and the NOAA contract is used for work elements associated with permit preparation, experimental design, collaborator coordination, fish rearing and maintaining hatchery also, contract reporting, data collection, interpretation, analysis, and peer reviewed publication and presentation of results to the scientific community.

Harstad, D.L., Larsen, D.L., and Beckman, B.R., in press.  Variation in minijack rate in Columbia Basin hatchery Chinook salmon.  Transactions of the American Fisheries Society.
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* Expenditures data includes accruals and are based on data through 31-Dec-2020.

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Contract Type:
Contract (IGC)
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Cost Reimbursement (CNF)
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Full Name Organization Write Permission Contact Role Email Work Phone
Cecilia Brown Bonneville Power Administration Yes COTR (503) 230-3462
Rossana Callejas Bonneville Power Administration No Interested Party (503) 230-7558
Walton Dickhoff National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration No Supervisor (206) 860-3234
Donald Larsen National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Yes Contract Manager (206) 860-3462
Donald Rose Bonneville Power Administration Yes Env. Compliance Lead (503) 230-3796
Jessica Roshan University of Washington Yes Administrative Contact (206) 616-9521
Kristi Van Leuven Bonneville Power Administration No Contracting Officer (503) 230-3605
Dorothy Welch Bonneville Power Administration Yes F&W Approver (503) 230-5479
Graham Young University of Washington Yes Contract Manager (206) 543-4291

Viewing of Work Statement Elements

Deliverable Title WSE Sort Letter, Number, Title Start End Complete
Environmental Compliance B: 165. Environmental Compliance 05/30/2015 05/30/2015
Umatilla River URB Fall Chinook physiology collection and analysis C: 157. Umatilla Fall Chinook Production Growth Modulation Expt. (Continuing) 04/30/2015 04/30/2015
Snake River hatchery pre-release precocious maturity screening D: 157. Assess minijack rates of BY 2013 Snake River hatchery spring Chinook salmon (New) 04/30/2015 04/30/2015
Rear hatchery fish for Common Garden Spring Chinook Minijack Study E: 176. Rear hatchery fish for growth modulation experiment #7 (Common Garden Expt.) 05/30/2015 05/30/2015
Maintain hatchery for rearing fish for growth modulation experiment #7 (Common Garden Expt.) F: 61. Maintain NWSFC hatchery for rearing fish for growth experiment #7 (Common Garden Expt.) 05/30/2015 05/30/2015
Project Management G: 119. Project planning and coordination 03/31/2015 03/31/2015
Hatchery Management Plan-covered under NOAA Fisheries H: 174. Hatchery management plan-covered by NOAA Fisheries 06/01/2014 06/01/2014
Write UW portion of report and provide to NOAA I: 132. Progress Report submitted by NOAA fisheries 06/30/2014 06/30/2014
Provide work summaries to NOAA for inclusion in annual RME report J: 141. Other Reports for BPA 12/15/2014 12/15/2014

Viewing of Implementation Metrics
Viewing of Environmental Metrics Customize

Primary Focal Species Work Statement Elements
Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) - All Populations
  • 1 instance of WE 61 Maintain Artificial Production Facility/Infrastructure
  • 1 instance of WE 174 Produce Plan
Chinook (O. tshawytscha) - Snake River Fall ESU (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Chinook (O. tshawytscha) - Snake River Spring/Summer ESU (Threatened)
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Chinook (O. tshawytscha) - Snake River Spring/Summer (not listed)
  • 1 instance of WE 157 Collect/Generate/Validate Field and Lab Data
Chinook (O. tshawytscha) - Upper Columbia River Spring ESU (Endangered)
  • 1 instance of WE 176 Produce Hatchery Fish

Sort WE ID WE Title NEPA NOAA USFWS NHPA Has Provisions Inadvertent Discovery Completed
A 185 Periodic Status Reports for BPA 06/01/2014
B 165 Environmental Compliance 06/01/2014
C 157 Umatilla Fall Chinook Production Growth Modulation Expt. (Continuing) 06/01/2014
D 157 Assess minijack rates of BY 2013 Snake River hatchery spring Chinook salmon (New) 06/01/2014
E 176 Rear hatchery fish for growth modulation experiment #7 (Common Garden Expt.) 06/01/2014
F 61 Maintain NWSFC hatchery for rearing fish for growth experiment #7 (Common Garden Expt.) 06/01/2014
G 119 Project planning and coordination 06/01/2014
H 174 Hatchery management plan-covered by NOAA Fisheries 06/01/2014
I 132 Progress Report submitted by NOAA fisheries 06/01/2014
J 141 Other Reports for BPA 06/01/2014