Date requested: 2/27/2017 10:44:30 AM

Requester: Brett Bowersox

Requester email: brett.bowersox@idfg.idaho.gov

Request status: Approved

Action and Files
Target group Site Action Tags for Action Total Tags Released Start Date End date Additional Info
Lochsa River wild steelhead GRA Collect all 15 3/3/2017 6/1/2017
Title: SY2017 Lochsa River Adult Radio Telemetry
Project Lead: Brett Bowersox
Agency: IDFG
Project Number: 008 14 CW Clearwater River Steelhead Radio-telemetry
Funding Agency: NOAA
Project Objectives: 1. Identify spawning tributary entrance timing and spatial distribution of wild steelhead in the Lochsa, South Fork Clearwater, and Potlatch River systems.Develop estimates of movements of hatchery fish in systems without in-stream PIT tag detector arrays. 2. Provide steelhead life history data for use in watershed planning efforts within the Lochsa River drainage. 3. Determine stock-specific differences in migratory patterns among wild (see above) and hatchery origin (Dworshak general production, SFK Clearwater general production and local-origin broodstock) steelhead. 4. Develop a model of angler effort response to fish movement and distribution. 5. Generate fishery-specific estimates of movement and residence time to inform fishery management practices.
Study Description: Steelhead Oncorhynchus mykiss are one of the most ecologically and economically important species in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in Idaho. Despite their importance, a lack of knowledge remains on various aspects of their ecology and management. The purpose of this research is provide information on several information gaps related to the management of steelhead in the Clearwater River basin. One of the primary questions associated with management of steelhead is how wild and hatchery steelhead move the system and how those movements correspond to angler use and harvest. The Clearwater River steelhead fishery is high profile, high economic value, and high effort. The steelhead fishery is composed of hatchery and wild stocks from five populations. Of particular conservation and sport fishery interest are wild stocks from the Lochsa River, Potlatch River, Selway River, South Fork Clearwater River, and Lolo Creek. Preliminary evidence from radio telemetry studies in 2014-2015 comparing wild steelhead from the Potlatch River to hatchery steelhead from the South Fork Clearwater River suggest these two “stocks” may exhibit differing migration and overwintering strategies in the Clearwater River system. However, Potlatch River steelhead are part of the lower Clearwater River population and may not represent migration strategies exhibited by upriver populations. Existing programs such as the Potlatch River Steelhead Monitoring and Evaluation Program and the B-run Supplementation Project (South Fork Clearwater River) have informed fishery managers on life history characteristics and links to restoration actions exhibited in these two populations. To date, limited information has been collected on other wild steelhead stocks such as the Lochsa River drainage. This research will provide insight on run timing into upper Lochsa River spawning tributaries, habitat use in the mainstem Lochsa River, and hatchery steelhead stray rates into the Lochsa River. Given the importance of steelhead in the system and the overall lack of information on their movement dynamics, a comprehensive evaluation of wild and hatchery steelhead migration and habitat use in the Clearwater River system is needed.
Juvenile Description:
Smolt-to-Adult Ratio:
Collection Efficiency:
Adult Description: Location of Actions: Lower Granite Adult Trap Action: To improve our understanding of movement behavior and life history strategies employed by wild adult Steelhead originating from the Lochsa River populations (Clearwater River MPG, Snake River DPS), we plan to radio tag (gastric implant) 30 known Lochsa River origin adult steelhead at the Lower Granite Adult Trap. Separation by code will be used throughout the run (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017) to collect adult steelhead tagged as juveniles in the Lochsa River system. Standard handling and gastric radio tagging procedures will be consistent with on-going programs and methodologies currently employed by NOAA and IDFG staff at the Lower Granite Dam Adult Trap.
Certify: True