Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Oregon
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Oregon Project


Chinook salmon passage and recovery on the Willamette River

January 2009 - May 2021


Personnel

Participating Agencies

  • USACE- Portland District
  • USACE Portland District
  • Portland District
Chinook salmon passage research at the Oregon Unit.

Willamette River basin adult spring-run Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are prevented from returning to their historic spawning grounds by large dams managed jointly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Bonneville Power Administration, and Bureau of Reclamation. In response, USACE and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists initiated an adult transportation program in the 1990’s with an objective of facilitating natural spawning of these populations above the dams. Unfortunately, annual rates of pre-spawn mortality (PSM) in adult Chinook salmon transported upstream of dams are high (often >40%), and could limit the ability to establish a natural population of spring Chinook if not reduced. The progeny of these outplanted adults face similar downstream passage difficulties that is further complicated by very high parasitic infection rates (>90%) of a native copepod (Salmincola californiensis). The infections affect the ability of outmigrating juvenile to swim, withstand stressors, and survive in saltwater during their ocean transition. This is an integrated project whose ultimate goal is the safe passage of juvenile and adult spring-run Chinook salmon to assist in the recovery of this listed stock.

Research Publications Publication Date
Colvin, M.E., J.T. Peterson, M. L. Kent, and C. B. Schreck. 2015. Occupancy modeling for improved accuracy and understanding of pathogen prevalence and dynamics. Plos ONE. 10(3): e0116605. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0116605 March 2015
DeWeber, J.T., J.T.Peterson, C. Sharpe, M.L. Kent, M.E. Colvin, C.B. Schreck. A hidden-process model for estimating prespawn mortality using carcass survey data. North American Journal of Fisheries Management January 2017
Dolan, B.P., K. M. Fisher, M. E. Colvin, S. E. Benda, J. T. Peterson, M. L. Kent, and C. B. Schreck. 2016. Innate and adaptive immune responses in migrating spring-run adult Chinook Salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha. Fish and Shellfish Immunology 48:136-44 February 2016
Colvin, M.E., J.T. Peterson, C. Sharpe, M.L.Kent, C.B. Schreck. 2018. Identifying optimal translocation policies given factors associated with adult spring-run Chinook Salmon translocation mortality. River Research and Applications 34:1158–1167 December 2018
Technical Publications Publication Date
Caudill, C.C., Naughton, G., Taylor, G., Keefer, M., Knoff, M., Roumasset, A., Schreck, C.B. and Kent, M. Migration behavior and spawning success in spring Chinook salmon in Fall Creek and the North Fork Middle Fork Willamette River: relationships among fate, fish condition, and environmental factors: 2008-2011. US Army Corps of Engineers, Annual Willamette River Science Review, Corvallis, OR Jan 30- Feb 1, 2012. January 2012
Presentations Presentation Date
Benda, S., C.B. Schreck, M. Kent, K Berkeknkamp, R. Chitwood, V. Watral, C.C. Caudill and R. Mann. Prespawn mortality in spring Chinook salmon in the upper Willamette River: potential causes and management strategies, 141st Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society, September 4-8, Seattle Wa. September 2011
Benda, S., C.B. Schreck, M. Kent, K. Berkenkamp, R. Chitwood, V. Watral, C.C. Caudill and R. Mann. Prespawn mortality in spring Chinook salmon in the upper Willamette River: potential causes and management strategies. Annual meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. February 22-25, Bend OR. February 2011
Peterson, J.T.,T. Neal, M. Kent, J. Sanders, and C. Schreck. 2019. Effects stressors on survival and dam passage of juvenile chinook salmon: implications for juvenile fish passage. Willamette Fisheries Science Review, Corvallis OR, February 12-13. February 2019
Peterson, J.T., J. Sanders, T. Neal, M. Kent and C. Schreck. 2020. The Willamette Copepod Research Program: Infection experiments and impacts on juvenile Chinook salmon. Willamette Fisheries Science Review, Corvallis OR, February 11-12 February 2020
Peterson, J.T., J. Sanders, T. Neal, M. Kent and C. Schreck. 2020. The Willamette Copepod Research Program: Infection experiments and impacts on juvenile Chinook salmon. Willamette Fisheries Science Review, Corvallis OR, February 11-12 February 2020
Neal, T., M.L. Kent, J. Sanders, C.B. Schreck, and J. Peterson. 2020. Experimental infection of the parasitic copepod on juvenile Chinook salmon. Annual Meeting of the Oregon Chapter of the American Fisheries Society, March 4-6, Bend, OR. March 2020
Colvin, M.E., J. T. Peterson, C. Sharpe, S. Benda, C. Schreck, M. Kent, B. Dolan, and C. Caudill. 2013. Upper Willamette River spring Chinook prespawn mortality synthesis and modeling. Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society Oregon Chapter, Feb 18-21. February 2013
Colvin, M.E., J. T. Peterson, C. Sharpe, S. Benda1, M. Kent, B. Dolan, and C. Schreck 2014. Upper Willamette River spring Chinook prespawn mortality synthesis and modeling. Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society Oregon Chapter, February 25-28, Eugene OR. February 2014
Herron, C., M. Colvin, M. Kent, C. Caudill, and C. Schreck. 2014. Nanophyetus Salminocola Burdens in Chinook Salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawystscha) Prior to Spawning in the Willamette Basin. 19th Biennial Ecological and Evolutionary Ethology of Fishes Meeting. Corvallis, Oregon. June 2014
Herron, C., M. Colvin, M. Kent, C. Caudill, C. Schreck. Nanophyetus slaminocola burdens in Chinook salmon (Onchorhynchus tshawystscha) prespawning in the Willamette Basin. Oregon Chapter American Fisheries Society Annual Meeting, Feb 25-28, 2014. Eugene, Oregon. February 2014
M. E. Colvin, J. T. Peterson, C. Sharpe, S. Benda, M. Kent, B. Dolan, C. C. Caudill, and C. Schreck. Development of a tool to evaluate outplanting strategies and prespawn mortality of Upper Willamette River spring Chinook. Annual Meeting of the Western Division of the American Fisheries Society, Boise, Idaho. April 15-18, 2013 April 2013
Schreck, C. M. E. Colvin2, C. Sharpe, J. T. Peterson, M. Kent, S. Benda, B. Dolan, and C. C. Caudill. Evaluating Potential Causes And Management Of Pre-Spawning Mortality In Adult Upper
Willamette River Chinook Salmon. Willamette Fisheries Science Review, Corvallis OR, February 5-7
February 2013
Schreck, C., B. Dolan, M. Kent, M. Colvin, J. Peterson. (2017). Stress, the immune system and maturation in Chinook salmon. International Congress of Comparative Endocrinology. Alberta, Canada. June 4-9, 2017. June 2017
Schreck, C., Kent, M., Colvin, M.E., Benda, S., Sharpe, C., Peterson, J.T., Doland, B., Chitwood, R., Unrein, J., Caudill, C.C., Naugton, G. Evaluating potential causes and management of pre-spawning mortality in adult upper Willamette River Chinook salmon. Willamette Fisheries Science Review, Corvallis Oregon. February 5-7, 2013. February 2013
Schreck, C.B., J. Peterson, S. Benda, M, Colvin, M. Kent, C. Sharpe. 2014. Staying Alive to Spawn in Spring Chinook Salmon: Which Life History Tactic of Host of Parasite Prevails. 19th Biennial Ecological and Evolutionary Ethology of Fishes Meeting. Corvallis, Oregon. June 2014
Theses and Dissertations Publication Date
Benda, S.E. 2014. Cool, pathogen free refuge lowers pathogen associated prespawn mortality of Willamette River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) . Masters Thesis, Oregon State University, Corvallis. July 2014