Nisqually Steelhead Recovery Planning


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Chris Ellings' presentation at the 2014 Nisqually Annual Program Review

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Nisqually Steelhead Recovery Planning

  1. 1. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Nisqually Steelhead Recovery Planning 1 Annual Review May 2014
  2. 2. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review The Problem: Nisqually Steelhead abundance plummets in early 90’s 2
  3. 3. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review 3 Smolt-to-adult survival rates for three Puget Sound populations (Elwha, Skagit, Puyallup), three coastal Washington populations (Quillayute, Quinault, Humptulips, Chehalis), and Lower Columbia River (Kalama and Washougal; summer and winter-run). Averages for some years do not include all populations within a region because of the lack of SAR estimates in some populations in some years. Data were compiled by Iris Kemp (LLTK).
  4. 4. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Nisqually Steelhead Early-Marine Survival 4
  5. 5. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review 5
  6. 6. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review 6
  7. 7. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Nisqually Steelhead Recovery Plan Development 7  Funding for Plan: $87,500 (thank you Recovery Council) + NIT match  Identify Goals and Objectives for all H’s  Evaluate Steelhead Biological Information and Habitat Conditions  Assess Habitat Potential using EDT  Identify Restoration, Protection, and Assessment Priorities  Develop Implementation/Action Plan  Integrate Steelhead Recovery into existing Nisqually Chinook adaptive management process  Develop an Open Standards nexus for integration with regional plan
  8. 8. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Nisqually Steelhead Recovery Plan Goals and Objectives 8 Goals and objectives developed based on co-manager and Nisqually River Council discussions. Include short and long term conservation, habitat, and harvest metrics. In-Review….
  9. 9. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review 1st step: Review current and historic Nisqually Steelhead Biological Information and Nisqually River Habitat Conditions 9 Some takeaways: • Hatchery influence has been minimal, with winter steelhead supplementation ending in 1981 • Current smolt to adult survival is around 1% • Current smolt production is around 65,000, with over 250 smolts/adult estimated for one of the brood years analyzed! –Freshwater survival is very good.
  10. 10. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Steelhead Recruits per Spawner
  11. 11. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Nisqually Steelhead Habitat Potential 11
  12. 12. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review What can we do within the watershed to help steelhead in the face of terrible marine survival? 12
  13. 13. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review 13 Nisqually River Watershed
  14. 14. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Primary steelhead habitat (EDT estimate)
  15. 15. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Habitat Potential – 1% SAR Current Abundance about 62% of Historic
  16. 16. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Protection/Restoration Priorities Degradation Restoration Degradation Restoration Degradation Nisqually River Mainstem A 1 B 4 McAllister Creek E 7 E 7 Muck Creek C 4 A 3 Prairie Tributaries B 3 A 2 Toboton/Powell/Lackamas C 5 C 5 Ohop Creek C 6 C 6 Mashel River B 2 A 1 Percentage change Percentage change Percentage change Category/rank Category/rank Geographic Area Change in Abundance with Change in Productivity with Protection benefit Restoration benefit -35% 0% 35% -35% 0% 35% Degradation Restoration Percentage change Change in Diversity Index with -35% 0% 35% • Mainstem protection priority similar to Chinook • Mashel restoration of upper reaches emerging top priority • Muck Creek and Prairie Tributaries are priorities unique to Steelhead
  17. 17. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Subbasin Priorities
  18. 18. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Steelhead habitat protection and restoration action plan in review. Some highlights include: 18 • Continue to implement Chinook Recovery actions including mainstem and Mashel habitat protection and restoration • Implement Nisqually Community Forest in upper Mashel River watershed and manage for watershed processes and ecosystem services • Remove all barriers on small streams • Continue to work with JBLM to protect and restore Muck Cr. • Assess small prairie streams for protection and restoration, establish a prairie stream stronghold for life history diversity • Integrate Nisqually plan with the regional effort
  19. 19. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Nisqually Estuary June 2009 Nisqually Estuary March 2010
  20. 20. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review 20
  21. 21. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Lower Site – After
  22. 22. Nisqually Chinook Annual Review Steelhead recovery efforts in the watershed can help prevent extirpation but recovery is not possible without a strong regional commitment to address survival in Puget Sound. 22 -Support the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project!